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World News

Former church youth leader accused of seven counts of sexual abuse

by Donna Birrell

A church leader from Hove is appearing in court charged with seven counts of historic sexual abuse.

57-year-old Daniel Reed is said to have plied teenagers with alcohol before indecently assaulting them on separate occasions at his home in Hove in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Jason Sugarman, prosecuting, told a jury at Hove Trial Centre Crown Court that Reed had shown them pornographic films and persuaded them to put on silk shorts or boxers before taking advantage of them. At the time, Reed was in his early twenties and a church youth leader at Clarendon Church in Hove. He is alleged to have met the boys - who were between 14 and 18 years old at the time - at his home in Hangleton.

Reed faces four charges of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 years and three for indecent assaults on a man aged 16 or over.

The court heard that the first complainant came forward in August 2018 when his father called the police to report that his son had been sexually abused.

Reed is accused of abusing the boy when he was 14 in about 1987 or 1988.

The man didn’t tell anyone what had happened until about 2000 or 2002 when he told his wife. He did not report the alleged abuse to the police until 2018.

Mr Sugarman said that in 1990, one of the boys told his parents what had happened, but his father didn’t believe him and made him apologise to Reed in a phone call.

The teenager then contacted the church elders but he said they told him not to tell the police. His girlfriend reported it to Sussex Police but no record has been found of the complaint.

A parent is said to have separately contacted a church elder with his concerns.

Mr Sugarman said : “Although the church leaders became aware of some of these allegations nearer the time the offences occurred, they never reported any of them to the police.”

Reed was sacked as a church youth leader and later turned up at the house of one of the elders, John Hosier.

Mr Sugarman told the jury: “Some time after Danny had been asked to leave, he turned up on his doorstep saying he had known he had done wrong.

“As a Christian he wanted to repent, ask for forgiveness and have a fresh start. He did not elaborate about what he had done wrong.”

Another colleague from the church said that Reed was found wandering the streets and not making sense before being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Reed denies the charges. The trial continues.

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