A former Church of England priest and a retired organist were found guilty today of a string of child sex abuse offences.
Father Keith Wilkie Denford, 78, and Michael Mytton, 69, abused their access to young boys while they worked together at St John the Evangelist Church in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.Hove Crown Court heard how on one occasion Denham had given one of the boys alcohol and then got into a bath with him while aroused. Denham had invited the boy to stay over after he acted as a waiter for a dinner party at his house.
On the same evening he pressed himself up against the other boy intimately in bed while saying: ‘How nice it is to have a cuddle.’Prosecutors said Denford from Shoreham-by-Sea groomed two 13-year-old boys over 18 months between 1987 and 1990.The prosecutor told the court: ‘Over a period of time, he sought to gain their trust and, put simply, he was grooming them.’One of Denford’s two victims recalled telling another vicar about the abuse – but nothing was done.
It was not until last year that police were alerted after one of the boys, now in his thirties, found out that Denford was still in contact with children.Denford was found guilty of indecent assault against the two boys while Mytton, from East Chilton, East Sussex, was convicted of indecent assault with a third boy who was aged 10 or 11.The third boy told investigators that Mytton would perform a regular sex act on him and that he once accompanied Mytton to a dinner party as his ‘plus one’.
Mytton told officers following his arrest: ‘I like boys. If I was a straight gay, life would be a lot easier. I like boys, I know I like boys and it has cost me everything.’Mytton denied having sex with the boy when arrested but conceded that he was ‘fond’ of him and kept pictures of him.
Denford had told officers the allegations were ‘complete fantasy’.The jury was told that in 1981 Mytton was convicted of gross indecency on a 12-year-old boy, forcing him to leave his position at a church in Uckfield.Mytton said he never talked about his sexual preferences with Denford and that the pair would speak about music and religion instead.Denford and Mytton are released on bail until they are sentenced on May 2. – DailyMail