Priest's child sex offences

A retired Church of England priest and a former organist and choirmaster have been found guilty of a string of child sex abuse offences dating back more than 25 years.

Live updates

Retired Church of England priest's string of child sex offences

Father Keith Wilkie Denford Credit: PA

A retired West Sussex Church of England priest and a former organist and choirmaster have been found guilty of a string of child sex abuse offences dating back more than 25 years.

A judge said that Father Keith Wilkie Denford and Michael Mytton had committed "a grave and gross breach of trust". Prosecutors said Denford, 78, used the respectability of the cassock to groom and abuse two boys over an 18-month period from when they were aged around 13.

Following Denford and Mytton's convictions, the Bishop of Chichester Dr Warner said: "I note the verdict reached by the court today and we will now move swiftly to implement our own disciplinary procedures following this verdict in the case of Mr Denford.

"The Diocese fully acknowledges the suffering caused both to survivors of abuse and their families.

"We deeply regret the betrayal of trust in the context of public pastoral ministry and we extend our prayers and support to those caught up in the events highlighted by this case".

Priest abused boys when they were 13

Prosecutors said Denford, 78, used the respectability of the cassock to groom and abuse two boys over an 18-month period from when they were aged around 13. On one occasion he got into a bath with one of the boys while aroused.

On another occasion he pressed himself up against a boy intimately with the words: "How nice it is to have a cuddle".

Advertisement

Priest 'groomed and abused' boys

Denford and Mytton had denied all the charges. Following a two-week trial at Hove Crown Court, Denford, of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham-by-Sea, was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault against two boys between January 1987 and January 1990 and cleared of one count of the same charge.

Mytton, of South Road, East Chiltington, East Sussex, was cleared of one count of aiding and abetting indecent assault and cleared of two counts of indecent assault.

He was convicted of three counts of indecent assault relating to a third boy when the victim was in his early teens between September 1992 and September 1994.

Priest and choirmaster committed 'grave breach of trust'

A retired West Sussex Church of England priest and a former organist and choirmaster have been found guilty of a string of child sex abuse offences dating back more than 25 years.

A judge said that Father Keith Wilkie Denford and Michael Mytton had committed "a grave and gross breach of trust". Prosecutors said Denford, 78, used the respectability of the cassock to groom and abuse two boys over an 18-month period from when they were aged around 13.

Back to top