Ealing Abbey Priest Jailed For Child Abuse
Former teacher at St Benedict's admitted sex offences
A priest who taught at St Benedict's School in Eaton Rise has been jailed for eight years after admitting repeatedly abusing five boys.
Father David Pearce, of Ealing Abbey, in Charlbury Grove, was sentenced today (October 2) for committing ten counts of indecent assault and one sexual assault between 1972 and 2007.
Four of the victims were under 16 at the time.
Most of the abuse took place while he was a teacher at St Benedict's School in Eaton Rise, Ealing, he has since retired.
Pearce was barred from acting as a priest in 2005 after a victim started civil proceedings against him. It followed an unsuccessful attempt to build a criminal case against him because of a lack of evidence.
Further victims came forward and Pearce was arrested in January 2008.
Detective Sergeant Gareth Morgan of the Child Abuse Investigation Command said:
"David Pearce was respected in his community and in a position of trust. He completely abused this trust and sexually assaulted five young males who had been put in his care.
"The abuse of young children is unacceptable, the impact cannot be underestimated. People such as Pearce appear to have no regard for the destruction of innocence and damage they are causing and care only for their gratification.
"I am very grateful to the victims who supported this prosecution and were prepared to take action to ensure Pearce was held accountable for his crimes."
Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Robert Wendt added:
"David Pearce is a predatory paedophile whose actions have impacted forever on the lives of his victims. I hope that today's sentencing provides them with some comfort and I would urge anyone who has suffered sexual abuse to come forward knowing that the Police and Crown Prosecution Service will take you seriously."
Parents of children at St Benedict's have been sent letters from Abbot Martin Shipperlee of Ealing Abbey.
He said Pearce's future as a priest is being reviewed and added: "I would like to apologise in every way I can to the victims and everyone else affected by this case.
"I will remember in my prayers all those lives who have been troubled by David Pearce's actions."
September 16, 2010