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Retired Catholic priest sentenced to six years for sexually assaulting boys in Windsor

Retired Catholic priest sentenced to six years for sexually assaulting boys in Windsor

Philip Dewey

Retired Catholic priest sentenced to six years for sexually assaulting boys in Windsor
Michael Feben, 75, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault.

A retired Roman Catholic priest has been jailed for six years after sexually assaulting two boys in Windsor during the 1960s.

Michael Feben, former priest at St Edward's Roman Catholic Church, in Alma Road, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Thursday, December 4 after pleading guilty to six charges of indecent assault.

The offences took place when the victims were between 11 and 15 years old and Feben, now 75, was in his twenties.

Feben, of Medina Avenue, Newport, Isle of Wight, also pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a third boy, aged 10, when a priest at Annunciation Church in Charminster, Bournemouth, in the Seventies.

The allegations first came to light when one of Feben's victims contacted the police in 1993, and wrote to then Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, Reverend Crispian Hollis, but no action was taken.

Feben was arrested last year and denied the offences when interviewed but was charged in March.

Speaking at the sentencing, Judge Stephen John said: "Each of these men (the victims) has lived for the rest of their childhood and much of their adult lives with the knowledge of what you did to them.

"Everyone knows that such offences have long-lasting effects on the lives of those too young to understand or complain at the time when they were abused.

"The fact that you were a priest is a significantly aggravating factor.

"For a long time, complaints against priests were routinely dismissed or not investigated and many felt there was no point in complaining. Happily, those days are gone, as this prosecution demonstrates."

Feben received a total of six years' imprisonment for six counts of indecent assault.

A further two counts of indecent assault, which Feben denied, will be left on file.

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