Former Whitley Bay vicar admits to sexual abuse in the 1970s

March 6, 2016

A former Whitley Bay vicar is facing a possible jail sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual abuse against two boys in the 1970s.

Reverend Leonard Harold Skinner, 79, of Whitley Bay has pleaded guilty to the offences, which took place while he was serving as a vicar in London.

The Archdeacon of Northumberland, the Venerable Geoff Miller, has offered an 'unreserved apology' to the victims.

We offer an unreserved apology to the survivors of the appalling abuse by the Reverend Leonard Skinner and acknowledge their courage in coming forward.

The Diocese of Newcastle treats all allegations of sexual abuse with the utmost seriousness and expects the highest standards from its clergy, including in retirement. As soon as the diocese was told that Leonard Skinner was under investigation by the Metropolitan Police, he was immediately prevented from carrying out any further duties in church.

Leonard Skinner moved to North Tyneside after he retired from his last post as Priest-in-Charge of a parish in 2001.

In line with common practice for retired clergy, he was given the Bishop of Newcastle’s ‘Permission to Officiate’, meaning that he was authorised to lead worship in support of the full-time clergy in local parishes.

– The Archdeacon of Northumberland, the Venerable Geoff Miller



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