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Appeal Court in India gives cleric leave to appeal abuse conviction

17 August 2018

iSTOCK

The High Court in Chennai

The High Court in Chennai

THE Appeal Court in India has given the Revd Jonathan Robinson leave to appeal against his conviction for abusing a boy in India.

Central to his defence is a deposition by the supposed victim, made to the court in May last year, in which he denies any offence by Mr Robinson, and states that his deposition, made against the priest in September 2011, was given only under duress: “because I was kept in the Asylum/Home for 45 days and was tortured and thought they would leave me if I deposed so”.

Mr Robinson says that this statement was ignored by the judge in his judgment. He also says that most of the trial was conducted in Tamil, which he does not speak or understand.

Further evidence in his support is contained in an affidavit made by the mother of the supposed victim to secure her son’s release from custody in 2011. In it she states that her son had informed her that he had “never been abused, sexually or otherwise, by Mr Robinson”.

The affidavit repeats the view that her son supported the allegations only out of fear that he would be detained indefinitely if he did not do so.

Mr Robinson is currently in the UK, having told the authorities in India before he left of his intention to return to the UK. This was the only condition to which he was bound.

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