Ex-deacon is jailed for 32 months for abuse

Rt. Rev. George Bell. Picture: PA Wire

Investigation over child abuse claims into former Bishop of Chichester was ‘wholly inadequate’

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A FORMER church deacon who used Skype to contact vulnerable young boys has been jailed for 32 months for a string of sex offences.

Peter Keeley-Pannett, 71, stood quietly in the dock at Guildford Crown Court as Judge Robert Fraser told him that he ‘remains a high risk of serious harm to children’.

Pannett, of Brighton, was a non-stipendiary deacon in the Diocese of Chichester until his arrest last November. He used a webcam to meet boys as young as 13 years old in chatrooms. His offences spanned about two years from 2010.

The judge told Keeley-Pannett that it ‘must have been apparent’ he was in touch with vulnerable children once he was in the chatrooms even though he had not deliberately targeted them.

Keeley-Pannett, a retired deacon and former alcoholic, pleaded guilty to seven offences, including making indecent images of children, inciting a boy under 14 to engage in sexual activity, and causing a boy aged between 13 and 15 to watch sexual activity.

The judge jailed him for a total of 32 months.