Following this week’s sentencing of Vicar, David Beater, the Solicitor representing his victims, has spoken out to question how many other survivors might still be suffering in silence and feeling let down by the Church of England.
David Beater, who is now 79, was sentenced to six years, which was reduced by 25% to four-and-a-half years on Monday for sexually assaulting two boys, aged eight and 13, between 1982 and 1985.He will serve 2 years 3 months before being released.
Senior Associate, Danielle Vincent, is representing clients who were sexually assaulted by David Beater while attending St Botolphs and St Marks Northfleet, a Church of England Church in Gravesend.
Danielle Vincent said today:
“We are pleased that Beater’s conviction means that the survivors involved in this criminal trial are finally able to start their recovery process, having suffered over three decades of torment and worry that they would not be taken seriously or believed. The criminal case had taken over three years before coming before Maidstone Crown Court on 23 August 2021.
“Both survivors have suffered greatly due to the abuse they suffered which has impacted every aspect of their lives. Both survivors bravery in speaking out has enabled this dangerous paedophile to be brought to justice.
“Beater used his position within the ministry to perpetrate his crimes against vulnerable children under a cloak of respectability. Beater abused children both in the church, vicarage and on outings, an ultimate breach of trust where they should have felt safe. Beater was trusted by families in the local area.
“However, this also raises important questions about how Beater was allowed by the Church to continue to operate in a position for a further 30 years despite disclosure of sexual abuse by another survivor who was only 13 years old at the time way back in 1985 to which Beater received only a £250 fine. Beater’s resigned from his position but was invited to return to the Church and continue as a Vicar, later moving around the country to other parishes. This potentially put many other individuals at risk who would have trusted Beater due to his position as a vicar.
“We must also consider how many other survivors there are still suffering in silence and feel let down by the Church of England.”