October 3, 2014
Upper Norwood circumcision fetishist jailed for asking schoolboys to show him their private partsA CIRCUMCISION fetishist and Catholic clergyman from Upper Norwood who targeted young boys and asked them to expose themselves has been locked up for more than two years.
Vernon Quaintance, 71, lured schoolboys for a drive in the countryside before asking them to drop their trousers under the pretence of inspecting whether or not they were circumcised.
The paedophile confessed to a string of offences against five young boys as young as 10 in the 1960s and 1970s.
The pervert, who was a member of Catholic society the Order of Malta, had also accumulated an archive of vile images.
Thousands of images were unearthed from his computer, many showing bloody and ritualistic circumcisions in the Brazilian rainforest.
Quaintance was a leader of pro-circucision group the Gilgal Society, a group claiming to promote male circumcision and 'its benefits in terms of health, sexual satisfaction and self-image'.
But this was just a facade for the 'distribution of images of young boys' for erotic and paedophilic use, Southwark Crown Court heard today (Friday).
Gilgal is a Biblical site in Jericho and was also known in Hebrew as Gibeath-haaraloth - the Hill of the Foreskins.
He has served as a sacristan in the church in the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, north London, where the Order of Malta conduct their masses.
Jailing him for two years and four months Judge Anthony Leonard QC said Quaintance used his interest in the surgical procedure to look at young boys.
"In my judgement, while I accept that you have had a lifelong interest in circumcision, the reason that you took those young boys to a secluded spot and asked to see their private parts - while it may have been inspired by your own interest - was clearly for sexual gratification," he said.
"You are now 71 and in reasonable but not robust health.
"I can make some very limited allowance for your age but it does in particular assist you to the extend that I am able to judge that this offending did not continue in your later years."
The first boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was just ten years old in 1966 when Quaintance approached him while he was knocking on doors for his Cubs group on a 'Bob a Job' round.
Quaintance, who was in his 20s at the time, asked if he wanted to go for a drive in the Surrey countryside.
"It was during that drive that the defendant began to talk about circumcision," said prosecutor Jonathan Turner.
"This led to the defendant to describe what circumcision was and when they came to a secluded area in the countryside, the car was parked and the defendant asked the complainant to show him his penis to determine whether it was circumcised or not."
The "scared" boy refused and Quaintance drove him home.
Two boys, aged 10 and 11, were targeted at St Bartholomew's Church in Clapham, south London, where he worked as an alter server.
Quaintance took an 11-year-old altar boy on a drive in the countryside after gaining the trust of his parents.
He joked about circumcision and convinced him to expose himself.
He asked how far back he could pull his foreskin and if he wanted to see an example of a circumcised penis.
The child was left "horrified and sickened" by the "abuse of trust" for many years after the incident.
The deviant also pursued two brothers, aged just 12 and 10, while working as a BT engineer.
There was a photo studio and dark room at the premises in London which Quaintance lured two children to in the 1970s.
"The defendant claimed he was a member of a photography club, as a consequence he induced him [a complainant] to go," said Mr Turner.
"He took him to the dark room under the pretence of being taught photography.
"Once there he introduced the topic of circumcision and invite the complainant to take down his trousers.'
The boy, who had initially agreed, grew scared when he saw the look on Quaintance's face as he approached him and refused to expose himself.
His brother, also lured into speaking about circumcision with Quaintance alone, was so distressed by Quaintance's sick request he went to the toilet and cried.
Gudrun Young, defence counsel, said Quaintance's "life work" was the promotion of circumcision and pressed he had a 'genuine interest' in the procedure.
"He maintains that he wasn't acting out of sexual motivation at the time," she added.
Quaintance dodged jail in 2012 after he was found guilty of possessing nine hours of child pornography on video tapes.
The retired telephone engineer walked free with a suspended sentence, despite a judge pouring scorn on the claim he derived 'no sexual enjoyment' from the clips.
Faced with a series of new charges, he admitted nine offences just moments before his jury trial was due to begin earlier this year.
Quaintance, of Hetley Gardens, Upper Norwood pleaded guilty to five charges counts of indecency with a child between 1966 and 1976 and four counts of possession of indecent images.
He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for one count of indecency with a child.
He was jailed for a further 10 months for three remaining indecency charges to run concurrently with each other and consecutively to the 18 months sentence.
Quaintance was handed a one month sentence for possession of indecent photographs which were all graded at Level One to run concurrently to the other terms.
An additional count of sexual assault on a child was left to lie on file.
[The Gilgal Society website reopened soon after Quaintance's conviction, rebranded as the "Circumcision Helpdesk". It remains to be seen whether it too is "only a facade".]