Victim wins payout over priest abuse claims

Rev Terence King hanged himself in 2002.
Rev Terence King hanged himself in 2002.

The victim of a paedophile priest has criticised the Church of England after finally winning justice over abuse he suffered more than 20 years ago.

Rev Terence Reginald King, who was vicar at St Mary The Virgin Church, in Dewsbury Road, Woodkirk, for 22 years, hanged himself in 2002 while being investigated by West Yorkshire Police over a string of child sex abuse allegations.

Now in his 30s, one of King’s alleged victims, who was abused over several years from the age of 11, has won a six-figure compensation sum from the Anglican Church.

But the man said his ordeal had a lasting impact and he feels let down by the church.

He said: “They not only let me down by employing a paedophile, but did nothing to rectify this after King committed suicide even though they knew the abuse had taken place. It was a further 13 years before they finally accepted responsibility.”

The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales said it deeply regretted the harm caused by King, who “grossly misused his position”.

A spokeswoman said: “We take very seriously any allegations of inappropriate behaviour and abuse, which are immediately reported to the police. We encourage any victims to come forward so that justice may be done. Over the last decade we have implemented stringent safeguarding procedures, in accordance with national policies, which include the training of clergy and lay people in safeguarding matters. We are working to ensure that our churches are places of safety for all. When this survivor first came forward, he was supported by the Diocese of Wakefield to pursue his complaint through the relevant channels and the then Bishop of Wakefield did offer to meet with him, but this was declined at the time.”