Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Suffolk: Retired priest John Haley Dossor jailed for historic sex abuse

18:01 17 December 2012

Haley Dossor at Ipswich Crown Court

Haley Dossor at Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A retired Anglican priest who sexually abused teenage boys has been jailed.

shares

Father John Haley Dossor, known as Haley, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys aged as young as 13.

Norwich Crown Court also heard that Dossor accepted he had abused a third boy between 15 and 20 times, although he was not charged with these attacks.

The offences happened when the 71-year-old, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, Suffolk, was working at St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh in the early 1990s.

Prosecutor Charles Myatt said Dossor ran a youth group at the church where he was known as being “touchy feely”. He had previously served as a district scout leader.

His tactile nature would “overstep boundaries”, Mr Myatt added.

The victims complained that he had put his hand down their trousers and groped them on numerous occasions.

Jailing Dossor for one year and 10 months, Judge Mark Lucraft said: “You sexually abused these teenage boys who were committed to your care for recreation and education.

“As a clergyman you were in a position where people looked up to you and respected you. Parents trusted you with the care of their children.”

The judge made a sexual offences prevention order lasting five years and placed Dossor on the sex offenders’ register.

One of the victims told police he had not felt able to report the abuse until later in life because Dossor was “very respected”.

Describing the moment he found out others were also being abused, he added in a statement: “I felt such an idiot allowing it to happen and since I knew it was happening to other people I thought if it wasn’t me it would be somebody else and it became part of my daily life.”

When he raised the subject with a friend, he was told: “That’s just what Haley does.”

Dossor never used force and, when the boys said they were uncomfortable, he would stop. But, the court heard, the abuse would always begin again.

Some of the six counts were specimen charges, meaning that many more attacks took place, Mr Myatt added.

Lynne Shirley, mitigating, said that at the time of the offences Dossor was going through a “very stressful” period as he got to grips with his new role as a priest.

She added: “He was a very huggy and tactile person and clearly he overstepped the boundary.

“He has lived an unblemished life ever since.”

Dossor, who attended court with his wife of 46 years, was ordained in 1991 after previously working as a sales director at Stephen Walters and Sons silk weavers in Sudbury, the court was told.

After his role in Hadleigh, he went on to become priest in charge of St Mary at the Elms between 2001 and 2007, when he retired.

During that time he played a leading role in helping the community come to terms with the murders of five sex workers in the town by Steve Wright and gave media interviews about the killings.

He resigned as a priest when the allegations first came to light in 2009.

Today, Gavin Stone, assistant diocesan secretary for the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “Bishop Nigel Stock continues to offer unreserved regret and apologies to all those whose lives have been damaged by this individual, fully acknowledging the impact that broken trust by someone in a position of responsibility can have on the lives of all those involved.”

Related articles

shares

3 comments

  • 20 months, is that it? So with good behaviour he will be out in time for Christmas next year no doubt!!! Im glad this sort of person has been put away, but this isn’t much of a deterrent for other monsters! He was in a position of great trust, a priest no less, and to say he ‘overstepped the boundary’ by sticking his hands down their trousers is ridiculous. When will they get the sentencing system right I wonder!

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Children in harm's way

    Report this comment

    skibrs

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • so it makes it acceptable does it because he was going through a very stressful period in his life and has lived an unblemished life ever since, only because he got caught. How many more people has he abused?

    Report this comment

    Clarence

    Monday, December 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Essex Police's Specialist Search Team worked on searching sections of water off the Wivenhoe Trail on Saturday for possible weapons connected to the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea.

Police searches are taking place in Colchester today, acting on new information connected to the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea.

A man has died after a collision between a car and motorcycle on the A1101 in Lackford.

A man has died after a collision between a car and motorcycle on the A1101 in Lackford.

Bianca Carpenter who is running the Ipswich half marathon after having to pull out last year because she had cancer.

A young woman who is overcoming breast cancer will be pulling on her running shoes later this year to raise money for charity.

Police searching near the scene where Nahid Almanea's body was found on Salary Brook Trail in Colchester.

A 16-year-old boy accused of killing two people, allegedly stabbing one more than 100 times, was remanded in custody when he appeared in court today.

Colourful houses on Aldeburgh seafront, Suffolk - but who can afford to live here?

Affordable housing is in such short supply in some parts of east Suffolk it is as if communities have been “ethnically cleansed” of less-well-off residents, a community leader claims.

An elderly man has been robbed in his own home after a gang of men broke in and attacked him.

The new incinerator at Great Blakenham.

Suffolk’s deal to take 40,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from Norfolk County Council has been extended for another four years – until 2020.

Firefighters are using specialist cutting gear to free a woman trapped after a two-car crash in Clacton today.

Saxmundham Police Station is set to become a community hub.

A project to turn a town’s police station into a community hub has taken a huge step forward with the agreement of a deal to buy the building.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenager who broke another young man’s nose during an early morning altercation near an Ipswich nightspot has been given a community order.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages