Sussex priest and organist child abuse trial jury retires

Father Keith Wilkie Denford
Image caption Father Keith Wilkie Denford denies four charges of indecent assault

The jury in the trial of a Church of England priest and a church organist accused of historical child sex abuse has retired to consider its verdict.

Father Wilkie Denford, 78, from Shoreham-by-Sea, has pleaded not guilty to four charges of indecently assaulting two boys.

Michael Mytton, 68, from East Chiltington, East Sussex, has denied aiding and abetting indecent assault.

The pair are accused of abusing the boys between 1987 and 1990.

Mr Denford, who was the vicar of St John the Evangelist Church in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, is alleged to have molested two boys over an 18-month period.

'I like boys'

Mr Mytton also denies five counts of indecent assault against two boys between January 1987 and September 1994.

During the trial of the two men, the jury heard Mr Mytton had admitted he liked boys.

Image caption Michael Mytton worked as an organist in the Lewes area

While being interviewed by police Mr Mytton said: "I like boys, I know I like boys and it has cost me everything."

In 1981 he was forced to leave his position at a church in Uckfield after being convicted of two counts of gross indecency on a 12-year-old boy.

The jury was told that Mr Denford abused one of the boys aided by Mr Mytton following a meal at a restaurant in Cuckfield, and while in the back of Mr Mytton's Jaguar car.

Previously the court heard that it was not until last year that police were alerted after one of the boys, now in his late 30s, found out that Mr Denford was still in contact with children.

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