Retired priest Robert Coles jailed for sexually abusing boys

Retired priest Robert Coles admitted 11 charges of sexual offences against under-age boys retired Church of England priest from East Sussex has been jailed for eight years for sexual offences against three boys aged between 10 and 16. Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to 11 charges of abusing boys in West Sussex, Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight. Brighton Crown Court was told the Crown Prosecution Service had decided not to proceed with seven other charges. The judge ordered the seven other charges to lie on the court file. The court heard former parish priest Coles, who also worked in Horsham, pleaded guilty at a hearing on 14 December to five charges against one victim and three against each of the other two. Continue reading the main story “ The systems designed to protect the survivors clearly failed” Archbishop of anterbury He was jailed for five years for the offences against the first boy and for indecent assaults on his other victims, he received two terms of 18 months. ll sentences will run consecutively. 'Systems failed' The court heard Coles disclosed he had sexually abused one of the children to senior clergy, including the then Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, but the information was not passed on to police. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he was "appalled" by the case. "The systems designed to protect the survivors clearly failed, their vulnerability was taken advantage of, and their lives have been deeply and in some cases permanently affected, as have the lives of those who love them," he said in a statement. Robert Coles was arrested by Sussex Police, last March.

"I believe that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults should be the highest priority of all parts of the Church, and that any failings in this area must be immediately reported to the police. "I repeat what I have said before and, on behalf of the Church, apologise with deep grief for the betrayals and failings that occurred." "My priority as Archbishop of Canterbury is to prevent future failings of this kind happening again." 'Admire courage' Sussex Police said there was nothing to suggest any children were currently at risk. Det Insp Jez Prior said detectives admired the courage of Coles's victims in coming forward and being prepared to give evidence against him. "We continue to encourage people wishing to report offences to contact us, regardless of how long ago alleged offending took place," he said. "In carrying out this investigation we also received full co-operation from the Diocese of Chichester." Coles was also served with a sexual offences prevention order prohibiting him from unsupervised contact with boys under 16, and from seeking any employment or voluntary work with children under 16. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life, on his release from prison. Coles was arrested last March following a six-month investigation by Sussex Police. We understand that it is not unusual for those who were subject to abuse to come forward later in life. If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

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Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

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"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."
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"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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