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Jehovah's Witness whose wife died after refusing blood transfusion is jailed for 13 years over child sex abuse covered up by religion's elders

    M ThomasCovenant posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:35:56 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 790 of 871
    Joined 7/20/2005

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2400938/Jehovahs-Witness-wife-died-refusing-blood-transfusion-jailed-13-years-child-sex-abuse-covered-religions-elders.html

    A Jehovah's Witness who sexually abused a child and then had his wrongdoing covered up by the church has been jailed for 13 years.

    Gordon Leighton, 53, admitted sexually abusing a child when he was confronted with the allegations by church elders at Washington, Tyne and Wear.

    The elders knew about the 53-year-old's admissions for three years but refused to co-operate with the criminal investigation, and said what they had heard was confidential.

    Leighton hit the headlines in the 1990s when his wife Yvonne, 28, died after refusing a blood transfusion after childbirth on religious grounds.Judge Penny Moreland said that he had subjected his victim to 'untold damage' as she sentenced him at Newcastle Crown Court today.

    The judge said: 'You manipulated her with a combination of affection and attention and violence and threats.'The defendant was found guilty of two charges of indecency with a child and six of indecent assault after a trial. Prosecutor Katherine Dunn told the court it was in 2009 the victim, who is now an adult, broke her silence about what Leighton had done to her.

    The court heard that at a special meeting at Lambton Kingdom Hall aimed at 'keeping the congregation clean', Leighton 'admitted sexual abuse' and made excuses for his vile behaviour.

    Miss Dunn said: 'The elders conducted their own investigation. A meeting was arranged and the defendant was confronted with the allegations.'

    After initially denying the allegations he broke down and admitted sexually abusing the complainant. The court heard Leighton, of Washington, refused to answer any questions when interviewed by detectives and claimed his confession at the meeting was limited to reading pornographic material.

    Throughout the six-day trial Leighton, a Jehovah's Witness ministerial servant, denied all the allegations against him and denied he had confessed to the elders.

    Leighton, who has since been expelled from the church, had also denied unrelated assault charges of child cruelty, grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm, which he was found guilty of.

    Judge Penny Moreland gave Leighton 13 years behind bars when he appeared before Newcastle Crown Court today

    Throughout the criminal investigation, church elders Simon Preyser, Harry Logan and David Scott refused to make statements about Leighton's confession, keeping their stance when the case was brought before Newcastle Crown Court.

    Each was then issued a witness summons which they launched a court battle against, but they were ordered to testify by Judge Penny Moreland after months of legal wrangling.

    Their barrister Richard Daniels said the men had a 'duty to God' not to breach confidence.

    Leighton was also given a sexual offences prevention order and was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

    happy@last posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 16:00:10 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 443 of 886
    Joined 10/17/2012

    What a headline! I hope the victim is getting the necessary support and help.

    Melagomania posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 16:12:25 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 5 of 8
    Joined 5/1/2013

    Finally some justice is being done, and I am extremely happy that the news is reporting that the other elders were trying to hinder the investigation. They should be disfellowshipped for supporting a sinner rather than letting Caesar do his job. Like they quote Jesus in saying: Pay Caesar's money to Caesar. How about letting Caesar arrest a criminal? They are very quick in hiding a pedophile and lying to the authorities. Atleast the prostitute Rahab in the Bible was trying to hide spies who believed in the true God. These elders are hiding a pedophile so that he can continue molesting and raping little children. If this was Jehovah's organization in Israelite times... he would've burned that man alive. But, the actions of the Governing Body, together with that of the elders in condoning child sex abuse shows that this is Satan's organization. Satan has their (JW's) minds and eyes blinded.

    If you are a JW and reading this, do your research about the organization you so blindly have believed in. Please have an open mind, and block out all the crap that has been drilled into your brain through the WTBTS. Look at the facts that are presented to you through the same eyes when you watch the news about anything else.

    ?evrything posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 16:13:05 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 128 of 199
    Joined 8/24/2012

    Wow. The JW Religous Leaders (GB) should all go on trial for murder and child abuse.

    RayPublisher posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 16:20:05 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 1454 of 1906
    Joined 3/1/2011

    These cases of JW pedos are popping up like mushrooms lately- it's sickening.

    AndDontCallMeShirley posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 17:00:50 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 1271 of 3285
    Joined 3/9/2013
    These cases of JW pedos are popping up like mushrooms lately- it's sickening.

    Mushrooms are grown in the dark on a bed of manure.

    It's no suprise why JW pedophiles sprout just like mushrooms.

    M frankiespeakin posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 17:54:06 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 10091 of 11449
    Joined 9/9/2003

    Ray,

    These cases of JW pedos are popping up like mushrooms lately- it's sickening.

    Sexual repression into the 'shadow' no doubt is a big factor, just like Chatholic Preists forbidded to marry may be a big factor.

    Repressed into the Shadow these drive seek expression, sometimes in bizzar ways.

    http://www.trans4mind.com/jamesharveystout/repress.htm

    1. The negative aspects of repression. Whether repressed or suppressed, the elements remain intact and energized; they continue to influence us (as explained below) while they push for expression. Although suppression can cause tension and conflict, repression can cause even more damage -- particularly because our unawareness of it means that we have less ability to recognize the ways in which it is affecting us and harming us. (The following results also occur from suppressed material during the time that it is suppressed.)

    DATA-DOG posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 18:23:16 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 2910 of 5927
    Joined 6/21/2012

    Would you like to know the secret to family happiness?!

    M Gopher posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 19:23:54 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 10796 of 10946
    Joined 3/18/2001

    Gordon Leighton is a poster child [yes an immature insecure adult] of the symptoms of everything wrong with the Watchtower. I'm assuming his complicitness in the earlier death of his 28-year-old JW wife who died for refusing a blood transfusion. Additionally, the complicitness of the congregation elders in covering up his sexual criminality reveals a deep moral sickness at the heart of the Watchtower organization, which is still idolized as clean and holy by many or most of its followers.

    In my estimation, Leighton was disfellowshipped only because his molestation got out in the open. The organization would have continued to shelter him had his actions somehow remained hidden from the public view.

    Some Witnesses will say "no true JW behaves like he does, that is why he was disfellowshipped". However I say too many true JW's behave exactly like he does and are sheltered by their elders, and only if the shame is too great do they cut loose the criminal offender.

    truthseekeriam posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 19:46:40 GMT(8/23/2013)

    Post 826 of 998
    Joined 5/13/2009

    Another JW creep off to prison... too bad it's only for 13 years!

    Saltheart Foamfollower posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 20:15:35 GMT(8/23/2013)

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    Joined 4/23/2013

    A letter was sent to all congregations in nearby circuits instructing (not asking) elders to refuse to comment if approached by press etc. Nothing was said about how to handle householders who might have read the papers.

    The (not so) pure one

    Sol Reform posted Sat, 24 Aug 2013 01:45:02 GMT(8/24/2013)

    Post 223 of 438
    Joined 7/31/2012

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/gordon-leighton-jehovahs-witness-whose-2214200

    Gordon Leighton: Jehovah's Witness whose child abuse was covered up by church elders is jailed

    24 Aug 2013 00:00

    He broke down and admitted the abuse to three church elders but they refused to co-operate with a police probe, a court heard NNP

    A Jehovah's Witness whose church covered up his sex abuse of a child was jailed for 13 years yesterday.

    Gordon Leighton, 53, broke down and admitted the abuse to three church elders when confronted with allegations.

    He confessed to Simon Preyser, Harry Logan and David Scott in 2010 but they refused to co-operate with a police probe, Newcastle crown court heard.

    Their barrister Richard Daniels claimed they had a "duty to God" not to breach confidence.

    He said: "Privileged communication between members of the congregation and ministers is an absolute right and there is no power in law to breach such a confidence."

    But Judge Penny Moreland made an order, saying: "They are in possession of relevant evidence as to a point which is of real significance."
    The court heard David Scott, an elder of Washington's Lampton Kingdom Hall, made a telephone call to the church's London HQ.

    He was instructed, with other elders, to carry out an investigation into the sex abuse claims against Leighton when they first emerged in December, 2009.
    A meeting was set up in April 2010, to see if a "sin" had been committed.

    Leighton confessed after Bible verses were quoted which said "God sees everything".

    He broke down, and was not 'banished' by the church until further allegations were made against him.

    Prosecutor Katherine Dunn told the court: "The elders conducted their own investigation.
    After initially denying the allegations the defendant broke down and admitted sexually abusing the complainant."

    But Leighton, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, refused to answer any questions when interviewed by detectives and claimed his confession at the meeting was limited.

    He was found guilty on two counts of indecency with a child, and six of indecent assault after a six-day trial.

    Judge Moreland told him: "You manipulated her with a combination of affection and attention and violence and threats."

    She jailed him for 13 years. He was also given a sexual offences prevention order and must sign the sex offenders' register for life.

    Leighton was at the centre of an infamous case when his first wife Yvonne, 28, died after refusing a blood transfusion on religious grounds.

    After giving birth to a baby boy in January 1993, she needed surgical intervention and developed further complications and blood loss.
    But shehad signed a form during her hospital stay, stating she was not to receive a blood transfusion. She died as a result.

    carla posted Sat, 24 Aug 2013 11:34:08 GMT(8/24/2013)

    Post 6706 of 7071
    Joined 4/23/2005

    Until the courts start prosecuting the elders (or any others in authority in religious communities)things will remain the same. Elders who let a pedophile back into society are just as guilty as the guy who's hands are all over the children.

    Vidiot posted Sat, 24 Aug 2013 12:48:24 GMT(8/24/2013)

    Post 1875 of 3838
    Joined 12/5/2010
    "Throughout the criminal investigation, church elders Simon Preyser, Harry Logan and David Scott refused to make statements about Leighton's confession, keeping their stance when the case was brought before Newcastle Crown Court."

    When you're fully convinced God's got your back, even basic common decency goes straight out the window.

    F AnnOMaly posted Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:10:09 GMT(8/24/2013)

    Post 3481 of 4215
    Joined 8/11/2003

    I'm so glad he's gone to jail! I'm also glad the elders who resisted helping the police got named and they cooperated at the eleventh hour (all out of moves, I guess). Browsing around the 'net, it seems that forcing disclosure of what was discussed under 'clergy privilege' is discretionary according to UK law, and that claiming 'clergy privilege' is no guarantee that it will remain inviolable. I wonder whether the same points of law/arguments were used in the wrangling about 'privilege' in this case as were used in the Conti case or whether there were other legal issues specific to the UK.

    Did anyone know that, when his wife Yvonne died leaving a baby son back in '93, she already had a 6-year-old daughter? Perhaps she was the victim? Whoever it was, I hope she has a sense of closure now and can begin to heal.

    F JWdaughter posted Sat, 24 Aug 2013 16:04:11 GMT(8/24/2013)

    Post 4030 of 4645
    Joined 6/18/2005

    still trying to figure out what "duty to god" required them to stonewall police and protect a child abuser from receiving justice?

    mind blown posted Sun, 25 Aug 2013 08:10:00 GMT(8/25/2013)

    Post 1374 of 1541
    Joined 3/29/2010

    FINALLY....decent press regarding JW's and child sex abuse.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/washington-jehovahs-witness-jailed-13-5780371

    http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10632681.Jehovah_s_Witness_jailed_after_child_abuse_covered_up/

    http://www.capitalbay.com/latest-news/364180-gordon-leighton-child-abuse-trial-orders-jehovah-s-witness-leaders-to-give-evidence.html

    (video) http://tyneandwear.sky.com/news/article/73858/jehovahs-witness-church-elders-covered-up-sex-abuse-by-paedophile

    (pix & names of elders who stonewalled the case) http://freethinker.co.uk/2013/08/24/jehovahs-witness-elders-stonewalled-a-police-probe-into-church-members-sexual-abuse/

    F MidwichCuckoo posted Sun, 25 Aug 2013 08:36:35 GMT(8/25/2013)

    Post 2829 of 2814
    Joined 4/25/2005

    ...I did post a comment on the Daily Mail article, but they didn't publish it, drat! Anyone else here try to comment? I imagine there have been many similar comments to mine which have been rejected as the few comments published are generally not well informed.

    M ThomasCovenant posted Sun, 25 Aug 2013 09:40:12 GMT(8/25/2013)

    Post 793 of 871
    Joined 7/20/2005

    ''still trying to figure out what "duty to god" required them to stonewall police and protect a child abuser from receiving justice?''

    Me too. This is the bit that gets me.

    There are, have been, and always will be, 'evil' people in all walks of life who will take advantage of and sexually abuse children.

    However, there is no need for 'good' people, assuming the three elders were 'good', to put 'duty to god' above the need to report and help local police authorities with their efforts to stop people abusing children.

    St George of England posted Sun, 25 Aug 2013 09:51:56 GMT(8/25/2013)

    Post 2140 of 2499
    Joined 3/22/2010

    I'm sure the actions of the elders have contributed to the severity of the sentance.

    They really ought to be doing the time behind bars as well.

    George

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