January 24, 2014
Pensioner denies string of child sex accusationsA MEMBER of an ancient religious order denied a tring of child sex offences when he appeared in court on Tuesday.
Vernon Quaintance, 70, of Hetley Gardens, Upper Norwood, was a sacristan - responsible for the upkeep of a church building - in the Hospital of John & St Elizabeth in St John's Wood, north London, where the ancient Catholic religious Order of Malta conduct its Masses. The retired telephone engineer is also the founder of the controversial Gilgal Society, which is dedicated to promoting male circumcision.
He denied 10 charges relating to young boys between 1966 and 2011 when he appeared at Southwark Crown Court. Quaintance is accused of foul charge of indecency with children under 16 between 1966 and 1974.
He also faces one charge of sexually assaulting a young boy in 1974 and a further charge of indecent assault on another young boy in 1966.
The four remaining charges relate to indecent images of children ranging from level one to level five in severity discovered at his home in 2011.
Quaintance spoke only to confirm his name and plead not guilty to each charge.
Emeritus Professor Brian Morris's pro-circumcision website still has a list of of "Possible Circumcisers in Australia and New Zealand" carrying the Gilgal Society logo, even though Morris's own "Circumcision Foundation of Australia" publishes a nearly identical but updated list.