Disgraced vicar loses status

Gordon Rideout ENGSUS00120130520155101
Gordon Rideout ENGSUS00120130520155101

Convicted paedophile Gordon Rideout has had his title of Canon removed by the Church of England.

The Diocese of Chichester confirmed the status had been withdrawn and the disgraced Anglican clergyman would be known instead as Reverend Rideout.

It was removed by Dr Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester, after Rideout was jailed for 10 years last May for sexually abusing children.

Earlier this month an appeal for Rideout to be released from prison on compassion grounds was refused by the Ministry of Justice and he has also been banned from conducting ordained ministry for life.

Rideout, 74, was found guilty of 36 separate sex offences committed against 16 children, both boys and girls, between 1962 and 1973 in Hampshire and Sussex. They included 34 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes, most of them at a children’s home when he was an assistant curate.

Four of Rideout’s convictions were for indecent assaults on two girls at an army base in Hampshire, where he was a padre.

Rideout was recently released from prison to attend hospital on a temporary licence. He was returned to jail and a subsequent application to be released permanently was turned down.

A spokesperson for the diocese said Rideout’s canon status had been removed by the Bishop and that “following the conclusion of criminal proceedings and a subsequent statutory disciplinary process under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, sentences of prohibition for life from exercising any functions of ordained ministry within the Church of England have been imposed upon the Reverend Gordon Rideout and the Reverend Robert Coles”.

The Bishop of Chichester said, “A sentence of prohibition for life is the most severe sanction that can be imposed under the Clergy Discipline Measure and is a further indication of the gravity of the offences committed. Neither of the clergy in question has been permitted to function as clergy in the Diocese of Chichester since their respective arrests. I hope this is of some comfort to the survivors of abuse.”