Former Lynn Pastor Guilty of Five Charges

Lynn News
September 28, 2010

FORMER pastor of Lynn Baptist Fellowship church Malcolm Hoare, accused of sexually abusing a young church member, has been found guilty of five charges.

Hoare, 68, of Whitefriars Road, Lynn, had denied four charges of having sex with an underage girl and eight of indecently assaulting her.

But on Thursday he was found guilty of five offences of indecently assaulting the girl, by a jury at Norwich Crown Court on majority verdicts. The offences took place when the victim, now a woman in her 40s, was aged between 13 and 15.

The jury failed to reach verdicts on four counts two more charges of indecent assault and two of having sex with her when she was under 16.

The case was adjourned for a week while the Crown Prosecution Service decide whether to pursue these charges in a retrial with a new jury, and the defendant was given bail.

On Wednesday, Hoare was found not guilty of one charge of indecent assault and two of having sex when the girl was 11.

During the trial, the jury heard Hoare deny all the charges but admit to having a sexual encounter when the girl was 16.

They were also told the allegations only recently came to light when the victim made a complaint about the abuse after she had undergone counselling.

After the five guilty verdicts, Det Con Elaine Goodall, of Norfolk police's vulnerable people directorate, who led the investigation, said: "This case focused on a man who abused his position of trust as a notable church figure.

"The victim's bravery in coming forward after so many years to report the offences is to be admired. I would encourage any victim of abuse to contact us and discuss their situation.

"We will always endeavour to conduct a thorough investigation, whenever the offences took place, and bring to justice those who abuse and mistreat children and other vulnerable people who have the right to be protected."

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