February 2018

Ex-Bicester church minister and Oxfordshire magistrate admits campaign of sex abuse on boys

AN ex-baptist minister, magistrate and school governor has admitted 13 counts of sexually abusing boys over the course of more than two decades.

Robert Dando, of no fixed abode, appeared at Oxford Crown Court today to admit four counts of sexual activity with a child on numerous occasions over a period lasting 24 years.

At an earlier hearing on October 31, the 53-year old admitted eight further counts of indecent assault and another of sexual assault of a child under 13.

The offences relate to numerous instances of sexual abuse carried out between February 1 1985 and September 8 2009 on seven victims.

The male victims, none of whom can be named for legal reasons, were all aged between 10 and 15 at the time.

Dando was previously jailed in July 2011 for eight years after a US investigation following a complaint from a 21-year old that he had abused him between 1995 and 1999, while aged between eight and 13.

During that investigation, a second victim also came forward and said that Dando had abused him when he was aged between seven and eight.

Dando was arrested for the latest offending in August last year before appearing before Banbury Magistrates’ Court.

In Oxfordshire, Dando was a senior minister at Orchard Baptist Church in Bicester as well as a former Oxfordshire magistrate.

He was also previously a governor at Kings Meadow School, Bicester as well as serving as a minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church, in London.

Today’s hearing was adjourned and Dando will be sentenced at the same court at a two-hour hearing on March 22 after a pre-sentence repot and psychiatric report is prepared.

July 2011

Former Worcester Park baptist minister jailed for sexually abusing boys

A Baptist church minister was jailed for eight years for sexually abusing two boys in the United States.

Reverend Robert Dando, a senior minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church, was jailed at court in Fairfax, Virginia, on Friday.

He had previously admitted four counts of sexually molesting the two young sons of family friends over a period of several years.

He sexually abused the boys between 1995 and 1999, from the ages of seven and eight.

He will serve his prison term in the United States.

County officials previously told the Fairfax County Circuit Court one of the victims said Dando molested him by touching his genitals on 50 to 60 different occasions.

Dando, from Sherbrooke Way, resigned from Worcester Park Church after he was arrested in the US in July.

He was also removed from membership of the Boy’s Brigade, in which his wife, Janice, was a vice-president.

A spokesman for Worcester Park Baptist Church said: “Robert Dando (Senior Minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church from 2007 until he resigned July 2010) has been sentenced by Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia to eight years in total for sexually molesting two boys on visits to the USA. He will serve his prison term in the USA.

“Prior to this Robert was the Minister at Orchard Baptist Church, Bicester (1995-2006) and Grangetown BC Cardiff (1990-94) and Associate Minister, Ararat Baptist Church (1988-90).”

“Any allegations made of this nature within a Baptist Union of Great Britain church would be reported to the police and social services immediately.

“We are remembering all of those affected by this situation in our prayers at this difficult time.”

Thames Valley Police are investigating Dando in relation to his time in the UK.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We are currently following a number of leads and enquiries relating to child protection issues involving Robert Dando that have occurred in the UK.”

A former magistrate in the county, Dando was understood to have been a member of the Oxfordshire Family Panel, which deals with child care and access proceedings.