Church of England vicar James Ogley pictured outside court during an earlier court appearance
- Married father and reverend James Ogley admitted obscene material charges
- Church of England vicar had told a 13-year-old to rape her younger sister
- He was caught when police discovered online chats coming from his home
- They found laptop evidence of ‘sexually explicit’ conversations with children
- Ogley escaped with just a two-year prison sentence at Luton Crown Court
A Church of England vicar who told a 13-year-old girl to sexually abuse her nine-year-old sister during an online chat has been jailed for just two years.
Reverend James Ogley, a married father of two young children, told the teenager he wanted her and her sister to have sex with their own mother.
In another online exchange, he told the teenager to rape her younger sibling.
Police officers discovered the clergyman’s communications when they went to the vicarage in Luton, Bedfordshire, where he lived with his family and seized his laptop computer from his study.
Ogley had been a regular visitor to the chat room for youngsters, deriving sexual gratification from the chat logs, a court was told.
At Luton Crown Court, 38-year-old Ogley, the vicar of Saint Francis Church in Luton, pleaded guilty to seven charges of publishing obscene material in the form of chat logs.
Six offences relate to material posted online in June 2012 and one to a publication in November 2012.
Ogley, who had been suspended from his post since his arrest, was jailed for two years.
Passing sentence, Judge David Farrell QC told him: ‘What you did was totally incompatible with the beliefs and teachings of a vicar. You are there to uphold and further Christian beliefs.
‘You were and still are the vicar of St Francis Church here in Luton. You have let down all those who looked up to you as the holder of a respected office.’
The court was told he had lost everything following his fall from grace. His marriage had fallen apart, he had lost his home and now he would be dismissed from the church.
Prosecutor Daniel Siong said it was on January 10 last year that officers went to the home in Luton where, as vicar of St Francis Church since August 2011, Ogley lived with his young family.
The officers had gone to Ogley’s home because they had received ‘intelligence’ that someone at the address had been attempting to contact children via the chat room ‘Internet Relay Chat’ and asking them to ‘commit child sex offences.’
Questioned about their use of IRC, the vicar said he had not visited the chat forum for ‘some time.’ His wife said she had not used the chat room since her days at university.
Ogley admitted having obscene conversations with children under the age of 16 on an internet chat log
But after officers were provided with a password to his laptop, chat logs were discovered that showed he had been having ‘sexually explicit’ online conversations with youngsters who appeared to be under the age of 16.
Mr Siong said: ‘The material included graphic descriptions of sexual abuse of children. These included incestuous, sadistic, paedophiliac sexual acts on young and very young children – four years old in one instance.’
He added: ‘He was arrested on suspicion of facilitating child sex offences and taken to the police station.’
Judge David Farrell QC, hearing the case, was told how Ogley had talked online of performing sex acts with an eight year old boy, and told a young girl to remove her clothing.
BISHOP OF ST ALBANS: ‘I AM DEEPLY SADDENED ONE OF THE CLERGY HAS COMMITTED THESE OFFENCES’
Ogley has been vicar at St Francis Church in Luton (pictured) since August 2011
Speaking after an earlier hearing when Ogley pleaded guilty to the offences, The Bishop of St Albans, the Right Reverend Dr Alan Smith, said: ‘I am deeply saddened that one of the clergy, of whom I expect the highest standards of behaviour, has committed these offences.
‘My prayers are with all those affected by [his] actions and with the people of his parish.’
Ogley was appointed as the vicar of St Francis in August 2011. He was formerly vicar in the Diocese of Winchester, near Southampton.
In a statement, the Diocese said: ‘Upon conviction of a criminal offence, the Bishop of St Albans, the Right Reverend Dr Alan Smith, may, under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, impose a penalty on a clergyman without further legal process.
‘The Bishop will impose an appropriate penalty after sentencing.
‘He will take account of what he sees as the gravity of this case and the breach of the trust reposed in Ogley by the church and by the parishioners of St Francis Luton.’
The prosecutor went on ‘He then asked her to sexually abuse her sister who is asleep in another room.’
Mr Siong said Ogley understood the sister to be nine years old.
Ogley himself had pretended to be a youngster and on one occasion during a conversation claimed he was a 14-year-old boy from Ireland.
When interviewed by detectives, Ogley admitted he had been sexually aroused while having the online conversations, but he said he had never arranged to meet anyone.
He claimed he had been ‘role playing’ and Mr Siong said there was no evidence he had tried to meet the people he was chatting to.
The court was told that it hadn’t been possible for police to trace the people Ogley had spoken to in the chatroom.
Mr Siong added ‘The prosecution say this case involves a serious breach of trust by reason of his position as a Church of England reverend.
‘As a member of the clergy there is a higher degree of trust placed in him by members of the public, especially vulnerable members of the public, such as children.
‘His clear motivation was to obtain sexual gratification by discussing with vulnerable children paedophiliac sexual matters.’
The court was told the true identities of the people Ogley was talking to in the chat room would never be known, but he said: ‘The clear inference to be drawn from the chat logs is that the defendant must have believed he was communicating with children, as he now accepts.’
Andrew Morton, defending, said Ogley had been suspended from his post as vicar of St Francis in January 2013 – the day after his arrest – and ‘in all likelihood’ he would be dismissed.
He told the court that Ogley had got into the habit of surfing the internet in the evenings and going into chat rooms, some of which were devoted to ‘explicit topics.’
‘What we are dealing with is a man with a deeply unhealthy tendency to be aroused by children engaging in sexual activity.’ he said.
Passing sentence, Judge Farrell told Ogley had police been able to trace those people receiving his chat logs, then he could have faced the much more serious charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
‘You have let down all those who looked up to you as the holder of a respected office.’