Ronald Johns was a high ranking and well respected member of the Church of England in Cumbria but at the same time he was befriending and abusing teenage boys. He's admitted 10 offences against three boys aged 14 to 17 between 1983 and 1991. They include gross indecency and indecent assault.
At the time of the offences he was a parish priest at Barrowdale and later a canon at Carlisle Cathedral. This morning Carlisle Crown Court has been hearing about the impact on his victims. One said he would have trusted Johns with his life but following the abuse he says a large part of his life died in his teens.
What makes this case even more shocking is the fact that the then Bishop of Carlisle, The Right Reverend Ian Harland was made aware of the allegations back in 1993 but decided not to report them to the police. Instead Johns was moved to a rural parish in Caldbeck although there's no suggestion that his offending continued there. The bishop has since died but the Church of England has apologised for what happened and says such a thing couldn't occur again. He has been sentenced to four years in prison.
The Venerable Richard Pratt, Archdeacon of west Cumberland spoke on behalf of the Diocese, he said:
Temporary Detective Inspector Gary McFadden, the investigating officer said: