Former victim who suffered sexual abuse by the Church, has waived his right to anonymity and spoke about his treatment by the Church.
Matthew Ineson, from Dewsbury, has spoken to the inquiry and criticised the way the Church of England dealt with him when he made complaints about the sexual abuse he suffered by priest Trevor Devamanikkam. Mr Ineson was raped by the Bradford priest when he was 16 years old. The priest was accused of the rape in 1984, but took his own life on the day of his trial.
Mr Ineson told the inquiry of the struggles he faced when he tried to report the crime 30 years later to a number of Bishops and Archbishops. Mr Ineson told the inquiry how he was ignored by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and no further action was taken.
When he tried to report the crime almost 30 years later, to a number of bishops and archbishops, he was ignored. No further action was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby when he complained.
Mr Ineson, was ordained in 2000 and practised as a vicar in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, for more than 10 years. He first disclosed his abuse between 2012 and 2013 to the Bishop of Doncaster Peter Burrows, then to the Bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft. He then reported it to Archdeacon of Rotherham Martyn Snow and the Archbishop of York Dr Sentamu. Mr Ineson said that nothing came of his reports.
Mr Ineson has now left the Church of England and told the inquiry: “I cannot see the face of Jesus in the Archbishop of Canterbury or York. The Archbishop of Canterbury consistently takes no further action and, to me, therefore, condones all these actions. I don’t think those people are fit for office.”
He told the inquiry: “Bishops sit on thrones. They live in fine palaces and houses, they wear the finest robes and garments, they bully people. People literally kneel down and kiss the ring on their finger. It really does drive people to distraction and I say no more. Enough is enough. I think the victims are far stronger people than the Bishops.”
Mr Ineson told the inquiry about the incident of when he met the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu at a meeting for survivors of clerical abuse at a General Synod in York. Mr Ineson told how he grabbed hold of him by the shoulder and said “one day me and you will talk.” Mr Ineson described him as “arrogant, rude and a bully.”
Mr Ineson then went on to submit complaints about the clerics but was told that the complaints fell outside the church’s one year rule. The church’s process is to contact the complainants and ask for their opinion on the extension of the rule.
“Who in their right mind thinks it’s acceptable to write to a priest who is under investigation by the police for child sexual abuse and give him the opportunity to object to being investigated?”
“The Church is not going to change unless they are made to. They can’t be trusted.”
Dr Sentamu gave evidence on Wednesday afternoon and said that he did not believe that he had made any mistakes in responding to the disclosure of the abuse, and had assumed that the Bishop of Sheffield was dealing with Mr Ineson’s complaint as it was his responsibility.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told the ongoing inquiry on July 11 he’s now “convinced” a change in the law is needed.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, has been supporting Mr Ineson’s quest for justice for more than two years, said: “Matthew and many other survivors have shown incredible bravery in coming forward and reliving their ordeals, and we must do all we can to ensure others are heard and action is take. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s support for a change in regulation represents a significant step forward and one which I believe could prevent further suffering in the future.”
“The government must act on this evidence now and bring forward a change in legislation to protect children and vulnerable adults across all institutions.”
Jordans Solicitors represent numerous claims for historic child abuse and have successfully achieved compensation for the victims of abuse. We have an experienced team of lawyers that specialise in the sensitive area of historical abuse. Our team are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. If you would like free, confidential advice then please call a member of the team on 0800 9555 094 or request a call back from our website, and we will call you at a convenient time for that suits you.