A former Sussex vicar has been jailed after admitting sex assaults on a young girl almost 40 years ago.
Brian Spence, has been sentenced to 3 years and two months imprisonment.
Police worked closely with the Diocese of Chichester’s Safeguarding Team who have actively supported the investigation.
Police emphasise that there are no current safeguarding issues for the church or the local Warnham community in relation to the investigation.
Detective Constable Michaela Pearce said;
“He took advantage of her innocence and vulnerability.
“She eventually managed to distance herself from him when she moved to secondary school and used the excuse of having extra homework to avoid spending time at the church.
“She 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.”
Anyone who wishes to report such offending or is aware of anyone else being a victim can contact the police at any time on 101 or online and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.
Sources of advice and support are also available on the Sussex Police website.