Ex-priest jailed for child abuse 55 years ago
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London: A paedophile who abused a Cape Town school pupil nearly 55 years ago was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years in London yesterday.
Father Leslie Carter was a chaplain and English teacher at St George’s Grammar School in the late 1950s when he abused a 12-year-old boy while on a boat trip from South Africa to the UK.
It was only after the victim contacted the Metropolitan Police in 2004 that Carter was investigated, leading to him facing 18 counts of indecent assault against six boys between 1957 and 1977.
Yesterday he sat alone in the dock at Harrow Crown Court, just a few kilometres from Quainton Hall Prep School in north London where he taught after leaving South Africa, and where he also abused boys. Aged 84, he appeared in custody after his wife Judith threw him out of their marital home in Warminster following the additional allegations.
Last month, Carter pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault against three boys.
Yesterday he admitted to a further nine counts of indecent assault on three additional boys at Quainton Hall, aged eight to 12, dating back to the 1970s.
Prosecutor Justin Bearman said the abuse was a gross breach of trust. He said it normally involved getting boys on their own and then masturbating them under their trousers or pyjamas.
Acting on Carter’s behalf, Paul Cook said the abuse was on the “lower end of the scale” and said Carter had been diagnosed with bone cancer.
He said: “By 1977 all of this had come to a halt and there are no other reports of him continuing with it. He could have continued doing this for many more years.”
He added that Carter couldn’t remember any of the offences.
Before sentencing, Judge Graham White said: “For 30 years you were an Anglican priest and teacher and in 1957 you gained the trust of these schoolboys to get them interested in a trip from South Africa to England.
“What was supposed to be a joyous experience was used by you for your own sexual gratification.
“I personally don’t believe you have no memory of what you did. It beggars belief you do not remember. This was when you had a position as a priest and held a position as a teacher and, to a large measure, you had a relationship with these boys. What you did was a grave betrayal of your holy orders and pastoral care. They involved a systematic series of abusive episodes.
“There has to be consequences for your depraved and selfish actions you perpetrated on these boys. This has been a gross breach of trust.”
Carter is expected to serve half his sentence and then be released on licence and sign the sex offenders register.
The Cape Town victim, who is 66 and a successful medical professional in the city, wrote to the Met in 2004, curious as to whether Carter was still teaching.
Carter had befriended his parents and gained their trust, but then abused the boy on the boat, spanking him for spying on a girl’s shower room and asking for cuddles after baths in his cabin.
He threatened to throw the boy off the boat, stole all his money and then interfered with his bottom twice in Carter’s parents’ London home where they were staying.
Carter pleaded guilty at the eleventh hour.