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‘Gradually gained their confidence’ Catholic priest plies 15yr boy with drink before raping him

screenshot 2022 06 11 at 16 09 56 catholic priest who plied 15 year old boy with drink before raping him jailed
Father Anthony White has been jailed for plying a 15-year-old boy with drink before raping him in the early 1990s (Sussex Police)

Crime

‘Gradually gained their confidence’ Catholic priest plies 15yr boy with drink before raping him

A Catholic priest who plied a teenage boy with drink before raping him 30 years ago has been jailed.

Father Anthony White, now of Cross-In-Hand, East Sussex, got to know the 15-year-old victim when he and his family attended St John’s Church in Horsham while he was working as an assistant priest.

The offences took place at the priest’s home in 1992 and 1993 after he gained the family’s trust, Sussex Police.

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White was sentenced at Hove Crown Court to 10 and a half years in prison for buggery and two offences of indecent assault against the boy.

Police said the 64-year-old was charged after the victim came forward in 2020.

Detective Constable Yvonne Daddow said: “White got to know the boy when he and his family attended the church.

“He gradually gained their confidence and the boy started to visit the priest’s address in Horsham on the pretext of doing some jobs around the house.

“However on the first occasion White plied the boy with drink and then raped him. On further occasions he also committed sexual assaults on the teenager.

“The victim kept these terrible experiences to himself for nearly 30 years and they have had a very serious impact on his mental health and well-being all that time.

“Only when watching a TV documentary about unrelated cases of misconduct by priests did he feel able to come forward and disclose what had happened to him.”

She added: “We will always investigate such cases and provide support to victims, seeking justice wherever possible no matter how long ago the events are said to have happened.”

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