Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 16:09 UK

Vicar's victim speaks of betrayal

The Reverend Richard Hart
Hart was found with 56,000 child porn images

One of Richard Hart's victims has told how he photographed her as a child with her friends swimming naked in a river.

Now a woman, Sarah, which is not her real name, said she and her friends were all members of Hart's Christian Sunday school group in Powys.

Some parents were concerned about the incident at the time, but it was passed off as something innocent because he was a vicar, she explained.

Hart admitted four charges of taking indecent images of children, along with a string of other offences relating to making and possessing illegal pictures.

Sarah said she was aged about eight when Hart took the photographs of the girls in a river, and lined up underneath a bridge.

Sarah
I quite significantly remember him taking photographs as well and it's something that's kind of played on my mind since
Sarah

"We used to have what we called Sunday-Monday school club. He (Hart) used to pick us up from the school gates on a Monday after school," said Sarah.

"We went for walks in the countryside, and things like that, more than doing any sort of religious activities.

"It was a few very hot summer days and we went swimming in the river and didn't have any swimming costumes or anything like that.

"I quite significantly remember him taking photographs as well and it's something that's kind of played on my mind since.

"In a way it could have been very innocent, but then there were some photographs taken underneath a bridge, which, you know, the fact he was hiding us away...it was quite secretive and quite suspicious really."

She added: "I think a couple of parents did feel slightly uneasy about it, but because it could have been such an innocent thing nothing really more was made of it.

"The fact he was a vicar and was trusted and respected, it was sort of brushed under the carpet a little bit."

After Hart was arrested police discovered the pictures at his home, along with thousands of other indecent images.

Sarah said she felt "shocked".

Sarah explained Hart was once liked and respected in her community, but as details emerged about his crimes she said residents felt "shocked", "revolted" and "betrayed" by his actions.


SEE ALSO
Vicar is jailed over child porn
25 Sep 08 |  Mid Wales
Vicar admits child porn charges
03 Sep 08 |  Mid Wales
Vicar's wife caution over images
06 Jun 08 |  Mid Wales
Vicar in court over child images
29 May 08 |  Mid Wales
Vicar charged over child images
09 May 08 |  Mid Wales
Vicar arrest over indecent images
14 Jan 08 |  Mid Wales

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