Jury to consider verdict on retired Eastbourne priest accused of sex offences

Gordon Rideout
Gordon Rideout

THE jury hearing the trial of retired Eastbourne priest, Gordon Rideout, will return to court this morning to consider their verdict.

The jury at Lewes Crown Court was sent home last night (Wednesday) to return this morning to begin their deliberations into the case surrounding the 74-year-old from Polegate.

Canon Gordon Rideout has pleaded not guilty to 35 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes. He is alleged to have committed 30 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes when he was assistant curate at St Mary’s Church, Southgate.

The complainants, ten woman and four men, were child residents of a Crawley children’s home at the time of the alleged assaults.

Mr Rideout, of Filching Close, Polegate, is also accused of one indecent assault in Essex, and a further three against two victims in Hampshire.

He denied all 37 counts when the trial began at Lewes Crown Court on Monday, April 8.

Rideout is a former chair of governors at Bishop Bell School in Eastbourne and was also chair of the trustees at St Wilfrid’s Hospice for a number of years.