Appeal denied for Chichester priest jailed for abuse

Twelve year sentence for abuse upheld for Jonathan Graves

The Court of Appeals in London has upheld a twelve year sentence handed down against a former Diocese of Chichester priest for abusing young boys. Following a nine day trial on 14 Sept 2017, Jonathan Graves (60) of Eastbourne, East Sussex was found guilty of abusing two schoolboys, aged between 12 and 14, between 1987 and 1992.

Prosecutors said Graves, who at the time of the attacks was vicar of St Luke’s in Stone Cross, (pictured) had plied the boys with alcohol, and once they were intoxicated bound them with belts and straps and then whipped them. He was found guilty of 12 counts of abuse and was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by the Lewes Crown Court. Five other accounts, including an assault against a 50-year old woman, were dismissed.

On 3 Dec 2013 Graves was arrested at his home in Eastbourne by Sussex Police and held on “suspicion of acts of indecency, indecent assault and cruelty against a boy known to him”. The allegations of abuse were referred to detectives following the 2011 review of diocesan records conducted by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. Sussex Police stated the Diocese of Chichester had  “co-operating fully” with the investigations,

Graves appealed his sentence, arguing the length of his sentence was unjust. of imprisonment. However, on 12 April

But the Recorder of Leeds, His Honour Judge Collier QC, sitting as a Judge of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) with two other judges, held: “We are satisfied that the total sentence cannot be described as either wrong in principle or manifestly excessive.”

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