Paedophile Priest Allowed to Practice after Admitting Abuse
By Hannah Tooley
April 1, 2016
A Church of England minister was allowed to keep practicing after admitting sexual offences to his bishop.
Stephen Crabtree, 59, admitted to his bishop that he committed sexual offences against a girl, but was allowed to continue practicing for ten years after no information was passed onto police.
The offence dates back the early 90's, Crabtree assaulted a 15-year-old following the breakdown of his marriage.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that the victim told Rt Revd David Rossdale, who was then Bishop of Grimsby, in 2000 and he visited Stephen Crabtre.
The vicar admitted that he was guilty, however no further action was taken.
In 2008 Crabtree said he was remorseful, but no action was taken, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The diocese had kep the records on file, but nothing happened until a safeguarding officer carried out a review of historic complaints and the victim was contacted.
Crabtree, of Bradford, admitted six charges of indecent assault and was jailed for three years and placed on the sex offenders register.
The diocese has released this statement:
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: "The sentencing of Stephen Crabtree is a just and appropriate punishment for the appalling abuse to which he subjected a child. That child had every right to expect to be safe in his company, and the devastating effects of his crime were compounded by the position of trust he held at the time.
"I am very sorry indeed that it has taken so long for proper justice to be served. I struggle to imagine the impact that such a serious crime has had on the life of the survivor of Crabtree’s abuse, and on the survivor’s family. I wish to pay tribute to their enormous courage and determination, and I hope that today they begin to feel that justice has been served.
"It was by following current House of Bishop’s practice guidelines that diocesan safeguarding staff recently discovered the allegations against Stephen Crabtree and immediately passed the information on to Lincolnshire Police. It is deeply shameful that the church’s past handling of the allegation fell well short of the expectations at the time, and we have commissioned an external independent review into how these matters were dealt with at the time. We stand ready to offer support to anyone who contacts us about issues of harm and abuse. We can promise that we will listen attentively to their stories, walk alongside them in seeking justice and ensure that their voices are heard. We will also pass all information about possible offences to the police, and support any investigation.
"All people are made in the image of God, and abuse of any kind is directly contrary to the will of God and an affront to human dignity. The Diocese of Lincoln is committed to ensuring churches are safe places for all, and our professional safeguarding staff work tirelessly to disrupt the conditions in which abuse can happen by ensuring that compulsory training and rigorous background checks are conducted for all clergy and church officers. We also work closely with the police and statutory authorities."