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Bishop of Leicester offers 'sincere apology' to choirboy abuse victims

Rt Rev Stevens said: "I deeply regret the pain and anguish, and the profound effect on the lives of all those affected by the offences for which John Bellamy was sentenced last week relating to a time in the 1970s when he was choirmaster in a parish church.

"To all those whose lives have been affected I offer my sympathy and sincere apology on behalf of the Diocese of Leicester."

Mr Bellamy, 72, was convicted of offences against five boys aged nine to 14 when he was choirmaster at St James the Greater Church in London Road.

The bishop's apology follows an appeal from police to anyone who believes they may have been a victim of the former choirmaster to come forward.

Detective Constable Jamie Carr said: "During the investigation, we also identified that Bellamy worked in various education establishments in Leicester and Leicestershire until his retirement in 1995, inquiries did not determine whether Bellamy may have gone on to commit further incidents during that time.

"We would like to take this opportunity to ask the public to contact us if they believe that they may have been a victim of Bellamy or have any concerns.

"Please be assured that they will be taken seriously."

Bellamy, of Kingsmead Road, Knighton, Leicester, was found guilty at Worcester Crown Court on six counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

He was sentenced to two years for each count of indecent assault and 12 months for each count of indecency with a child.

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