A church youth-leader from Peckham has been locked up for fifteen years for raping and sexually assaulting two “vulnerable” teenagers from his congregation.
Timothy Storey, 35, of Peckham Grove, was sentenced in Woolwich Crown Court on Friday for three counts of rape and one of assault by penetration.
The court heard how the Oxford-educated and ordained trainee vicar manipulated his victims into meeting up with him via sexting and social media messages.
The two young women Storey was found guilty of raping had given evidence following an appeal by Scotland Yard in May 2014. At that time, the paedophile had just been handed a three-year sentence for grooming girls aged ten to sixteen, and encouraging them to perform sexual acts via social media.
Storey made both of his “insidious” attacks on the two women, who were over the age of consent, in 2008 and 2009.
He raped one of the women at his former home in Oxford after taking her to a concert and plying her with alcohol.
During the hearing, attended by Storey’s mum and dad, the Judge Philip Katz QC described how Storey got the woman so drunk she missed her train home. She was then forced to stay the night with Storey, where he later assaulted her.
“The psychological harm you caused her was so severe. The incident changed the course of her life,” Judge Katz said.
With the second teenaged victim, the judge said Storey had used his respectable position as a youth leader to gain her trust, and sexually assaulted her on two separate occasions.
“Your influence over her was total. You had been insidiously grooming her for a year,” the judge said.
He then read aloud a statement written by the second victim, in which she said: “I will be living with these scars for the rest of my life.”
Jailing Storey for a decade and a half, Judge Katz said he had manipulated both of the “vulnerable” and “unworldly” teenagers “into situations where you knew it was going to be their word against yours”.
He added: “They both trusted you, as did many others. Your behaviour also demonstrates rank hypocrisy.”
Storey had been convicted of the four charges during a retrial on February 18, in which it was heard that both women were church goers who, at an early age, had attended summer camps and congregations led by Storey.
As well as his fifteen-year sentence, Storey will also spend four years on licence after completing the fifteen years behind bars.
‘Shameful misrepresentation of the truth’
The Judge Philip Katz QC poured scorn on the “shameful” handling of the case by church leaders at the Diocese of London (DoL).
Judge Katz told the court he had been made aware of press statements from the DoL that “appeared to suggest” the diocese had acted appropriately at all times, and that the DoL had reported the allegation to the police “years ago”.
The judge said he believed the
statements seemed to imply the police were at fault, which would be a “shameful misrepresentation of the truth”. He instead praised police, saying: “The case was investigated diligently and sensitively, something the diocese had been incapable of.”
He added that a senior DoL figure responsible for the statements, and who had previously been an advisor on safeguarding, had “arrogantly refused” to attend court, while someone of lower rank was sent in his place.
The judge added: “About the only thing that he [the DoL witness] said which I believed was when he told the court that his superior seemed to be worried about the reputational damage to the diocese.”
A spokeswoman for the Diocese of London safeguarding team said: “Timothy Storey carried out a series of appalling crimes and we are profoundly sorry for what his victims endured.
“While, since 2010, we have made significant improvements to our safeguarding processes, and greatly increased the resources available, we are constantly striving to make our Church safe for everyone.
“Nevertheless, we fully acknowledge the comments that have been made by the judge and we are committed to ensuring that lessons are learned and acted upon.
“We will now be commissioning a thorough independent review of our own handling of the case and will be contacting Timothy Storey’s victims accordingly.”
Victims urged to come forward
Scotland Yard is appealing for any others, who have potentially been victims in Storey’s long record of sexual abuse, to come forward.
DC Paul Hill, of the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “The victims in this case were young teenagers when Storey assaulted them, having been groomed from a very young age. In his position as a youth leader he manipulated the victims and forced them to engage in sexual acts that they did not want to do.
“They have shown courage in coming forward after so many years to tell us what happened to them. This conviction goes to show that the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command will pursue sex offenders and bring them to justice.
“Storey thought he had got away with it, but the victims in this case were determined to see him brought to justice. With appropriate support from the police and our partners I urge any other victims of Timothy Storey to come forward and tell us what has happened to them.”
Anyone with further information is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101.