Sussex priest sentenced to eight years for sex offences against young boys
A paedophile priest has been sentenced to eight years in prison for committing a string of sexual offences against boys as young as ten some 30 years ago.
Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Thursday (14 February) for 11 offences to which he had pleaded guilty at Chichester Crown Court in December.
The offences related to the sexual abuse of three boys in West Sussex in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The retired Church of England priest denied seven similar charges and - after consulting with police and victims - prosecutors decided not to pursue those cases.
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Those charges will, however, remain on file and could be pursued in the future.
Coles has also been served with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which prohibits him from contacting the victims, having any unsupervised contact with under 16s or seeking any employment or voluntary work that would involve unsupervised access to under 16s.
He will be on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.
Police said none of the charges related to recent or current offending and there was nothing to suggest children were currently at risk.
DI Jez Prior of Sussex Police said: "We admire the courage of the victims in coming forward and being prepared to give evidence against Coles."
"We continue to encourage people wishing to report offences to contact us, regardless of how long ago offending took place."
"In carrying out this investigation we also received full cooperation from the Diocese of Chichester."