Ipswich/Kirton/ Hadleigh: Sentencing date set for sex abuse priest John Haley Dossor

A date has been set for the sentencing of a retired priest who has admitted a total of six sex assaults on two youths.

Father John Haley Dossor, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, abused the two males aged between 13 and 17 during indecent assaults dating back 20 years.

The incidents occurred when Dossor was based at St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh.

The 71-year-old pleaded guilty to six indecent assaults at Ipswich Crown Court two weeks ago.

Judge David Goodin said he would be transferring the case to Norwich Crown Court for sentencing as Dossor may have been known to people at the former Ipswich Crown Court in Civic Drive. The judge said in light of Dossor’s work at St Mary at the Elms in Elm Street, Ipswich, he felt it would be more sensible to transfer the case to another court.


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Dossor had been the priest-in-charge at St Mary at the Elms from 2001 until he officially retired in January 2007.

Norwich Crown Court has now confirmed he is scheduled for sentencing on Friday, November 16.

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The High Church Anglican priest has denied a further eight indecent assaults – one of which was on a third male.

Dossor has also pleaded not guilty to another charge of sexual assault by touching.

However, these charges – which relate to the period between October 1990 and December 2004 – will not be pursued.

The court was told these alleged offences will lay on file. Judge Goodin released Dossor on bail, but warned him all options – including prison – were open to the court.

After Dossor’s guilty pleas, The Right Reverend Nigel Stock, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I offer unreserved regret and apologies to all those affected by this matter.

“Clergy hold a position of trust and whenever such trust is broken it is widely felt, most of all by those who have been directly affected.

“Whilst these events took place a long time ago it is only right that the Church should acknowledge the broken trust and offer sincere and deep apologies.”

A spokesman for the diocese said the had not previously received any complaints about Dossor’s behaviour before the police inquiry which led to his current court case.

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