Saturday, 7 May 2016

Six years


Yesterday at Croydon Crown Court Howard Curtis was jailed for six years.

He was found guilty of two counts of child cruelty and six counts of sexual assault. He will sign the sex offender register for life.

The Croydon Advertiser reports:
[Curtis] claimed he spanked one of the women on her bare backside during religious deliverance healing sessions to "heal" her of depression, and that he "didn't see any harm" in it.

Curtis spanked the other on her naked genitals, while she was completely undressed, to "cure her frigid spirit" and he led her to believe the sessions would improve her marriage and sex life.

Judge Gower said Curtis had spanked her on between 10 to 20 occasions, "hard enough, on one occasion, to bruise her", and during one of the sessions he even photographed her afterwards while she was naked on the floor of his office, before showing her the pictures and deleting them.
On one of the counts of child cruelty it reports:
The court heard how the boy's mother discovered the youngster's backside was "black and blue" when she went to change his nappy after Curtis had taken the child to "calm him down".

Judge Gower said Curtis "at no stage" had permission to smack the boy, while Curtis had told the girl's mother her daughter "needed to be disciplined" and he left her with red marks to her backside
.
Howard Curtis was the long-term head and pastor of Coulsdon Chess Fellowship and a leading figure in Surrey chess for many years. The religious cult which he had led for three decades, and as head of which he committed these assaults, remains active in chess and works in many schools.

More on this on Monday.

6 comments:

Jon H said...

Justin, there is one aspect of this which I think deserves even more scrutiny. It is a fact that Jessie Gilbert was a member of CCF when she tragically died in the Czech Republic. (Her father was later acquitted of rape charges). But in the light of the guilt of Curtis, I wondered whether further questions should be asked?

ejh said...

Conceivably, but it might have to be somebody else who asks them - I'm not sufficiently well-informed about it. But there are certainly many questions that need to be asked, directly, of CCF.

Anonymous said...

Despite sharing the same initials, Coulsdon Chess Fellowship and Coulsdon Christian Fellowship give the impression of being different and distinct bodies, there not being a requirement to join a religious cult to play chess.

RdC

ejh said...

Mmmm. I don't see any reason to view the chess body as in any way distinct from the religious body through which it is run.

Anonymous said...

Some chess clubs meet in church halls. That doesn't make them an affiliate of the church. Unless there's evidence to the contrary, I would have thought the CChessF deserves the benefit of the doubt that its relationship with CChristianF is one of landlord and tenant.

RdC

ejh said...

When a club meets in a church hall, Roger, its officials aren't usually officials of the church from which it rents.