Norfolk former Baptist pastor jailed for sex assaults

The victim of sex abuse at the hands of a former pastor of a Norfolk church has spoken of finally being able to have closure on her ordeal after he was jailed for two years and placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

Malcolm Hoare, who belonged to the King's Lynn Baptist Fellowship, was found guilty following a trial of five counts of indecently assaulting the girl when she was aged between 13 and 15.

The offences took place about 30 years ago but the victim only recently decided to come forward about the matter after undergoing counselling as she also wanted to make sure that nothing like this happened to anyone else.

Yesterday at Norwich Crown Court, Hoare, of Whitefriars Road, King's Lynn, appeared for sentence.

Jailing him, Judge Philip Curl accepted that he was a man of previous good character and said he had read the many references about Hoare, who also worked as a prison and police chaplain and had done a lot of charity work.

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However he described him as a 'manipulative and egocentric person.' who had abused his position of trust.

'She was thirteen and a half and you were 38. These offences are so serious only custody can be justified.'

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Judge Curl also said he was impressed with the way the victim had given evidence in the case and said she had showed 'quiet determination and courage'. 'She obviously has suffered as a result of your indecent assaults on her.'

William Carter, for Hoare, said that he and his wife were both not in the best of health and Hoare helped care for his wife who had mobility problems.

'Although the only person to blame is Mr Hoare there will be those who are totally innocent who will be hit very hard by an immediate prison sentence.'

Afterwards the victim said she now felt she could fully move on with her life: 'I just want people to know that I was telling the truth and encourage other victims to have the courage to come forward.'

She said she had been satisfied that he had been found guilty on five counts and said: 'It was like a huge weight was lifted from me. I do feel a much stronger person and much more positive about things.'

She said she had thought originally about not doing anything about what happened but after undergoing counselling it suddenly revived all the memories about the abuse she had suffered as a young girl.

She said like members of the congregation she had held Hoare in awe and he had abused that trust: 'I firmly believe he will face God for lies he told on oath.'

She said that now he had been sentenced it was the final closure on what had happened, saying: 'We can now move on.' She said she had no regrets about coming forward and said she hoped her stand would encourage other victims to come forward however long ago it happened.

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