Shropshire

Telford ex-vicar given suspended sentence for sex assault on girl, 15

A retired vicar who indecently assaulted a 15-year-old girl has been given a suspended sentence.

Kevin McGarahan attacked the girl at his house in Telford in 1995 before she fled, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.

Despite the girl's mother complaining, no action was taken until a review by the Church of England in 2014.

McGarahan, 64, who now lives in Liskard in Cornwall, received a six-month sentence suspended for 12 months.

He has also been ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the victim.

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Church authorities were informed of the incident but no action was taken until a new safeguarding officer for the Diocese of Hereford found the file in 2014 and reported it to the police.

Jonathan Kelleher, senior crown prosecutor for the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's rape and serious sexual offences unit, said McGarahan had "abused his position of trust" to carry out the attack on a "vulnerable teenager".

"Today, justice has finally caught up with McGarahan and he will now have to deal with the consequences of his actions."

A spokesman for the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) said McGarahan's conviction should encourage more victims to report abuse.

"Action can be taken no matter how many years have passed," they said.

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