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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Ex-Cumbrian vicar admits child sex charges

A former Cumbrian vicar has admitted a string of sex crimes carried out against three boys over eight years.

Ronald Johns photo
The Rev Ronald Johns

Ronald Johns, 74, pleaded guilty to 10 offences committed between 1983 and 1991.

Johns, a former rector in Caldbeck who was also canon at Carlisle Cathedral, appeared before the city’s crown court today.

The court appearance followed a police investigation. Officers had previously said the charges followed allegations of offences committed in Cumbria.

Johns, who now lives in Kings Road, Coltishall, Norwich, admitted two charges of indecent assault and four counts of gross indecency in relation to one victim.

He also admitted two charges of gross indecency in relation to another victim and two charges of gross indecency in relation to a third victim.

He had denied two counts of serious sexual assault and one of gross indecency against the first victim. He also denied indecently assaulting a further male.

Tim Brennand, prosecuting, said these charges would not be pursued.

Judge Paul Batty QC ordered Johns to sign the sex offenders’ register and released him on bail ahead of a sentencing hearing later in the year.

He said custody was “bound to be considered”.

Johns was ordered not to contact any prosecution witnesses and not to come to Carlisle unless to attend court.

He will be sentenced on November 19.

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