Ex-vicar Ronald Johns charged with child sex offences

An ex-canon of Carlisle Cathedral has been charged with a string of child sex offences dating back more than 20 years.

The Reverend Ronald Johns is charged with 15 offences on four boys including gross indecency and indecent assault.

The offences were allegedly carried out in Cumbria between 1979 and 1991.

The 74-year-old, of Kings Road, Coltishall, Norwich, has been bailed to appear at Carlisle Magistrates' Court on 10 May.

'Deeply saddened'

The charges against Mr Johns, a former vicar in Caldbeck, Cumbria, involve boys under the age of 18, Cumbria Police said.

A statement from the Cumbria force said: "Police can confirm that 74-year-old Ronald Johns of Norwich has been charged with a series of serious sexual offences against four boys under the age of 18 years.

"The diocese has fully co-operated with the police during this investigation and has set up a 24-hour helpline with the NSPCC."

A spokeswoman for the Carlisle Diocese said it was "deeply saddened" by the allegations.

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