July 29 2011

Family driven out by church paedophile

The family of a little girl molested by a Catholic church server have moved hundreds of miles away fearing her abuser will be spared jail.

John Allison, of Duncan Road, Gillingham, has admitted sexually abusing the pre-schooler, but sentencing has been delayed so his mental state can be assessed.

The victim’s stepfather said the whole family was “hopping mad” after learning the 20-year-old might only be given a suspended sentence.

He said: “It’s like saying it is OK as long as you don’t do it again. And I think when you have done something like that, it’s in you. We worry that he will do it again to another child.

“The fact that he is being psychologically assessed makes us even more mad. There is nothing wrong with him. It is frustrating that we are facing another delay – he should be in prison now.”

Allison, a server at Our Lady of Gillingham Roman Catholic Church, in Ingram Road, Gillingham, was caught after his young victim revealed to her stepfather he “lets her touch his bits”.

The girl later told police Allison, pictured above, asked her to touch his “wobbly bits”.

When arrested, Allison admitted the crime almost straight away and was due to be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a child.

But a judge adjourned the case so Allison could undergo a psychological assessment because of a matter “his mother had alluded to”.

The girl’s stepfather said: “We have moved to the other end of the country because we don’t want our daughter growing up in Medway, especially if Allison is going to be around. We want to make a fresh start.”

Tom Allen, defending Allison, argued a suspended sentence recommended in a probation report could be imposed.

“It is not a common set of circumstances,” he said. “He does not seek to deny what he has done. He understands the damage it has done. A suspended sentence would punish him and assist the community in the long term.”

Judge Philip St John-Stevens said: “He must not think that is any promise about what the ultimate sentence will be. It may well be a custodial sentence is the only sentence which is appropriate.”