South East Wales

Sex assaults Llandaff verger Colin Adams sentenced

Colin James Adams
Image caption The Church in Wales said Colin Adams had abused his position of trust

A verger has been given a 12-month suspended sentence for sex attacks on a teenage chorister at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff 20 years ago.

Colin James Adams, 58, was at the cathedral in the 1990s when the 16-year-old boy became a server.

A Cardiff Crown Court jury found him guilty by majority verdicts of three indecent assaults but cleared him of five other charges.

Adams was a verger in Newcastle-upon-Tyne when arrested in January 2010.

The court was told his victim, now in his 30s, came forward to say Adams first sexually assaulted him on a visit to Southwark Cathedral in London.

He told the jury: "He would put his arms around me to give me a thank you hug for all I did and started giving me little things - books and things to stimulate my interest.

"Every chance he had he would try to get closer - feeling and groping me.

"He asked me to go on trips, saying he could take children for £1 on his family railcard.

"He started to get more touchy-feely and then more physical."

'Dreadful memories'

Adams was a verger at the Cathedral Church of Saint Nicholas in Newcastle when he was arrested for the offences.

The court heard that the victim had lived with "dreadful memories" for years before finally finding the courage to make a complaint to the police.

Adams was found guilty by majority verdicts of three indecent assaults and cleared of four similar charges and one of a serious sexual offence.

As well as the suspended prison sentence, he was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Judge Patrick Curran QC told him: "You deliberately abused your position of trust to the complainant, your rector and the Church In Wales itself.

"You have lost your good character, your job, any prospect of employment and your home.

"You are in many ways a broken man facing a bleak future."

A Church in Wales spokeswoman said later: "We deeply regret that someone employed as a verger abused his position of trust and caused such physical and mental harm to a young person.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved."