Sex abuse victim ‘let down by evangelist’

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A LEADING evangelist from Eastbourne has been criticised for urging a victim of sex abuse within the church not to go to police.

Ian Jackson (pictured)told victim Lina Barnes she should not report the man who abused her as a young girl and he would not support her if she involved the police and in court proceedings.

Lina, who has waived her right to anonymity, said she had sought spiritual help from Ian Jackson for the historic sexual abuse at the hands of former preacher and author Allan Cundick but has been let down by both him and the church.

In a series of emails to Lina Barnes, Mr Jackson said, “I am not prepared to give you any support in relation to the involvement of the police and court proceedings..

“ I think it is a wrong decision that you have made.

“Prosecution hardly ever stops anyone repeat offending.

“I feel there is a better way for this to be dealt with.”

Lina did eventually go to the police about Allan Cundick who abused her between the age of 10 and 13 and he was arrested in June 2011, given a police caution and placed on the sex offenders register for two years.

But Lina is still angry that Mr Jackson refused to support her.

“I believe that Ian’s intentions from the very start were not to help me but to keep it all covered up so no one found out and to prevent police involvement,” she said.

“I went to Ian Jackson broken and bruised and he said he would help me but I feel like all he did was take my fragile heart and smash it into 1,000 tiny pieces and trample it underfoot.”

Mr Jackson, who travels the country preaching and also attends Marine Hall in Eastbourne, told the Herald this week, “ I thought there was a better way of dealing with it.

“There is absolutely no cover up and no attempt at one.

“The involvement of my wife and I was at Lina’s request and to try to help her; it was not to do with any wider issues, as a perusal of all the correspondence will demonstrate.

“That involvement was in no official or professional capacity: are you reduced to running stories on what one person says to another in private correspondence?

“If you make a statement, dissociated from the context of all that I said to Lina, you will seriously misrepresent me.