22nd Oct, 2017

Former church worker that sexually abused two young boys two decades ago jailed

Les Reid 8th Apr, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A man is facing a prison term for sexually abusing two young boys while he was a church worker in Coventry more than 20 years ago.

Francis Ward pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to six charges of indecently assaulting one boy over a period of about five years from 1988.

Ward (65) of Granville Square, Edgbaston, Birmingham, also admitted one charge of indecent assault in relation to another boy on a date between 1985 and 1987.

Both boys were under 14 years old when Ward, who was a church worker at All Souls Church, Chapelfields, Coventry, at the time, sexually abused them.

His barrister Graham Henson revealed: “Since these offences he has been to prison twice for this type of offending.

“These admitted offences are at the lower end of the scale, and they are also very old. He has now been out of trouble for 12 or 13 years.”

Requesting an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Ward, he added: “I am going to seek to persuade the court that, serious as these offences are, he should not be sent to prison.”

Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC accepted: “I would not feel it right to sentence him without a report.”

He told Ward: “I shall adjourn your case so a detailed pre-sentence report can be before the court, which will tell the court a great deal more than I know at the moment about what was behind these offences, what has happened in relation to your previous convictions, and what has happened in your life since.”

But Recorder Redgrave warned him: “You will know the sort of sentence which these offences normally attract.”

Ward, who will be sentenced a the end of the month, was granted bail with conditions that he does not have contact with any child under the age of 16, does not enter the All Souls Church premises, and co-operates with the probation service.

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