Call for inquiry into church child abuse

A SOLICITOR who represents victims of Brede paedophile priest Roy Cotton has called for a public inquiry into church child abuse.

Tracey Emmott made the request in a recent letter to a national newspaper.

Cotton, who died in 2006, was allowed to work as a priest at churches in Brede and Udimore despite the Church knowing about an earlier sex conviction.

During that time Cotton had open access to children and even visited Brede Primary School.

Cotton was convicted for a sexual offence against a boy in 1954.

Yet the Church of England confirmed that a bishop gave him permission to officiate at Brede, despite his previous conviction, which lay on his church career file.

Cotton even procured a boy for fellow vicar Colin Pritchard, who preached at nearby Sedlescombe Church.

Pritchard was jailed for five years in July 2008 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing two boys in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

A church-commissioned report by Baroness Butler-Sloss criticised both senior clergy and Sussex Police for the way they dealt with historical claims of child abuse.

The church has since issued an apology.

In her letter Ms Emmott says: “There is limited acceptance of the inquiries thus far in the Diocese of Chichester because they have been commissioned from within the Anglican church. I think both the public and the victims would have been more satisfied if the matter had been scrutinised by an independent body.

“That is why I think it would be necessary to have more objective ordered by the Government.”