Former member of Northamptonshire's Jesus Army member jailed for historic sex offences

The Jesus Centre based in Abington Square, Northampton.
The Jesus Centre based in Abington Square, Northampton.

A 57-year-old former member of Northamptonshire's Jesus Army has been jailed for historic sex offences dating back to the 1990s.

Former member of the Bugbrooke-based Christian organisation Alan Carter has been handed a three-year sentence for crimes dating back to the early 1990s.

Operation Lifeboat was launched in 2015.

Operation Lifeboat was launched in 2015.

The 57-year-old, who was living in Swansea at the time of his arrest, faced seven charges of indecent assault against a male and a further charge of buggery when he appeared at Northampton Crown Court last Wednesday.

Carter was a member of the Jesus Army at the time of the offences.

The conviction was part of Operation Lifeboat, launched in 2015 to look into historic sex offences at the organisation, founded in the late-1960s by firebrand preacher Noel Stanton.

Detective Chief Inspector Ally White from Northamptonshire Police, said: “I welcome Carter’s conviction and I hope it demonstrates that Northamptonshire Police takes all allegations of abuse seriously, whether recent or historic and that there can be a successful prosecution brought against non-recent offences of this nature.

“The people who have come forward to report historic abuse to us have shown tremendous courage in doing so and we would not have been able to secure convictions like this one if it wasn’t for the information they provided us with - information that has often involved bringing up painful memories.

“The emotional and psychological damage abuse can do to a person can be extensive and often has an impact on them for the whole of their lives.

"I want to remind people that our door is always open – Northamptonshire Police will always investigate allegations of abuse and I encourage people to take the step and report it to us. We can also refer victims of abuse to Voice – a confidential support service.

“If you would like to make a report to us, please call us on 101 or alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Carter's conviction was the third as part of Operation Lifeboat.

Last year, Nigel Perkins, 56, from Cornwall, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.

He also received a three-year sentence and was made to sign the sex offender register for life.