MP says vicar to face prosecution – Geoffrey Dickens campaigns against child abuse (19.3.86)

The Times (London), 19th March1986
by Stephen Goodwin

Mr Geoffrey Dickens, the MP campaigning against child abuse, disclosed yesterday that a private prosecution is to be brought against the vicar alleged to have sexually assaulted a boy aged 11.

The prosecution is to be financed by the Campaign for Law and Order, which says the parents of 11 other children are prepared to give evidence about the vicar’s behaviour at a Humberside Sunday school.

Mr Charles Oxley, chairman of the Campaign and a headmaster, told The Times that a firm of Hull solicitors had already been instructed to gather evidence for the prosecution, which will be brought in his name.

A copy of a statement the boy made to the police has been obtained by the campaign, Mr Oxley said. He believes it will take three to four weeks to prepare the case. Police were yesterday investigating an attack on the vicar’s north Humberside home in which a brick was thrown through a window and paint splashed on his door.

Mr Dickens, a patron of the campaign which has more than 1,000 members, said yesterday that he would not persist in his attempt to use parliamentary privilege to name the vicar.

‘I’m a House of Commons man. There is no way I am going to fly in the face of the Speaker’s ruling even if perhaps I think he was not given the best advice. That is why I have taken the fight outside the Commons,’ Mr Dickens, Conservative MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, said.

On Monday night the Speaker, Mr Bernard Weatherill, banned Mr Dickens from tabling a question to the Attorney General in which the vicar was named, saying the use of the name was ‘unnecessary and invidious’.

1 comment
%d bloggers like this: