May 2003

Vicar jailed for child sex

A vicar has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after admitting having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The Reverend Kevin Conway, who was the vicar at St Wilfrids’s Church, in Moorside, Sunderland, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday.

The 37-year-old father-of-three pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three offences of unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts of indecent assault and a further charge of gross indecency.

Judge Maurice Cartlidge told Conway that his relationship with the teenager girl had become “unhealthy, unnatural and abusive”.

‘Deeply saddened’

In addition to his prison term Conway was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

In a statement the Bishop of Jarrow, the Right Reverend John Pritchard, said he was deeply saddened that a priest in his diocese has been convicted of such a charge.

He said pastoral care and counselling has been offered to all those involved.

A spokeswoman for the Bishop of Durham added that Conway would now face disciplinary proceedings under ecclesiastical law.