March 1999

Jail for Jehovah’s Witness

A Morecambe man has admitted indecently assaulting a young boy who was a member of his church.

Godfrey Bagnall, 57, of Arnside Crescent, Morecambe, was an elder and pioneer for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He admitted three charges of indecent assault on a boy starting at the age of eight. The court heard how the boy, now and adult, had turned to drugs “as a direct result of the abuse he sustained.”

Bagnall was “de-fellowshipped” from the religion after the boy complained but was later re-instated. Mr Stuart Denny, defending, said Bagnall and the boy had a good relationship which Bagnall had taken too far. The Judge, Mr Justice Newman, said: “He deserved better of you.”

Bagnall was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for three counts of indecent assault and was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.