Canon Gordon Rideout charged with sexual offences

Canon Gordon Rideout Canon Gordon Rideout was arrested in March following a nine-month investigation

A retired Church of England priest from East Sussex has been charged with committing 38 sexual offences against 18 children and young teenagers.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, of Filching Close, Wannock, is alleged to have committed the offences between 1962 and 1973 in Crawley, London and Hampshire.

He was arrested at his home in March following a nine-month investigation and charged on Wednesday night.

He will appear before Mid Sussex magistrates on 16 July.

A total of 36 of the 38 alleged offences are of indecent assault on girls and boys in their early teens, Sussex Police said.

Of those, 31 are alleged to have been committed at a property in Crawley, West Sussex, and one in Barkingside, east London, between 1962 and 1968.

A further four indecent assaults are alleged to have taken place in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, between 1971 and 1973.

The other two allegations are of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl in Crawley between 1962 and 1966.

A 24-hour helpline for anyone affected either directly or indirectly by the case, manned by staff at the NSPCC, has been set up by the Diocese of Chichester on 0800 389 5344.

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