Retired priest charged with 29 sex offences

Church of England priest has been charged with 29 sexual offences against three boys.

Robert Coles is alleged to have committed the acts from 1978 to 1984 in West Sussex, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the Isle of Wight. he 71- year-old, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, was arrested on March 6 following a nine-month investigation and released on conditional bail. Yesterday he was charged and released on bail. He is due to appear at Chichester Magistrates’ ourt on September 5. Mr Coles is accused of 13 sexual assaults on a boy, then aged between 15 and 16, in Chichester, West Sussex, from 1982 to 1984.

There are eight alleged offences on another boy, then aged between 10 and 13, in Broadbridge Heath, West Sussex; Devon; Cornwall; and the Isle of Wight between 1978 and 1981. And he is accused of eight further offences on a third boy, then aged between 10 and 13, in Broadbridge Heath; Somerset; and evon between 1978 and 1982. A 24-hour helpline manned by staff at the children’s charity NSP has been set up by the Diocese of Chichester on 0800 389 5344. If you have been subject to abuse then please contact us in the strictest of confidence Charles Derham crd@verisona.com 02392492472

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Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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