CHURCH leaders are refuting the suggestion that the Bishop of Oxford failed to pass on allegations of rape against a vicar.

Priest Matt Ineson claimed Rt Rev Steven Croft was among those who failed to act when he told them, more than 20 years after an alleged incident in the 1980s, that he had been raped by former Bradford vicar Rev Trevor Devamanikkam.

The reverend was charged with child sex offences but killed himself in June last year before the case went to court.

Mr Ineson claimed he first disclosed his alleged abuse to Peter Burrows the Bishop of Doncaster, and Steven Croft, the then Bishop of Sheffield, now Bishop of Oxford, in 2012, and claims they failed to respond appropriately.

Rt Rev Croft has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Oxford said: “We understand that another formal complaint was made by Mr Ineson to the police some months ago. Bishop Steven has consistently made clear that written records and notes taken at the time give a different picture to the one Mr Ineson is presenting.”