Father Martyn Neale death: Vicar investigated over allegations of two historic sex assaults on teenagers before setting himself on fire, police reveal

September 13, 2017
By

A vicar who died after setting himself on fire with petrol was being investigated over allegations of two historic sex assaults on teenagers, it has been revealed by police.

The body of Father Martyn Neale was found by his sister at his Fernhill Road vicarage in Blackwater on July 25.

An inquest into his death at Basingstoke Law Courts on Monday (September 11) heard Father Neale was subject to a Metropolitan Police investigation at the time of his death.

The force on Tuesday revealed the 60-year-old Church of England vicar was being investigated in relation to two sexual assaults during the mid to late 1990s.

According to the force, both victims were teenagers.

Read More

Father Martyn Neale death

Father Neale was arrested on July 17 and took his own life eight days later on July 25, North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley confirmed on Monday at his inquest.

The investigation was ongoing at the time of his death and Father Neale was never formally charged in connection with the allegations.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said an allegation of non-recent sexual assault was made to police in June 2017.

The force said the allegation related to an offence that occurred in south east London borough between 1995 and 1999.

“An investigation by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command was launched,” said the spokesman. “[These] enquiries identified a second victim from the [same] time period.”

Rev Martyn Neale was described as a quietly-spoken and caring man by friends

Father Martyn Neale died eight days after his initial arrest, the inquest heard
(Image: Aldershot News and Mail)

He continued: “On Monday July 17, a 60-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and taking indecent photographs. He was later released under investigation.

“Detectives have since been informed the man released under investigation has died. The [alleged] victims have been kept informed,” he added.

Father Neale held his position at Holy Trinity in Blackwater for more than 20 years, his inquest heard.

Coroner Mr Bradley told the court his body was found by his sister Janis Chandler eight days after his arrest.

A post-mortem examination found his body was covered in “near-total third degree burns”, and he could only be identified by dental records.

Father Martyn Neale was a much loved community figure in Hawley
(Image: Surrey Advertiser)

The inquest heard Ms Chandler had arranged the previous evening for Father Neale to pick her up so they could spend the day with their parents.

After attempting to contact him throughout the day, she went to find her brother at Hawley Vicarage at around 4pm.

Mr Bradley added: “Whether the allegations are true or false is not a matter for me, but they have been made and they clearly weighed on him.”

Following his death, local figures and members of the public paid tribute to Father Neale.

Keep up to date with the latest news from around the county via the free Get Surrey app.

You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android.

Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/hampshire-news/father-martyn-neale-death-vicar-13613778


Famous Words of Inspiration...

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *