Church of Eng­land priest guilty of mul­ti­ple sex of­fences against boys

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY BEN MITCHELL

A FOR­MER Church of Eng­land priest has been con­victed of a string of sex­ual of­fences against two boys dat­ing back to the late 1980s.

Jonathan Graves, of Jervis Av­enue, East­bourne, East Sus­sex, is the third for­mer priest from the Dio­cese of Chich­ester to be con­victed fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into con­cerns about sev­eral priests.

The 60-year-old was found guilty of 12 sex­ual of­fences, against two boys known to him, while he was priest at St Luke’s Church at Stone Cross, near East­bourne, in the Chich­ester dio­cese.

One of the vic­tims was aged between 11 and 13 and the other between 12 and 15.

Graves is on po­lice bail and will be sen­tenced at Brighton Crown Court on Mon­day.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Jon Gross, of Sus­sex Po­lice, said the ac­tions of the for­mer priest had a “last­ing im­pact” on those he abused.

“The past has caught up with Jonathan Graves,” he said.

“The ev­i­dence re­vealed how he used his po­si­tion to se­lect his vic­tims and be­friend them be­fore cal­lously abus­ing them for his own sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion. His crimes have had a last­ing im­pact on the abused.

“The hurt caused by the sex­ual abuse it­self has un­doubt­edly been com­pounded by the psy­cho­log­i­cal scars of the abuser be­ing a trusted and in­flu­en­tial fig­ure in each of the vic­tims’ lives.”

He added: “I have enor­mous ad­mi­ra­tion for the courage the vic­tims have shown in com­ing for­ward to the po­lice. I hope these ver­dicts bring some form of clo­sure to them.”

A Sus­sex Po­lice spokesman said Graves is the third and last of the three priests they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing in that par­tic­u­lar op­er­a­tion to be con­victed.

“Baroness El­iz­a­beth But­ler-Sloss looked into the case of Jonathan Graves in 2010 as part of a re­view for the Dio­cese of Chich­ester look­ing at pre­vi­ous con­cerns about sev­eral priests,” the spokesman said.

“The re­port was sent to Sus­sex Po­lice in 2011.

“Fol­low­ing a re­view of all in­for­ma­tion held by the dio­cese on the cases cov­ered, the force be­gan an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Op­er­a­tion Perry, and Graves is the third and last of the priests to be con­victed.

“The two other clergy, Robert Coles and Gor­don Ride­out, have al­ready been con­victed in sep­a­rate tri­als and sen­tenced to terms of im­pris­on­ment.”

Abuser: ex-priest Jonathan Graves

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.