David Beater, a vicar, of Minnis Road, Birchington, Kent, was first convicted in 1985 of sexually abusing a 13 year old teenager. He was fined £250. He then resigned from St Botloph’s and St Mark’s Church in Northfleet, Kent.
Although the Church of England were aware of the 1985 conviction and resignation, Maidstone Crown Court was informed in 2021 that David beater was “invited back” to resume his duties, which he did until 2010.
David Beater’s abuse of two boys, between 1982 and 1985, did not come to light until 2017 and 2018. One of the victims was aged eight or nine years old at the time of the assault. The second victim was sexually assaulted after a game of squash. He was arrested in April 2018, but gave no comment at interview
What sexual offences did David Beater admit?
David Beater admitted five sexual assault offences on two boys between 1982 and 1995.
What sentence did David Beater receive for sexually assaulting boys?
On Monday 23 August 2021 David Beater was handed down a custodial sentence at Maidstone Crown Court of four and a half years imprisonment. He was also made subject to a five year sexual harm prevention order, barred from working with children and vulnerable young adults. He was also ordered to sign the sex offender register.
What did the Bishop of Tonbridge say?
After David Beater was sentenced the Rt Rev Simon Burton-Jones, Bishop of Tonbridge, said, 'We are deeply saddened and appalled by the Rev David Beater's crimes and will be keeping all those affected by his actions in our prayers.
'The victim impact statements read out in court demonstrate the devastating and lifelong impact David Beater's abuse has had on their lives.
'We commend the bravery of those who brought these allegations forward and acknowledge how difficult this would have been. We apologise unreservedly to them for what has happened and for what they have experienced.
'The facts of this case raise concerning questions about decisions and actions taken by the Church in relation to David's ministry. Because of this, the matter has now been referred to the National Safeguarding Team in accordance with the House of Bishops' guidelines.'
What did the Police say?
DCI Keith Roberts, from Kent Police, said: ‘Owing to the position Beater occupied, people naturally trusted him and viewed him as a person to turn to for support. He abused this trust in the worst possible way.
"Many years may have passed from the time of the offending, but that does not in any way undo the harm he has caused.
"His offending has impacted each victim’s life in unimaginable ways and it took exceptional courage for each of them to speak to us about their ordeal.
"I am pleased Beater has now been held to account and I sincerely hope this outcome provides the victims with a sense of justice and closure.
"Anyone affected by similar offending needs to know we have specialist officers across the county who will do everything in their power to support them. Please do not suffer alone, contact us so that we can help you."