A former Warnham vicar has been jailed for historic sex attacks against a young girl, Sussex Police said this week.
Brian Spence, also known as Macduff, admitted to three counts of indecent assault against a girl, under the age of 12, in Warnham almost 40 years ago, police said.
The 78-year-old, of Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, was sentenced to 38 months in prison when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Monday May 21.
Allegations against the Church of England priest were first brought forward in 2016 and officers have worked closely with the Diocese of Chichester’s Safeguarding Team throughout the investigation.
Detective Constable Michaela Pearce said; “She (the victim) kept this distressing childhood experience to her herself for nearly forty years, eventually finding the courage to come forward.
“When interviewed Spence denied the offending, and only on the first day of what was to be his trial did he admit the offences. The victim was ready to give evidence in court but fortunately the guilty pleas meant she didn’t have to do that.
“We are glad that justice has been done for the victim after all these years. This case shows once again that we will take seriously and investigate all allegations of such offences, no matter how long ago they are said to have occurred, and the historical element should not be a reason for victims not to come forward.”
Police said there are no current safeguarding issues for the church or the local Warnham community in relation to the investigation.
Anyone who wishes to report such offending or is aware of anyone else being a victim can contact the police on 101 or online.
Sources of advice and support are also available on the Sussex Police website.