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West Yorkshire vicar jailed for assaulting three-year-old branded 'hypocrite' by judge

by Chantalle Edmunds

A vicar from West Yorkshire who sexually abused a three-year-old girl has been jailed for over nine years.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Gordon Newton who worked in Batley, abused the child on a number of occasions and confessed to having a sexual interest in children for a number of years.

Judge Tom Bayliss said Newton, of Cross Church Street, Huddersfield, branded Newton, 40, a hypocrite. 

"You held yourself out as a man of God but you're nothing. You're a hypocrite," he said.

"For a man in your position, what you've done amounts not only to an extremely wicked series of acts, but to a gross abuse of a position of trust.

"You abused the trust of so many others in so many ways. You abused the trust of your parishioners and of the Church of England authorities."

In a statement read in court, Newton's wife, who had handed her husband's old mobile phone to police, who found 276 indecent images of children, said she was now unable to work full-time and suffered from depression as a result of his crimes.

Previously a dedicated churchgoer, she said her husband's crime had shattered her faith, which was now "non-existent".

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Leeds said in a statement that Newton's "deeply shocking" actions were "a matter of deep shame and regret".

Newton will be "subject to the disciplinary processes of the church, which will remove him from his office as vicar and prohibit him from exercising his holy orders".

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to 12 offences, including six counts of sexually assaulting a girl under 13.

Kitty Colley, defending, said Newton knew his crimes were "disgusting and vile" and had "genuine remorse" for what he had done.

He will be placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

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