Married Church of England vicar, 61, and his 52-year-old mistress who sexually abused an underage girl are each jailed for four years
- Pair who had affair admitted to engaging in sexual activity in presence of child
- Rev Stephen Clapham admitted to assault of a girl under 13 by touching
- Sally Shaw also admitted to distributing an indecent photograph
A married Church of England vicar and his mistress were jailed yesterday for sexually abusing a young girl.
Rev Stephen Clapham, 61, dated cleaner Sally Shaw, 52, behind her husband’s back after she told him about her marital woes in between church services.
The pair made their victim undress and watch them have sex. They were arrested when she told her teacher and officers found indecent images of her on Clapham’s mobile phone.
Saying Clapham’s ‘shame shall be forever’, Judge Steven Everett jailed him for four years and imposed the same sentence on Shaw because they were ‘in it together’.
Chester Crown Court was told the affair began in 2016 when Clapham was the vicar of All Saints’ in the Cheshire village of Church Lawton.
Pictured is Sally Shaw outside Chester Crown Court, where she admitted to distributing an indecent photograph
Pictured is Stephen Clapham. In sentencing the pair for their actions, Judge Steven Everett said to Clapham: ‘You are a disgusting individual’
‘They had begun seeing each other in confidential settings to discuss her failing marriage and this developed into an intimate and long-lasting affair,’ said Nicholas Williams, prosecuting.
Clapham gave no comment in three of his four police interviews but Shaw made full admissions to detectives and was said to have described their offending ‘in detail’.
Both admitted engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and making an indecent photograph of a child. Clapham, who had been married for 38 years, also admitted assaulting a girl by touching.
Shaw admitted distributing an indecent photograph. Clapham was suspended after his arrest and has since resigned. The victim, who the pair met by chance, is recovering from her ordeal.
Maria Messellis, for Clapham, said he had ‘held a position of esteem for many years’ and would feel the loss of that good character ‘immensely’.
Clapham, who had been married for 38 years, also admitted to the assault of a girl under the age of 13 by touching
During police interviews, Shaw made full admissions to the offences, and was said to have described their offending ‘in detail’
The vicar was suspended by the Bishop of Chester after the scandal came to light
Shaw outside court. Mitigating for Shaw, Miss Milena Bennett said that Shaw was having marriage problems, and: ‘She had not experienced any intimacy for a long time, so she went to her vicar for help’
She said his offences had caused ‘a fracturing’ in his family and forced him to leave his home area and move to Middlewich. Judge Everett told Clapham he noted the positive impact he previously had on society but was not taking it into account.
‘It was all disgusting,’ he said. ‘Truly disgusting. You were in it together and your shame shall be forever.’
The pair will have to sign the sex offenders register for life and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order banning them from one-on-one contact with any child under 13.
After the court hearing the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd MarkTanner, said: ‘I cannot begin to express my shame and anger for the betrayal and pain that this young person has endured.’
Senior prosecutor Sarah Egan said the pair had ‘put their own warped sexual interests above that of the welfare of the victim’.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11999351/Vicar-mistress-abused-underage-girl-jailed-4-years.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270