Widow hopes to clear husband's name

By John HowardTHE widow of the clergyman who died in a car fire outside his home following allegations he indecently assaulted a boy hopes to clear her husband's name.

By John Howard

THE widow of the clergyman who died in a car fire outside his home following allegations he indecently assaulted a boy hopes to clear her husband's name.

The Rev John Pugh, 54, minister of the United Reformed Church in Stowmarket, died in the car fire in the town's Temple Road on Tuesday.

His 17-year-old son, Barnabas, suffered burns trying to free his father from the burning Honda car and was treated at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.


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Mr Pugh had been arrested last week, following allegations he had indecently assaulted a boy during the 1980s, and was released on police bail.

In a statement issued yesterday, his widow Diane, a former teacher, said: “John was such a wonderful, caring and loving husband and father. He lived for his family and the church.

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“He could not understand these terrible allegations against him. We have absolute proof that they were not and could not have been true.

“We have the total support of the elders and the love of so many friends, for which we shall always be grateful.”

A friend of the family added: “As far as Mrs Pugh is concerned, and she has been interviewed by the police and made a sworn statement, it is simply not physically possible for the allegations to be true.

“John Pugh was as adamant in private as in public that not only were the allegations untrue, but they could be demonstrated to be untrue.

“Mrs Pugh is convinced that that is still the case and hopes to be given the chance to clear her husband's name.''

Suffolk police said they received a complaint relating to a number of indecent assaults in the 1980s on a boy at two addresses in Stowmarket.

An inquest in to Mr Pugh's death will be opened on Monday at Ipswich Crown Court.

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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