Brighton and Hove priest defrocked after being jailed for child sex abuse

Posted On 25 Mar 2014 at 11:49 pm

Retired Church of England priest Keith Wilkie Denford has been banned from practising as a minister for life.

The ban was announced by the church on Friday (21 March) in response to Mr Denford’s convictions for sexually abusing two boys.

The 79-year-old was jailed for 18 months in May last year after a trial at Hove Crown Court during which he denied the charges against him.

The Diocese of Chichester – the church’s regional office for Brighton and Hove and the wider county of Sussex – said that it was “the most severe sanction possible”.

In a statement the diocese, which has offices in New Church Road, Hove, said: “Mr Denford will be banned from ministerial practice for life.

Keith Wilkie Denford

Keith Wilkie Denford

“The sentences are imposed under section 30 of the Clergy Discipline Measure following the respondent’s convictions and imprisonment for a series of indecent assaults, including offences against minors.”

Mr Denford, of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham, was convicted of abusing the boys between 1987 and 1990 while he was vicar of St John the Evangelist Church in Burgess Hill.

He was previously the curate at St Peter’s Church in Brighton, serving there from 1966 to 1971.

After retiring in 1996 he officiated and preached in several churches in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding area.

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