A FORMER Chichester diocese priest was sentenced to 18 months in prison today (May 9) for sex offences against young boys between 19 and 27 years ago.
Keith Wilkie Denford, 78, of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court.
Michael Mytton, 69, of South Road, East Chiltington, East Sussex, known locally as Mark, was also sentenced to a total of nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Each man was served with a sexual offence prevention order (SOPO), to last until otherwise directed by the court, severely restricting their access to children.
They must also sign on the sex offenders register for ten years.
Both had been convicted at Hove Crown Court on April 5 after a three-week trial.
Denford was convicted of two indecent assaults on a boy then under 16, in or near Shoreham, and one indecent assault on another boy also aged under 16, in or near Shoreham, between June 1987 and January 1990.
He was found not guilty of a third charge of indecent assault.
Mytton was convicted of three counts of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in the Newick area between 1990 and 1994.
He was found not guilty of one count of aiding and abetting Denford in the alleged Shoreham indecent assault over which Denford was found not guilty, and was also found not guilty of two counts of indecent assault against the boy in the Newick area.
Detective Constable Lee Scott said; “None of these offences had been reported to us at the times they occurred. When one of the Burgess Hill victims learned in 2011 that Wilkie Denford was still active in the church he contacted us and we began enquiries. The separate victim of Mytton came forward later when he learned of the investigation.
“During the investigation, we had full co-operation from the Diocese of Chichester.
“We admire the courage of the victims in coming forward and being ready to stand up in court. Sussex Police takes all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously, no matter when they are alleged to have happened. Anyone with such concerns can contact us via 101 and arrange to speak in confidence to experienced detectives. We can also help you to access a range of independent counselling and other support services.”