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Jailed: Retired Stoke Newington vicar who sexually abused St Matthias Church choirboy in 1970s and 1980s

PUBLISHED: 16:41 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:41 10 March 2017

A file image of St Matthias Church in Wordsworth Road, Stoke Newington. Picture: Dr Neil Clifton/Geograph

A file image of St Matthias Church in Wordsworth Road, Stoke Newington. Picture: Dr Neil Clifton/Geograph

Archant

A vicar who sexually abused a choirboy in Stoke Newington decades ago has been jailed for four years.

Cyril Ashton Rowe, now 78, preyed on the boy at St Matthias Church when he was nine, 10 and 11 in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Tragically his victim, who suffered from a degenerative illness, died in February, just a few hours too early to hear of Rowe’s conviction. During the trial, he had given evidence through video link by blinking – the only movement he had left as his motor neurone disease entered its final stages.

Rowe was sentenced today at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Det Sgt Hannah Stewart said: “It was extremely traumatic for the victim to relive his ordeal after so many years.

“Through his brave determination, his evidence – given to detectives during hours of meticulous interviews, and at court – enabled the conviction of Rowe for these serious sexual offences.

“This conviction is a fitting tribute to the courage of the victim, who sadly died during these proceedings.”

Police urge anyone else who was abused by Rowe to call them on 101.

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