Vicar faces child sex charges

THE vicar of an Essex parish has been charged with a series of “historic sex offences” against children.

Elliot Furniss

THE vicar of an Essex parish has been charged with a series of “historic sex offences” against children.

The Rev Trevor Diaper, vicar was arrested on June 26 and has now been charged. He will appear before magistrates in Chelmsford early next month.

Mr Diaper, formerly vicar of Ardleigh and Great and Little Bromley, had already been suspended form his duties as vicar of St Peter's Church in Bocking, near Braintree.

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An Essex Police spokesman said: “A man from Braintree has been charged with several historic sex offences.

“The 57-year-old man was arrested in June and questioned by detectives from the force's child abuse investigation unit.

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“On September 19, he was charged with seven counts of indecent assault and released on police bail prior to his appearance at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on October 1.”

The Rev Chris Newlands, Bishop's Chaplain and spokesman for the Chelmsford Diocese of the Church of England, said Mr Diaper remained under suspension, which had been imposed as soon as the matter came to light.

He said: “He has been charged with serious offences of indecent assault and he will appear in court at a later date. This doesn't imply any guilt but we must allow the legal system to follow the process when allegations of such seriousness have been made.

“Clearly Mr Diaper has been suspended and is not functioning at the moment and that happened when he was arrested in June and the suspension will remain in place until the matter is resolved.

“We're doing our best to support his family and himself at this time.”

After his arrest, Mr Diaper was also suspended from his post as a governor of a central Essex primary school.

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