Former vicar admits child sex assaults

A former vicar jailed for possessing thousands of child porn images admitted today a string of child sex assault charges days before his release from prison.





Richard Hart, 60, of Beguildy, near Knighton, mid Wales, admitted nine counts of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl over a prolonged period from April 2000.



During a brief appearance at Merthyr Crown Court he also admitted one count of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency.



Hart, a father-of-five and former priest-in-charge of four south Powys parishes, was charged with the offences while in prison in March.



He pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault on a child and three of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency, all of which are to lie on file.



The court heard he was due to be released from prison on June 3 after serving part of a three-and-a-half-year jail term imposed in September 2008.



The disgraced former vicar had previously admitted possessing almost 57,000 indecent images of children on his home computer.



Cardiff Crown Court heard at the time that he had collected the images "like a magpie" over a 17-year-period.



He would then look at them with his wife Julia, 43, before they had sex together.



Ieuan Morris told the court then that "beneath the respectability there was a perverted craving for young girls."



Prosecuting today he accepted Hart's guilty pleas to the series of specimen charges.



Earlier the court had heard that Hart had undergone a "rolling course of treatment" in relation to his offending.



Judge John Curran ordered a pre-sentence report on Hart to monitor what progress he has made as a result of the treatment.



He adjourned the case to the same court until June 14 and remanded Hart in custody until that date.

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