Church organist and retired priest sentenced for sex offences against young boys

Wilkie Denford
Wilkie Denford

Two Sussex men were sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday May 9 for sexual offences against young boys which took place between 19 and 27 years ago.

Church organist Michael Mytton, 69, of South Road, East Chiltington, known locally as Mark, was sentenced to a total of nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Keith Wilkie Denford, 78, a retired Church of England priest, of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham, West Sussex, was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment.

Each man was also served with Sexual Offence Prevention Order (SOPO), to last until otherwise directed by the court, severely restricting their access to people under-16.

They must also sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

Both were convicted at Hove Crown Court on Friday April 5 after a three-week trial.

Mytton was convicted of three counts of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in the Newick area between 1990 and 1994.

He was found not guilty of one count of aiding and abetting Denford in the alleged Shoreham indecent assault over which Denford was found not guilty, and was also found not guilty of two counts of indecent assault against the boy in the Newick area.

Denford was convicted of two indecent assaults on a boy then under 16, in or near Shoreham, and one indecent assault on another boy also aged under 16 and also in or near Shoreham, on dates between June 1987 and January 1990.

He was found not guilty of a third charge of indecent assault against the first boy.

Detective constable Lee Scott said; “None of these offences had been reported to us at the times they occurred.

“When one of the Burgess Hill victims learned in 2011 that Wilkie Denford was still active in the church he contacted us and we began enquiries.

“The separate victim of Mytton came forward later when he learned of the investigation.

“During the investigation we had full co-operation from the Diocese of Chichester.

“We admire the courage of the victims in coming forward and being ready to stand up in court.

“Sussex Police takes all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously, no matter when they are alleged to have happened.

“Anyone with such concerns can contact us via 101 and arrange to speak in confidence to experienced detectives.We can also help you to access a range of independent counselling and other support services.”