Ex-priest charged with 38 child sex offences, including in Barkingside

A retired priest has been charged with committing a string of sexual offences against children and young teenagers, including in Barkingside.

Gordon Rideout, 73, of Filching Close, Wannock, East Sussex, was charged yesterday with 38 sexual offences against 18 young girls and boys.

Thirty-six of the alleged offences are of indecent assault on girls and boys in their early teens, with one alleged to have taken place at an address in Barkingside between 1962 and 1968.

Thirty-one are alleged to have been committed at an address in Crawley between 1962 and 1968, and four are alleged to have taken place at an address in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, between 1971 and 1973.

The other two alleged offences are of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl in Crawley between 1962 and 1966.

He was arrested in March and had been on conditional bail since then.

Sussex Police say he was charged following further police interviews when he answered his bail yesterday.

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He has been released on conditional police bail and is due to appear at Mid Sussex Magistrates’ Court on July 16.

The charges, authorised by the South East Complex Case Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service, follow a nine month inquiry by Sussex Police detectives into allegations of sex abuse of young people in the 1960s and early 1970s.

A special helpline exists for anyone who feels they need support or advice whenever learning of such cases.

The helpline is manned by staff at the NSPCC and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls are handled sensitively and confidentially.

The helpline number is 0800 389 5344.