Canon Gordon Rideout denies child sex attacks in Sussex

Canon Gordon Rideout Canon Gordon Rideout is accused of abusing girls and boys at a children's home

Related Stories

A retired Anglican priest accused of 37 sex attacks on children at a Sussex home told his trial he may have been "touchy-feely" with some of them.

But he insisted at Lewes Crown Court that he had never assaulted any child at the children's home, in Crawley.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 74, of Polegate, East Sussex, denies 35 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes.

He is accused of abusing boys and girls at Ifield Hall between 1962 and 1973, when he had been an assistant curate.

A series of witnesses have given evidence, telling the court they were sexually abused by Canon Rideout.

Hug or kiss

He told jurors he had acted in a "touchy-feely" way.

"If a child was miserable, I'd hug or kiss them, perhaps if they were little," he said.

Asked by his defence barrister, Frances Oldham QC, to elaborate, he said: "I'd put my hands around them and give them a hug.

"I probably kissed them on the head and said, 'Cheer up'."

He told the court he only remembered staying at the home on three occasions over a three-year period, and he said he had never visited the girls' dormitories.

The trial continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Sussex



18 °C 17 °C


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • groynes at ClactonRunning the rule

    Will Clacton's voters opt for UKIP over the Tories?

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexTiny shipyard Watch

    The art of making boats out of coffee stirrers

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.