Surrey

Preacher Allan Cundick jailed for child sex attacks

Alan Cundick Image copyright Surrey Police
Image caption Allan Cundick was found guilty following a trial at Guildford Crown Court

A preacher found guilty of indecently assaulting two girls aged between nine and 16 has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Allan Cundick, 78, of Woking, assaulted the girls between 1970 and 1992.

One of his victims, Lina Barnes, from Corby in Northamptonshire, said she was urged by his church not to report the abuse.

The Gospel Hall Brethren preacher was found guilty following a trial at Guildford Crown Court.

Ms Barnes, who has waived her right to anonymity, was aged between 10 and 13 at the time of the abuse.

When she reported it to the church in 2001 she said she was accused of being a liar.

She said she remained silent for years, until in 2011 evangelist preacher Ian Jackson revealed to her there had been another victim.

'Close-knit church community'

At that point she wanted to go to the police, but she said Mr Jackson tried to make her reconsider.

Mr Jackson, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, later told the BBC he had only tried to help Ms Barnes and acted in good faith.

Ms Barnes said it ultimately led her to go to the police.

During sentencing, Judge Peter Moss told Cundick: "You were a highly respected member of a close-knit church community."

Det Ch Insp Bex Smith, of Surrey Police, said: "Cundick is a predatory sexual offender who used his position as a beacon of respectability and responsibility to abuse his victims and today's sentencing outcome demonstrates the severity of his offences."

Cundick, of Merrivale Gardens, admitted two separate charges of indecently assaulting two women, between 1994 and 2004.

He was found not guilty of three other counts of indecent assault.

Image copyright Lina Barnes
Image caption Lina Barnes was aged between 10 and 13 when she was abused by Allan Cundick

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