Jail for vicar who groomed children

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Jarvis Winchester composite

A vicar from Spencers Wood who preyed on vulnerable young girls has been sentenced for sexual offences involving minors.

The Revd Pete Jarvis will spend the next 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to two charges.

He will also be on the sex offenders register for the next 10 years.

In February, during a retrial at Winchester Crown Court, Mr Jarvis pleaded guilty to two charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity of trust and nine months for one count of possession of indecent images of children. The incidents took place before he joined the Loddon Reach benefice of churches, which includes Spencers Wood.

He was accused of grooming the victims, plying them with gifts and allowing them to smoke before sexually abusing them for his own gratification.

He was sentenced today and the two sentences will run concurrently.

The 51-year-old has previously been cleared, at Reading Crown Court, of a range of accusations, including:

  • Three counts of adult abuse of position of trust – inciting sexual activity with a boy aged 13 to 17.
  • One count of adult abuse of position of trust – inciting sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 17.
  • Causing or inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.
  • One count of offender 18 or over causing or inciting a boy 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.
  • Four counts of offender 18 or over causing or inciting a girl 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.
  • One count of offender 18 or over engaging in sexual activity with a boy 13 to 15.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Adrian Foster said: “This case involved sexual activity, between a vicar, who is now 51-years-old, and two schoolgirls, aged 14-15, between June 2008 and May 2012, in Thatcham.

“Mr Jarvis abused his position of trust and took advantage of his status as a school counsellor to prey on vulnerable young girls, befriend them and sexually abuse them for his own sexual gratification.

“Despite his pastoral responsibility towards them, he had an inappropriate sexual interest in them, encouraged them to participate in sexual acts with others while underage, met them after school and at weekends, allowed them to smoke and bought them gifts. It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed.

“I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.

“Jarvis denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, but on February 4, 2016, at Winchester Crown Court, on the third day of his trial, he pleaded guilty to two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of trust, and possession of indecent images of children.

“The emotional impact, on the victims and their families, of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and sentence give some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”

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