Pastor Tells of Sexual Encounter with Girl, 16

Lynn News
September 21, 2010

A FORMER baptist pastor from Lynn told a court on Friday that he did not sexually abuse a girl from his congregation for five years from when she was 11.

However, Malcolm Hoare, 68, did tell Norwich Crown Court that he did have a sexual encounter with the girl when she was 16.

Hoare, of Whitefriars Road, Lynn, said that the girl had phoned him sounding distressed. He then took her to a piece of wasteland.

"Something happened which I am ashamed of," Hoare said. "She was distressed and things got out of control.

"She put her arm around me and I should not have responded. We ended up having (sex), but I'm not sure if it was full sex.

"I suddenly realised what I was doing and stopped. I then took her home. I felt awful then and I feel awful now."

He said the sexual encounter, which happened in the early 1980s, was the only one he had with the girl.

In February 1986, he had made some form of disclosure to his congregation, Hoare said.

He said he had told the then pastor and "asked him what I should do and he said I needed to tell the whole church".

Hoare said he told the congregation there were lots of things wrong in the church and wrong relationships. He did not name anyone but admitted he had been part of the problem. After that he had formal training.

Under cross-examination, Hoare agreed that his congregation all looked up to him and trusted him without question as someone preaching the word of God.

Yesterday, Hoare's wife Joy told the court how she was "heartbroken" when her husband confessed he had a sexual encounter with a 16-year-old girl.

She said: "He said the girl had wanted to talk to him and he had taken her out in his car and she had become very affectionate and it had got out of control and he thought they had sex."

She said the revelation had left her "totally confused" but that her husband had said "he wanted to be with me and the children... we didn't sleep together for a while".

Mrs Hoare said that her husband had made a grave mistake. They had talked about it and it had nearly finished their marriage. "If I thought he had had any sexual relations with a girl under age, I would not be here today."

She denied she was lying and referring to the Bible on which she swore her oath, she said: "I could not pick up this book to lie."

Hoare became a pastor in 1984 and has lived in Lynn for 20 years. He married his wife Joy in 1964 and has two sons and a daughter. He ran a printing business called Good Impressions. When he joined the baptist church in 1970 it had only 13 members in Lynn. This had grown to more than 70 by the late 1970s.

He denies four offences of having sex with the girl, the first being when she was 11, and eight offences of assaulting her over five years from the late 1970s.

Any original material on these pages is copyright 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.