Man, 73, arrested over alleged child sex abuse in Barkingside after claims against priests probed

A 73-year old man arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting nine young people in Barkingside and further afield more than 40 years ago has been bailed by police.

The man was arrested on Tuesday at his home address near Eastbourne, on suspicion of sexual assaults committed against young people at locations in Crawley in West Sussex, Barkingside and Middle Wallop in Hampshire, on various dates between 1965 and 1972.

He was bailed by Sussex police yesterday.

Meanwhile, a 70-year-old man arrested at his home address in Eastbourne on Tuesday on suspicion of separate historic sexual offences, between the mid 1970s and the mid 1980s, has been released on police bail until April 17.

The arrests follow an investigation over the last six months by the specialist child protection detectives.

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The investigation follows receipt by the Diocese of Chichester and Sussex Police in 2011 of a confidential review by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss.

It contained some historic allegations of sexual abuse by Church of England priests against young people in Sussex and elsewhere.

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Sussex Police decided to re-examine several of the historic allegations referred to in that confidential report.

Detective Ch Insp Carwyn Hughes said: “Although they have been arrested on the same day the cases against the two men are being treated as separate inquiries at this stage.

“The offences were allegedly committed at different times and in different places from each other.

“The re-investigation of these cases has taken six months. This is a very complex inquiry, in the course of which many people, all now adults, have had to be traced, together with other witnesses and records from a wide variety of sources.

“There are no allegations of recent or current offending and police emphasise that there is nothing to suggest that any children are currently at risk.

“The Diocese of Chichester are co-operating fully with police.”

Police inquiries are continuing.

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