…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Clive McCleester, a former verger at Windsor Castle, has admitted to a series of historic sexual abuse crimes against two teenage boys.
The victims, both 13 years old at the time the abuse began, were preyed upon by McCleester.
The 77-year-old was scheduled to stand trial this week but chose to plead guilty to multiple charges, acknowledging his involvement in the abuse.
Details of the Abuse and Court Proceedings
The first victim endured abuse from January 1968 to December 1970, while the second victim was targeted by McCleester in 1986 and 1987 when he was employed at Southwark Cathedral.
However, the former verger was released on bail until his sentencing hearing on July 10 after the guilty pleas were entered.
Judge Rosina Cottage KC made this decision.
Statement from Southwark Cathedral and Apology
Southwark Cathedral released a statement following McCleester’s guilty pleas, expressing their deep remorse and offering an unreserved apology to all those affected.
They acknowledged the breach of trust caused by McCleester’s crimes and commended the bravery of those who came forward.
The cathedral emphasized its commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of children, young people, and adults, and pledged to continue prioritizing safeguarding measures.
Past Trial and Additional Charges
In 1993, McCleester faced trial over allegations of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy in the 1980s.
However, he was acquitted by a jury who viewed the claim as false.
In the recent case, McCleester admitted to seven charges of indecently assaulting a male under the age of 16 and three counts of indecency with a child.
He denied eight additional charges of indecent assault and a charge of attempted buggery, with those specific allegations expected to be left on file.
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