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Retired priest faces sex charges over offences in Devon

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 28, 2014

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A retired Church of England priest has been charged with a catalogue of sex offences, including in Devon, on boys and young men dating back more than 40 years.

Vickery House, 68, faces eight charges of indecent assault on a then-aged 15-year-old boy and five males aged 17 to 34 between 1970 and 1986.

He was charged following an 18-month inquiry by Sussex Police with offences which were allegedly committed in East Sussex and Devon.

House, of Brighton Road, Handcross, West Sussex, has been freed on bail and will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on February 27.

Police said he faces two indecent assault charges on a boy who was then aged 15 in Devon between 1970 and 1971.

He has been charged with two offences on a man in East Sussex between 1976 and 1978, and 1983 and 1985.

It is alleged he committed another sex attack on a man in the same county between 1978 and 1980, and on another between 1981 and 1984.

Police also said he has been charged with indecent assault on two other men in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986.

The Diocese of Chichester said it had been helping police with their inquiries and that a special helpline had been set up.

In a statement, it said: “The Diocese of Chichester is aware that a retired priest, previously arrested as part of Operation Dunhill in November 2012, has been charged today with eight counts of indecent assault.

“As this case is under investigation no further comment will be made. The Diocese of Chichester has been assisting Sussex Police with the inquiries and continues to do so.

“A special helpline has been set up for those people who are affected on learning of cases of this kind. The helpline will be staffed by the NSPCC and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The statement said that “where appropriate” callers will be referred to specially trained police officers and offered a range of local counselling services, if required.

The helpline is 0800 389 5344.

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