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Child Molester In U.K. Behind Bars, Still A Jehovah's Witness

Smoking A Cigarette Will Get You Disfellowshipped But Not Being A Convicted Child Molester

Jehovah's Witness preacher and ministerial servant Dennis Atwell (58) was convicted of child abuse at Bristol Grown Court on 21st. March 1997. Father of six, Atwell, married to wife Betty for 37 years, was a respected member of the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Burnham-on-Sea, West Somerset. He admitted to 12 counts of indecent assault, indecency with a child, buggery and incest. The selected representative incidents cited took place between 1968 and 1982.

Ian Pringle, prosecuting, told the court: "This indictment represents a long history of sexual abuse against children." David Osbourne, defending, said "He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and made it clear he would confess to everything the victims alleged - this has spared them the ordeal of reliving a very traumatic experience." (Following interviews with the police and counselling by social workers the three Atwell children, Kathy, Annette and William - all now adults with children of their own - had made written statements which were presented to the court in the form of Affidavits.)

Awaiting trial, Atwell was secretly relocated by the Watchtower leadership to the nearby town of Weston-Super-Mare where he attended meetings at a Kingdom Hall and mingled freely with other unsuspecting sect members including children. He was also `assigned territory` where he could continue his 'full time ministry', termed 'pioneering', selling Watchtower literature door to door - usually alone. He was never 'disfellowshipped' or excommunicated.

The Atwell family members who have found the courage to speak out against their wicked father also feel that they have been emotionally abused by the Watchtower Society. They want to expose it for what it is. They all agree to the widest coverage of their plight and want the world to know their story. Watchtower officials think differently of course, and would like the whole thing to go away. They reason that the less people know the better.

Source: Western Daily Press (West England)