John Hibberd convicted of crimes dating back to the sixties
A former Anglican vicar has been found guilty of six counts of indecent assault including abusing an altar boy at a Church in Chiswick.
John Charles Hibberd, aged 77, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault, the oldest offence dating back to 1967. He has been jailed for a total of seven years and two months at Kingston Crown Court.
Hibberd worked for the Church of England in West London for many years. On 20 February 2013, one of his victims contacted the police to make aa allegation of sexual abuse by Hibberd dating back decades. When he was younger he had lived in Chiswick with his family and was taken to a local church; St James, Gunnersbury by his mother from the ages of seven to eight years and attended until he was 12. He became an altar boy and Hibberd targeted him for abuse. During the investigation, two other victims were identified and contacted by the police. St. James was incorporated into the Parish of Brentford in 1987.
Hibberd retired to the Isle of Wight over 15 years ago and worked in churches and voluntary organisations on the island.
Another male victim disclosed that he attended the choir at St Martin’s Church, in West Drayton in 1967 as a child and then went on to attend the school partnered with the church. He used to attend confirmation classes, and went around six or seven times where Hibberd sexually assaulted him. Another male victim came forward and disclosed that he attended the Church choir at the same Church and went on to attend the school partnered with the Church between 1969 and 1970 where Hibberd attempted to sexually assault him.
Hibberd was arrested for all the allegations made to police and interviewed in the Isle of Wight. He categorically denied all the offences put to him – and refused to admit any wrongdoing against the victims.
Detective Constable Nikki Honey, of the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Hibberd preyed on vulnerable young boys who didn’t really understand what was happening to them at the time.
“As in many cases of this nature, the victims did not complain, due to the fact that the assailant was a vicar. This coupled with the embarrassment, and the belief that they themselves would be in trouble. Hibberd retired from the Church and moved to the Isle of Wight where he lived for 15 years. He remained active in the Church and with voluntary organisations there.
“It is not inconceivable that he may have abused more boys and I would urge any other victims to contact the police via 101.”