Retired priest in Chichester court appearance

A retired priest appeared in Chichester Magistrates’ Court on September 5, after being charged with 29 counts of sexual offences against three boys under the age of 16.

Reverend Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, is alleged to have committed 13 sexual assaults in Chichester on a boy then aged between 15 and 16, from 1982 to 1984, Sussex Police said.

There are a further 16 counts regarding two other boys aged between ten and 13 in West Sussex, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the Isle of Wight.

Mr Coles will appear in Chichester Crown Court on October 26, and remains on conditional bail until that date.

Conditions of bail are that he must live and sleep at his Eastbourne address, he must not contact any of the complainants or witnesses, and he must not be unsupervised with any person under the age of 16. No plea was entered.