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Paedophile priest Robert Coles is jailed for sex offences

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 16, 2013

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A paedophile retired Church of England priest has been jailed for eight years yesterday after pleading guilty to historic sex offences against young boys dating back to the 1970s.

In December, Robert Coles, 71, admitted buggery and four indecent assaults on one victim and three indecent assaults against two other boys.

The offences took place in Devon, Cornwall, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight, in the late 1970s and early 1980s against boys aged between ten and 16 at the time.

Coles, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, was due to face trial on June 10 on seven further alleged sex offences suspected to have been committed against the victims.

But prosecutor Ryan Richter told Brighton Crown Court that the outstanding charges would not be proceeded with following consultation with the victims and Sussex Police.

Judge Guy Anthony advised that the seven charges would lie on the court file and the retired clergyman was jailed for the 11 offences he pleaded guilty to in December, police said.

He was also served with a sexual offences prevention order banning him from contact with the victims, from having unsupervised contact with boys under 16 and from seeking a job which would involve unsupervised access to children under 16.

Coles was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life after his release from jail.

None of the charges related to claims of recent or current offending, and police said there was nothing to suggest any children were currently at risk.

Coles was arrested last March following a six-month investigation by Sussex Police child protection detectives who re-examined several historic allegations of abuse.

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