A former Canon at Carlisle Cathedral has been sent to prison for four years after admitting sexual offences against teenage boys. Ron Jons, who's now 75, carried out the offences between 1983 and 1991.
The Church of England has apologised for not reporting the matter to the police when the allegations were brought to the attention of the then Bishop of Carlisle almost 20 years ago.
You can watch the full report from Tim Backshall below.
A spokesperson for the Diocese, The Venerable Richard Pratt, the Archdeacon of west Cumberland said:
“A prison sentence can never be a matter of pleasure, nor can it put right wrongs that were done, but the sentence given to Ronald Johns today is just and fair and reflects the gravity of his offences.
“We know that those abused can be manipulated by the abuser so that they are the ones who end up feeling guilty, while the abuser attempts to excuse himself. The Diocese of Carlisle therefore hopes that Ronald Johns’ victims will feel that this sentence lays clear the truth: Ronald Johns did wicked things, which were not their fault or responsibility.
“We thank the police for all their work, those who deal with these very painful and stressful sorts of cases deserve our prays and support.
“In case anyone is affected by these matters, we have set up a special helpline with the NSPCC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, where independent, confidential and sensitive advice can be sought. The number is: 0808 800 5000 (calls free from UK landlines). The County Council Social Care department can also offer help and advice, their number is 0333 240 1727 Or, of course, people can ring the Police directly on 101.”
Cumbria police have responded to the sentencing of a former cannon of Carlisle Cathedral.
Ronald Johns was jailed for four years after admitting sex offences against two boys dating back 20 years.
Temporary Detective Inspector Gary McFadden was the investigating officer he said:
“Today’s court appearance marks the end of a twelve month long police investigation which only began due to the bravery of the victims who had the strength to come forward and report what had happened to them all those years ago. This takes remarkable strength and they have remained our focus throughout the investigation. Many of those victims were in court today to see justice being brought by the sentence which was imposed.
“Johns abused his position of trust to commit heinous crimes against children - and now, almost 20 years on, he has received his punishment.
“Cumbria Police take allegations of sexual offences extremely seriously – no matter when the offences were committed. We would encourage any victims of crime to contact us and we will do all we can to support you and bring offenders to justice.”