July 2023

Man who abused teenage boys jailed

A “committed and relentless” investigation into reports of sexual abuse of boys more than 40 years ago has resulted in a cathedral verger and child welfare officer being jailed.

At Inner London Crown Court on Monday, 10 July, Clive McCleester, 77 (05.08.45) of St Cross Road, Winchester was sentenced to eight years in jail and a further eight years on licence after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency with a child, against two teenage boys.

The initial victim survivor, having sadly passed away after giving police his evidence, was unable to hear the guilty verdict but his family represented him at court in his absence.

The second victim survivor was also sexually abused and exploited by McCleester – a verger in his Cathedral.

At the time of one of the offences McCleester was employed as a child welfare officer at Tylney Hall School in Hampshire, between 1960 and 1971.

The first victim was aged between 13 to 15-years-old at the time of the offences. McCleester resided at the boarding school in his own private residence and was assigned as a welfare officer to look after the victim following the death of his Grandmother. The abuse took place between 1 January 1969 and April 1971.

The victim survivor disclosed his abuse to police after speaking with a counsellor. Sadly he will never know the final outcome of this investigation as he died in August 2020

A second victim survivor came forward to police and disclosed the abuse he had also suffered at the hands of McCleester. He was around 13-years-old when he was abused by McCleester at Southwark Cathedral between 1 January 1984 and May 1987. He was a chorister at the Cathedral where McCleester was the Head Verger. He was abused at McCleester’s flat which was within the vicarage.