A retired Church of England priest is currently on trial at Lewes Crown Court, accused of 37 sexual offences against children.
The BBC have reported that Canon Rideout is accused of abusing more than a dozen girls and boys. The majority of offences took place at a Barnardo’s children’s home in West Sussex between 1962 – 1973. He denies the 35 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes.
Canon Rideout would visit the children’s home and jurors were told that he would visit the dormitories at night, visit children when they were sick and was also present at choir practice. The charges include two counts of attempted rape on a child who was a choir member and a claim of indecent assault at another Barnardo’s children’s home in Barkingside. Canon Rideout later became an armed forces chaplain and there are two further charges relating to sexual assaults of two girls in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, during this time.
As is common in claims of abuse prosecuting counsel referred to the fact that children were not believed and referred to one occasion when a child was beaten for making such allegations.
At Slater and Gordon we are currently working on a number of similar Child Abuse Claims and have a specialist abuse team who are familiar with dealing with abuse cases and understand the difficulties in speaking out.
If you would like to speak to us about any of the issues raised in this article or if you have been a victim of any form of abuse please contact our abuse team on 020 7657 1658/1653/1502 for free confidential advice. Any communication will be dealt with in strict confidence.