Priest jailed for abuse against young boys in West Sussex

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A RETIRED priest was sentenced to eight years in prison for 11 child sex offences.

Robert Coles, 71, appeared at Brighton Crown Court and was sentenced for sexual offences against young boys.

At a hearing in December, at Chichester Crown Court, Coles, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to 11 offences against a boy in Chichester between 1982 and 1984 and offences against two other boys, aged 10 at the time.

The offences were one serious sex assault and four indecent assaults against the first victim and three indecent assaults against each of the other two victims between 1978 and 1979.

A further seven offences, which Coles had pleaded not guilty to, were ordered to lie on file.

Prosecutor Ryan Richter advised 
the court that, after consideration, including consultation with Sussex Police and the three victims, the Crown Prosecution Service had decided not to proceed with the seven outstanding charges.

Detective Inspector Jez Prior, from Sussex Police, said; ‘We admire the courage of the victims in coming forward and being prepared to give evidence against Coles.

‘We continue to encourage people wishing to report offences to contact us, regardless of how along ago alleged offending took place.

‘In carrying out this investigation we also received full co-operation from the Diocese of Chichester.’