Ex-cumbrian Vicar at Crown Court Charged with Sex Offences

News & STar
May 24, 2012

A former Cumbrian vicar has appeared before a judge at Carlisle Crown Court charged with a string of sexual crimes against four schoolboys.

Ronald Johns, 74, is charged with a total of 15 offences spread over 12 years from 1979 and 1991.

He faces three charges of serious sexual assault, six counts of gross indecency and six charges of indecent assault.

All the offences were allegedly committed in Cumbria and involved four boys.

Johns was not asked to enter any pleas at today's 12-minute hearing.

That will happen when he next appears at the Crown Court, for what's known as a plea and case management hearing on September 27.

In the meantime the silver-haired priest, who appeared in court wearing a dark blue suit, pale blue shirt and dark tie rather than a dog collar, was remanded on bail on condition that he lives at his home in Kings Road, Coltishall, Norwich, and does not return to Cumbria.

Johns was ordained in the diocese of Liverpool and was a school housemaster and deputy head in the Merseyside area.

He moved to Cumbria and became vicar of Borrowdale before being appointed rural dean of Derwent and then canon of Carlisle Cathedral in the late 1980s.

He served as rector of Caldbeck and Castle Sowerby with Sebergham from 1994, before retiring in 2000 due to ill health.








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