Posted: Fri 17th Jul 2020

Former church pastor and BBC presenter from Flintshire admits to 40 sexual offences following ‘serious abuse’ of young children

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 17th, 2020

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A former church pastor from Flintshire has today admitted to 40 sex offences which police said involved serious abuse towards young children.

Ben Thomas, a pastor at the Criccieth Family Church, was charged with a range of sexual offences following an investigation by North Wales Police.

Thomas, who previously worked as a presenter for the BBC, appeared at Mold Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to all of the charges.

DC Lynne Willsher from North Wales Police said: “Ben Thomas’ offending involved the serious sexual abuse of vulnerable young children by a religious leader.

“It is an awful breach of the trust placed in him by the victims and their families, and I cannot begin to imagine what impact the revelation of his offending has had on them.

‘Today in court, Ben Thomas has admitted perpetrating 40 sexual offences. As a result of this, his victims have been spared the harrowing ordeal of a lengthy trial.

“North Wales Police are very grateful for the strength and courage shown by all victims and their families; this has greatly assisted our investigation to ensure justice has been done today.

“I am also grateful to the Evangelical Church and their safeguarding team for their assistance during the investigation.

“If there is a message to come from this, it is that anyone who faces abuse should understand that your safety and wellbeing remains North Wales Police’s priority and you can contact us on 101,  or online via our live webchat

In a statement, the Criccieth Family Church said: “Today our former pastor Ben Thomas was convicted of serious sexual offences committed over many years.

“His arrest last September came as a complete shock to the church, the community in Criccieth and beyond.

“Ben came highly recommended to this church and his safeguarding checks were satisfactorily completed during his time with us.

“We are now devastated by the revelation of such sin and grieve over the pain caused to the innocent victims, the betrayal and deception.”

The church said Thomas’s resignation was offered and accepted immediately after his arrest.

Representatives said they had endeavoured to be “open and transparent” whilst respecting the police investigation whilst it was ongoing.

They added: “The church has been thankful for the concern and understanding we have been shown by our neighbours in Criccieth, who themselves are struggling with their own understandable sense of grief, confusion or even anger at the crimes and deception.

“Foremost in our prayers now are the victims and their families. We are also seeking to support the wider church family and partners as we all come to terms with this news.”

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