September 2017

Ex-Diocese of Lincoln clergyman sexually abused girls

A former clergyman who admitted sexually abusing underage girls between the 1950s and 1980s has been jailed for six years.

John Bailey, of Kippax, Leeds, admitted 25 charges of indecent assault on three girls under the age of 14 at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing Bailey, Judge Simon Hirst told him his victims had been profoundly affected by his abuse.

He said: “You did real and lasting damage to all of your victims.”

The former Diocese of Lincoln clergyman committed the offences between 1955 and 1982 and wrote letters to his victims begging them not to go to the police.

One of his victims was as young as four, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

The court also heard that Bailey, who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, would find it “harder than many” in prison.

Judge Hirst told him: “I have had the advantage of reading victim impact statements, and it is clear that in their different ways, they were all profoundly affected by your abuse of them.

“You did it for no other reason other than to gain sexual gratification for yourself.”

He said the seriousness of the offences required a custodial sentence.

Bailey was also told he would have to register his movements with police for the rest of his life.

He was first arrested as part of Lincolnshire Police’s Operation Redstone, which followed a review of past safeguarding cases by the Diocese of Lincoln.