A RETIRED vicar from York has been jailed for indecently assaulting a young girl more than forty years ago.

Graham Gregory, 79 of Brockfield Park Drive, Huntington, York was sentenced to three years imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court, having been found guilty in 2014 of two counts of indecent assault on a girl under 13 years.

Gregory was acquitted of two further counts of indecent assault following a retrial at the same court.

Detective Constable Aaron Vardy, of the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Gregory abused his position as a figure of trust and authority. It takes a lot of courage to report this type of crime and in some cases victims feel that they are only able to come forward years after the offence. This conviction highlights that regardless of how much time has passed, we remain committed to bringing offenders before the courts."

The case came to court after detectives were contacted by a woman in 2012 who claimed that she had been abused as a child between 1969 and 1971 when she lived in Wandsworth and went to the church where Gregory was curate. She told officers that he kissed her on several occasions before assaulting her.

A second woman - who also knew Gregory through the same church - told officers that she too had been abused as a child.

Gregory was interviewed on January 26, 2013 by police when he denied the allegations and claimed not to know one of the women.

He was summoned to attend Kingston Crown Court on Monday, December 8 last year to face five counts of indecent assault on a female under 13-years-old, and he was found guilty of two indecent assaults.

Police now want to encourage any other victims to come forward.

DC Vardy added: “I would urge anyone else who may have been a victim of Gregory’s abuse to contact  the police.”

As well as working as curate in Southfields, Wandsworth, Gregory also held positions in Hastings, Chichester, York and the Isle of Man as a vicar.

Anyone who may have been a victim or has any information is asked to contact their local police force on 101.