Thursday, December 16, 2010

Suspended sentence
Diocese of Lichfield reassures worshippers after vicar is sentenced over child porn
The Diocese of Lichfield has insisted that the church has “robust procedures” in place after a vicar was handed a suspended sentence for downloading child pornography.

A court gave the Revd Dominic Stone 16 nine-month sentences, all to be served concurrently and suspended for two years. In addition he was subject to a two year supervision order and must complete a sex offender’s treatment programme.

He was also banned from seeking any employment or voluntary position which would bring him into contact with young people and banned from accessing the internet without the approval of his supervising officer. He was also ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for the next 10 years.

Gavin Drake, director of communications for the Diocese of Lichfield, said:

“Dominic Stone resigned his position as Team Vicar of Marchington, Marchington Woodlands, Kingstone and Leigh following his conviction last month. He no longer holds any position within the Church of England. And he does not possess a licence to serve or minister as a priest.

“Incidents like this are extremely rare. Parents and the wider public can be assured that the Church of England has robust procedures in place to protect the children entrusted to our care, and that the protection of children is of primary importance.

“We would to take this opportunity to thank Staffordshire Police, and the other agencies involved, for keeping the diocese informed during what has been a lengthy process. It has been almost two years between the start of the investigation to today’s sentencing. The bishops, archdeacon and diocese are fully aware of the strain that this has had on the parishes.

“We would like thank the congregations and ministry team for their patience over these past 23 months and assure them that work on appointing a replacement priest is underway.

“Finally, we would assure everybody involved, particularly child victims of abuse and sexual assault, of our continuing thoughts, prayers and vigilance.”

No comments: