Monday, December 19, 2016

Clergyman appears in court accused of filming young men in public toilets

A clergyman has appeared in court in England accused of filming young men in public toilets.

The Very Reverend Martin Thrower was charged with eight voyeurism offences dating back to 2014 and including six alleged incidents this year.

The 55-year-old did not enter any pleas during a brief hearing at Ipswich Magistrates' Court on Monday.

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Thrower, of Church Street, Hadleigh, Suffolk, is rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley.

He is alleged to have filmed a 17-year-old boy in an adjoining cubicle in public toilets at the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich, the court heard.

Thrower had been arrested in Ipswich in August 2016 and was formally charged following an investigation in November.

He was bailed to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on January 17 next year.

As part of his bail conditions he must have no unsupervised contact with people under the age of 18.

Thrower was suspended from all roles by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury following his arrest.

John Howard, spokesman for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: "Martin Thrower remains suspended from all Church roles at this time and it would be inappropriate to comment until the legal process is complete."

Thrower, dressed in a dark suit and blue tie, spoke only to confirm his details and that he understood what was said, and a group of people from the diocese observed proceedings from the public gallery.

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