A retired Worthing organist and teacher is starting a further prison sentence for non-recent sexual offences against young boys whose care was entrusted to him.
Neil Turner, 67, of Pevensey Gardens, West Worthing, appeared at Hove Crown Court on Wednesday (5 August), having admitted at a previous hearing before Worthing magistrates, ten counts of indecent assault in Worthing on seven boys aged between eight and 17, between 1984 and 2015. He was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment.
The prosecution, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, followed an investigation by public protection officers from Sussex Police.
Turner’s latest victims came forward following publicity for his sentencing in June 2017 to 30 months’ imprisonment for sexual assaults on three other young boys during the 1980s and 1990s.
In this new case, six of the seven victims were members of a church choir in Worthing, at which Turner was the organist and choirmaster. It was this ‘position of trust’ that allowed him unfettered access to the boys. The boys were left under his charge by the unsuspecting parents. Some boys were lured by the offer of free sweets, chocolate, pop, and the use of computer games. Two of the boys were lured by the offer of payment for cleaning his flat as well as the previously mentioned incentives.
The seventh boy met Turner when he was pupil at Shoreham College when Turner was a teacher there, but the offences took place at Turner’s flat.
Six of the boys were assaulted at Turner’s address (though one of them was also assaulted at his own home) and the other boy was twice assaulted at the church.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cullimore said: “This case is an example of the way in which we will always take such reports seriously, no matter how long ago the events took place, and will seek to investigate and wherever possible to achieve justice and some closure for victims.”
Anyone who wishes to report such offences can contact the police online at any time or by calling 101 and arranging to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.
Police emphasise that the offending took place between five and 35 years ago and that there are no current safeguarding issues for the church or the school in relation to this case.