Victim of paedophile priest rejects compensation offer

Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne.'PICTURE SUPPLIED BY SUSSEX POLICE
Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne.'PICTURE SUPPLIED BY SUSSEX POLICE

A man who was sexually abused by a paedophile priest has rejected a six-figure compensation offer.

The man who was abused by Robert Coles, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, was one of a number of boys targeted by Coles when he was a priest in Sussex.

Coles was jailed for eight years in February for sexual offences against young boys.

The victim, who cannot be identified, told the BBC he wanted a sum ‘in proportion’ to his suffering, adding that he had self-harmed and tried to end his life.

The 45-year-old man, who said he had reported the abuse to Sussex Police in 1997, says he is prepared to go to court to get the compensation he believes he deserves.

Coles was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court in February after admitting offences including one of buggery and seven indecent assaults against three victims back in the 1970s and the 1980s.

At a hearing on December 14 last year at Chichester Crown Court, Coles had pleaded guilty to 11 offences.

He was a priest at churches in Chichester and Horsham and at St Philip’s in Eastbourne at the time.

The hearing heard that Coles’ family had ‘disowned’ him.

Coles was also served with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) prohibiting him from any contact with the victims, from having any unsupervised contact with boys under 16 and from seeking any employment or voluntary work which would involve unsupervised access to children under 16.

He was also required to register as a sex offender for life on his release from prison.