A retired Church of England priest from East Sussex goes on trial today (April 9) after pleading not guilty to a string of sex attacks on 18 girls and boys dating back more than 50 years.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 74, is accused of committing 38 offences over an 11-year period between January 1962 and January 1973.

At Lewes Crown Court in October, he denied 36 counts of indecent assault and two counts of attempted rape which are alleged to have taken place in Crawley, West Sussex; Middle Wallop, Hampshire; and Barkingside, Essex.

Rideout, of Filching Close, Wannock, Polegate, was charged in June following a nine-month inquiry by Sussex Police detectives into allegations of child sex abuse in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Rideout, who is on conditional bail, will face trial at Lewes Crown Court for up to eight weeks.