A man who sexually abused a teenage boy while he was a Catholic priest has avoided jail time.

Police said that Reginald Dunkling, Reginald Dunkling, a priest of the Diocese of Westminster, met his 17-year-old victim while working at a church in the 1990s.

In April 2020, the victim reported that he had been abused by Dunkling, now aged 61, in Camden.

Dunkling, of no fixed address, was first arrested in June that year, before being released on bail while further enquiries were carried out.

He was eventually charged with indecent assault in September 2021.

The 61-year-old was found guilty on July 6 and was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court today (December 1).

He was handed a 12-month community order, with a three-month curfew and 25 hours of rehabilitation activity.

Detective Constable Lucy Dugdale, the investigating officer, said: “Today’s sentencing shows that we will always take this type of offending seriously, irrespective of how many years have passed.

“I would like to praise the victim for finding the courage to contact police; after 30 years, his voice has been heard.

“Dunkling used his status within the community to target a teenager who he then assaulted. He abused his position of trust which is wholly unacceptable.

“I would encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to speak with police, or any of the charities or organisations that are available, so that they can get the support they need.”

A statement published on the Diocese of Westminster website today said: "Fr Reginald Dunkling withdrew from ministry in May 2020, and since that time has had no role in public ministry. Following his conviction, he does not and will not have any role in public ministry.

"The Diocese of Westminster has been cooperating with the police throughout their investigations. 

"The Diocese of Westminster is deeply sorry for the hurt that he caused to his victim, the victim’s family and the wider community, and acknowledges the gravity of the abuse he inflicted."

The Diocese said it is committed to safeguarding all children and vulnerable adults in its care. Anyone with concerns of a safeguarding nature should contact the statutory authorities or the Diocesan Safeguarding Service at https://rcdow.org.uk/safeguarding/.