May 2023

Paedophile Worthing vicar who kept rotting animals in his home to be sentenced

A vicar who was found with more than 22,000 indecent images of children and dead rotting animals in his home and then who tried to blame his own sons has been jailed for four years.

Reverend David Renshaw had been the vicar at Holy Trinity and Christ Church in Worthing since 2018.

A jury found him guilty of having more than 22,000 indecent images and videos of children and animals.

Renshaw, who attempted suicide after the guilty verdict, appeared by video for his sentencing at Hove Trial Centre.

Police found rotting dead animals, used needles and drug pipes when they raided his parish home.

The RSPCA seized severely malnourished dogs, cats and chickens after police raided Renshaw’s home in Worthing.

Police traced his online activity to a computer at his three bed semi.

Lewes Crown Court in Hove heard it would have taken months to download all the images and video found on the hard drive.

The Church of England vicar tried to claim he would not have had time to download all the images and video, telling police: “Sermons don’t write themselves.”

After his crimes were discovered, Renshaw tried to frame his own sons telling police they had access to his computers.

In statements read to the court, his sons said they were saddened and disappointed their own father named them as potential suspects.

The jury heard graphic descriptions of horrific child sex abuse videos police found on the drive.

Police also found dozens of porn DVDs when they searched his house.

A judge told the vicar that his refusal to accept responsibility for his actions showed he remains a danger to the public.

“You are still unable to accept your criminality and sexual interest in children,” Her Honour Judge Christine Henson KC told Renshaw.

A jury at Hove took less than 30 minutes to convict Renshaw of all eight counts of possessing indecent, extreme and illegal images of children and animals.

“Perhaps incarceration will help you realise you need treatment,” the judge told him.

As a serving vicar, Renshaw, who had more than 22,000 illegal images on his computers, was a high risk to children.

The age, vulnerability and clear pain and distress caused to the children in the images and videos were aggravating factors in his four year sentence, the judge told Renshaw.

The time and effort it would have taken to amass such a large collection showed his level of commitment.

“It showed you were involved in a network of sharing indecent images of children,” the judge said.

Renshaw, 63, a vicar since 1985, sat motionless in an interview suite as he was sentenced by video from HMP Lewes.

He will spend half of the four year sentence in custody before he is eligible for release on licence.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning Renshaw from unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 years will apply when he leaves prison. He will also be required to be on the Sex Offender Register indefinitely and pay £4,200 costs.

February 2023

Worthing vicar guilty of possessing 20,000 indecent images of children

A paedophile & animal abusing vicar found with more than 20,000 indecent images of children on his computer has been convicted in court.

David Renshaw was found guilty of eight offences following a trial which concluded at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday 7 February.

These consisted of three counts of possessing indecent images of children; three counts of making indecent images of children; possessing prohibited images of children; and possessing extreme pornographic images portraying acts of intercourse with animals, namely dogs and horses.

The 63-year-old, of Wallace Avenue, Worthing, came to the attention of authorities in June 2019 after an illegal image was identified on a file sharing website in New Zealand.

The account was attributed to Renshaw via his email address and IP address, so officials alerted the National Crime Agency, who in turn alerted Sussex Police.

Police seized a number of devices after obtaining and executing a search warrant at his address in August 2020. A total of 22,504 illegal images were discovered.

The RSPCA also seized a number of dogs, cats and chickens that were found in a severely malnourished state.

Renshaw, vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ Church in Worthing, was arrested and charged with the offences, all of which he denied.

The charges, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, followed an intelligence-led investigation by the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT).

The case was committed to Hove Crown Court for trial, where Renshaw was found guilty of all eight counts by jury.

He has been bailed until sentencing on 13 March.