After Rideout court case, it’s time for the Diocese to answer some questions

CANNON GORDON RIDEOUT ARRIVES AT HAYWARDS HEATH MAGISTRATES COURT TODAY 16/7/12''A retired Church of England priest from East Sussex has been charged with committing 38 sexual offences against 18 children and young teenagers.'Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, of Filching Close, Wannock, is alleged to have committed the offences between 1962 and 1973 in Crawley, London and Hampshire.'He was arrested at his home in March following a nine-month investigation and charged on Wednesday night.'He will appear before Mid Sussex magistrates on 16 July.'A total of 36 of the 38 alleged offences are of indecent assault on girls and boys in their early teens, Sussex Police said.'Of those, 31 are alleged to have been committed at a property in Crawley, West Sussex, and one in Barkingside, east London, between 1962 and 1968.'A further four indecent assaults are alleged to have taken place in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, between 1971 and 1973.'The other two allegations are of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl in Crawley

CANNON GORDON RIDEOUT ARRIVES AT HAYWARDS HEATH MAGISTRATES COURT TODAY 16/7/12''A retired Church of England priest from East Sussex has been charged with committing 38 sexual offences against 18 children and young teenagers.'Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, of Filching Close, Wannock, is alleged to have committed the offences between 1962 and 1973 in Crawley, London and Hampshire.'He was arrested at his home in March following a nine-month investigation and charged on Wednesday night.'He will appear before Mid Sussex magistrates on 16 July.'A total of 36 of the 38 alleged offences are of indecent assault on girls and boys in their early teens, Sussex Police said.'Of those, 31 are alleged to have been committed at a property in Crawley, West Sussex, and one in Barkingside, east London, between 1962 and 1968.'A further four indecent assaults are alleged to have taken place in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, between 1971 and 1973.'The other two allegations are of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl in Crawley

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So, vile priest Gordon Rideout is finally behind bars this week for his horrible crimes against vulnerable children and some form of justice has finally been served for his victims.

He was once a highly respected pillar of the community in Eastbourne and I am sure there are a lot of people devastated at the faith they placed in him and are questioning how they could have been such bad judges of character. I know I am.

Two other things also struck me this week though.

Barnardo’s, which ran the home where Rideout found, groomed and abused his victims, said “it took great courage for the victims to step forward and relieve their experiences”.

Those victims actually stepped forward many years ago when they were children and when they were being abused and told of what was happening to them but nobody listened.

In fact. those who were brave enough to say anything were subjected to brutal beatings and one child was so badly beaten, her ribs were broken. Secondly, Phil Johnson, a survivor of abuse within the clergy here in Eastbourne is quite right when he asks why STILL nobody who was in authority in the Church has been held to account for their failings.

It’s time for some awkward questions to be answered by the Diocese of Chichester. Finally.

On a lighter note I was among the thousands who flocked to the Bandstand last Thursday as Eastbourne came under the Antiques Roadshow spotlight.

It was a fantastic day for the town and although the sun failed to make an appearance it didn’t dampen the spirit of everyone clutching their valuables hoping they might be worth a small fortune.

Although I was lucky enough to get to interview the lovely Fiona Bruce, my family heirlooms were inspected by Judith Miller who told me they weren’t worth the money I had hoped they would be to satisfy a luxury lifestyle.

So with no trip to the Caribbean beckoning during half term, I shall see you back here in two weeks.