Victim of Sexual Abuse Priest Says Police Took No Action after Complaint 11 Years Ago
North Devon Journal
March 18, 2016
A DEVON man who claims to have been sexually assaulted by a Church of England priest has said police failed to investigate his complaint more than a decade ago.
Last year priest Vickery House was jailed for six and a half years for five sexual offences against boys. The youngest of House's victims was 14.
BBC News has reported a victim informed Devon and Cornwall Police about being abused by the priest in 2001 – 11 years before an investigation was launched.
The victim who cannot be named, contacted police with his story in 2001. The investigation that led to House's conviction was started by Sussex Police in May 2012.
"I reached a point when I couldn't function properly as a human being," he told the BBC.
"If it had been dealt with properly at that time I could have dealt with all the issues around that and moved on with my life ten or 15 years ago.
"It would have made a huge difference to my children. I also may have saved some other people from being abused.
"I'm disappointed that there is no hint of an apology for their lack of action."
Devon and Cornwall Police said it had no record of any local investigation relating to the victim, but added: "We do not doubt he spoke to a police officer."
A spokesperson said: "Back in 2001 the way in which police dealt with complaints of historic sexual abuse was very different and not at all reflective of today's policing."
The victim is now in discussions with a lawyer about referring the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Last October, Mr House, 69, from West Sussex, was convicted of five counts of indecent assault, including two against a boy aged between 14 and 15 in Devon.