Retired vicar given suspended sentence for indecent assault on teenager

03/06/2016

A retired vicar, who was found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage girl more than 20 years ago, has today been sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the victim.

Kevin McGarahan, aged 64, worked as a vicar in Telford in the 1990s and used to visit the victim's school and take part in religious education classes.

In 1995 the victim, who was 15-years-old at the time, met an American exchange student through the church and was invited by the defendant to his home to say goodbye to the student before he returned home.

When the teenager arrived at the defendant's home, she was informed that the student had to leave, and she was invited to stay for a hot drink.

It was at this point that McGarahan indecently assaulted the victim. The teenager managed to make her escape and informed the church authorities as to what had occurred, but no action was taken.

In 2014 a new safeguarding officer for the Diocese of Hereford came across the report that the victim had lodged with the church and informed the police.

The defendant was arrested and charged with indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years.

Jonathan Kelleher, Senior Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said:

"Kevin McGarahan abused his position of trust to prey on a young and vulnerable teenage for his own sexual gratification.

"He lured her to his home under a false pretence and when he had her on her own, indecently assaulted her.

"For over 20 years the victim has had to live through what he had done to her and for over 20 years McGarahan had thought he had got away with his crime.

"Today, justice has finally caught up with McGarahan and he will now have to deal with the consequences of his actions.

"I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the victim for supporting the prosecution process, the police for their professional investigation and helping us bring this offender to justice."