Former Powys vicar admits child indecency and assault

A former vicar already serving a prison sentence has admitted indecent assault and indecency with a child.

Richard Hart, 60, formerly from Beguildy, Powys, pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child between the ages of nine and 11.

At Merthyr Crown Court he denied three further charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child.

Hart was remanded in custody and will sentenced on 14 June.

Already serving a prison sentence for possessing more than 56,000 images of child sex abuse, Hart was due for release in a week but now faces an extra sentence.

On file

The court heard how Hart - who was also chairman of the governors at a local primary school - subjected a girl to sexual abuse over a two-year period when he lived in Beguildy, near Knighton.

Ieuan Morris, prosecuting, said he would not face a trial for the charges he denied, which would lie on file.

John Ryan, defending, said: "Mr Hart is currently serving a sentence of three-and-a-half years imposed in September 2008. He is due to be released on 3 June.

"He has undertaken an enhanced thinking skills programme and a sex offender treatment programme."

Following Hart's imprisonment in 2008, the Church in Wales described his crimes as "insidious".

In a statement after that conviction in 2008, the church said: "Mr Hart exploited the trust and respect put in him as a cleric by the Church in Wales and by his parishioners and that will have long-term implications.

"We have co-operated fully with the authorities throughout the inquiry and we are grateful to the police for the sensitive and thorough nature of their investigations."

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