Investigation into how abuse vicar was allowed to work

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AN INVESTIGATION is to take place into how a vicar was allowed to work at an Eastbourne church following serious sex abuse allegations.

Roy Cotton was priest-in-charge at St Andrew’s Church in Seaside from 1974-76, vicar from then until 1984, and sexually abused young boys along with another priest Collin Pritchard who worked at Bexhill.

Cotton died in 2006 before any charges could be brought against him but Pritchard was jailed for five years in 2008.

Cotton’s victims said many young boys were abused by the two men at the vicarage in Seaside including those who attended Sunday School.

Now, former senior judge Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss has been appointed by the Diocese of Chichester to carry out the review.

The review will look at how both Cotton and Pritchard were allowed to work in the county.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chichester said, “The review aims to ensure that the Diocese addresses the need to secure the highest standards of safeguarding within the scope of the Diocesan policy including the role of the recently re-constituted Safeguarding Group.

“At this point we are unable to make any further comment which may prejudice the review and pre-empt its outcome. It would be wrong to interfere with the review process.”