November 2015

Former Leicestershire vicar jailed for 13 years for 27 sex assaults on children

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A 73-year-old retired vicar has been jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of 27 sexual assault offences against four victims following a trial at Guildford Crown Court.

He was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Roger Wakely, of Exeter, Devon, a former vicar of Gaulby in Leicestershire, was convicted of 25 counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 years and two counts of attempted sexual assault on a boy under the age of 16 years between the 1960s and early 1980s.

Six of the offences took place in in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey, with the other offences taking place in London and Leicester.

Surrey Police launched an investigation in December 2013 after one of the victims came forward and reported that he had been sexually abused by Wakely between 1978 and 1981 while he was at a pupil at a school in Surrey.

Wakely was a teacher at the school and was also the school pastor. He sought out the victim by asking him to come to his office on the pretext of talking about his coursework.

Subsequent inquiries led police to identify two further victims, who were targeted by Wakely between 1964 and 1972 while he was a teacher at a school in west London.

Wakely targeted the victims using a similar ruse, with offences taking place within the school and at his home address.

Wakely was also convicted of a sexual assault against a fourth victim while he was a vicar in the parish of Gaulby in Leicestershire.

He was arrested in connection with the Surrey offences in February 2014 and charged in September 2014.

Detective Constable Sara McDowell, who led the investigation, said the conviction was the result of a lengthy and complex investigation, which involved working with the Metropolitan Police and Leicestershire Police in order to bring Wakely to justice.

He said: “Wakely’s predatory behaviour came to light after one of his victims had the courage to come forward and speak out about the abuse he had suffered. This in turn led us to identify further victims, who had all been targeted by Wakely while he was in a position of trust, which he repeatedly abused. I would like to commend the bravery of all four victims in giving evidence and can only hope that today’s conviction will provide some sort of closure for them.”