Youth Pastor Convicted of Sexual Abuse
It has recently come to light that a Church of England pastor – who was known for preaching abstinence – raped two teenage girls, as well as grooming hundreds of children online.
35 year old Timothy Storey sexually assaulted congregation members of St Michael’s Church in Belgravia, London.
Woolwich Crown Court heard how Oxford-educated Storey’s grooming of the girls began when he sent them flattering messages via Facebook.
Such was his influence over his victims that one, who was raped twice, described Storey as being ‘more influential than God’.
The court heard how both girls had made complaints to the Church of England about Storey, however their claims were simply ‘brushed aside’.
Despite Storey’s attempt to insist that both girls gave their consent, he was convicted of three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault at Woolwich Crown Court last week.
The children’s pastor’s first victim is now 25 and says she met Storey when she first joined the church in 2002. She would come into close contact with him again at the age of 14 when she attended the Crusaders bible camp in Kent, of which he was camp leader.
When she was 17 years old, Storey raped her in his home. He then told her to leave so that he could order a Chinese take away and watch a film. His victim said:
‘There was no direction where I could turn where I wasn’t somehow being affected by him.
‘He had me trapped and I knew that if I didn’t do what he wanted me to, I wouldn’t get the good things.
‘He ground me down and treated me like a piece of meat.
‘I felt like a blow-up doll. He once said to me ‘You are not worth wasting a condom on’.
‘When he wants sex, he will not stop until he gets it. I put him on a pedestal and he knew it.’
However, when the teenager went to Reverend Jeremy Crossley with details about the abuse, she was told that the church must ‘look after’ Storey and think primarily about his ‘welfare and needs’.
Storey’s second victim, now 24, claims that he began grooming her through Facebook when she was 16 years old. He would send her messages asking for photos of the teen in her school uniform, as well as asking what underwear she wore.
After a few months of contact via the social networking site, Storey invited the girl to attend a concert in Birmingham together. At the concert he gave her copious amounts of alcohol and then took her back to his student room at Oxford where he raped her twice.
Like his first victim, the second girl had attended the Crusader bible camp and was a member of St Michael’s congregation.
Hanna Llewellyn-Waters, for the prosecution, said:
‘She heard a knock at the door and prayed for matters to stop.
‘She cried during the night. She did not know how to get to the station and felt helpless.’
But again, when a complaint was made by the second victim to the church, she was brushed aside and told that a safeguarding officer was ‘dealing’ with the matter.
The girl was allegedly sent a letter of apology by Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, but claims that no further action was taken.
The two victims only reported their abuse to police in May last year, after they read an article in the Daily Mail detailing Storey’s previous convictions for sex offences.
Storey pleaded guilty to two counts of making indecent images of children, as well as seven counts of inciting children to engage in sexual activity.
Woolwich Crown Court heard how Storey would approach girls as young as 12 online, persuading them to film themselves naked, under the guise of a privately educated teacher called ‘Tim Stone’. He would threaten to tell the girl’s parents if they tried to cease contact with him.
72 indecent images of children and over 3,000 pages of sexually explicit Skype conversations with underage girls were found by police when they raided Storey’s home. Storey initially avoided a prison sentence, instead receiving a three year rehabilitation order. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and received a sexual offences prevention order.
However, following public uproar over the leniency of his sentence, Storey was later jailed for three years.
During the period he was carrying out the abuse, the court heard that Storey was responsible for training fellow youth leaders in child safeguarding practices. At that same time he also preached ‘no sex before marriage’ to the youngsters in his congregation.
In court Storey denied abusing either girl. He claimed that the sex was consensual, adding that both girls were over the legal age of consent at the time. Referring to the abuse, Storey claimed that the victims ‘seemed to be enjoying it’.
Ms Llewellyn-Waters went onto say:
‘The defendant targeted vulnerable victims and his conduct revealed a wholesale breach of trust in his position of relative power as the church youth leader.
‘After gaining their confidence and trust, he made contact with them and groomed them to form inappropriate relationships with them before manipulating [them] into sexual activity.’
She added that Storey’s behaviour highlighted his ‘entrenched manipulation of young females to engage in sexual activity for his own gratification’.
Storey, from Peckham, South London, denied all charges but was convicted of one count of sexual assault and three counts of rape. Storey has been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on 15 April 2016.
Judge Philip Katz, QC, said:
‘I cannot just deal with Mr Storey today.
‘The law provides, in certain circumstances, that judges may treat offenders as dangerous offenders and that is something I need some more information about as that information is not before me today.’
Diocese of London released the following statement:
‘Timothy Storey has today been convicted of a series of appalling crimes and we are profoundly sorry for what his victims endured.
‘The Diocese of London first received complaints regarding Timothy Storey’s conduct in early 2009.
‘He was then training as a Church of England ordained at Wycliffe Hall. The Diocese’s Child Protection Adviser at the time looked into the allegations and spoke with the Metropolitan Police Westminster Child Protection Team, raising concerns that his actions were an offence under the 2003 Sexual Offences Act.
‘Whilst the Diocese’s Child Protection Adviser recorded that police did not believe any criminal act had been committed, the Diocese nevertheless took the decision to withdraw him from ordination training.
‘The Diocese subsequently submitted a report to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service).
‘Within the submission, the Diocese stipulated that it deemed Timothy Storey’s behaviour to pose a risk to those under the age of 18 and included first-hand statements that the Diocese gathered from the individuals who had made allegations against Mr Storey.
‘The National Church of England was also notified, to prevent him from applying for ordination elsewhere in the country.’
Sexual abuse claims – expert advice
Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).
For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.
Source: Daily Mail