Trial of Thakeham priest halted

Derek Spencer had been standing trial at Lewes Crown Court
Derek Spencer had been standing trial at Lewes Crown Court

The trial of a Thakeham priest charged with sex offences has been halted and the jury discharged.

Derek Spencer, 50, of Downview Road, Worthing, had been vicar of Thakeham and Sullington at the time of his arrest in May 2017, according to police.

He was charged with two counts of inciting a girl to commit an act of gross indecency in Essex.

Spencer had been standing trial at Lewes Crown Court where he denied the charges.

Judge Christine Laing QC discharged the jury.

Spencer was released on bail while the prosecution decides if it wishes to apply for a retrial, the court heard.