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Retired priest faces historic sex charges

Bishop Peter Ball

Bishop Peter Ball

A retired Church of England priest who worked in the Eastbourne area has been charged with a string of historic sex counts.

Vickery House was this week charged with eight counts of indecent assault on one boy then aged 15, and five men, ranging in age from 17 to 34, between 1970 and 1986 in East Sussex and Devon. The offences are alleged to have taken place in the Eastbourne area as well as Litlington and Berwick.

The former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball, who was arrested at the same time as House on suspicion of sexual offences against boys, has not been charged and the investigation is still ongoing.

A Sussex Police statement said House, who now lives in Brighton Road, Handcross, near Haywards Heath, had been charged “on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation by detectives from Sussex Police over the past 18 months”.

He faces two charges relating to a boy then aged 15 in Devon between 1970 and 1971, two charges relating to a man in East Sussex between 1976 and 1978, and 1983 and 1985, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1978 and 1980, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1981 and 1984, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986 and one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986. House was arrested in November 2012, and had been on police bail since.

Former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, 81, who was arrested in connection with sexual offences against boys and young men between the 1970s and early 1990s, was arrested at his home in Somerset on suspicion of sex offences but was taken ill en-route to custody. The CPS is still considering the case against him.

After being charged House was given bail and will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday February 27.

 
 
 

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