Mark Sewell (left) has had an appeal against his sentence refused while Barry Furlong (right) stands accused of also being a sexual predator
Mark Sewell (left) has had an appeal against his sentence refused while Barry Furlong (right) stands accused of also being a sexual predator

Earlier this year Mark Sewell, a Jehovah’s Witness from South Wales, was convicted for eight historic sex offenses, including rape, which took place between 1987 and 1995.

This Wednesday, December 10th, Sewell appeared at Cardiff Crown Court to appeal his original sentence, only for three Court of Appeal judges to reject his appeal.

Their decision was welcomed by Karen Morgan, one of Sewell’s victims who he plied with alcohol and took advantage of sexually while still a young girl.

“I’m very relieved. I’m hoping he’ll just accept it now,” she told the Barry & District News.

“You do wonder whether another set of judges will see things the same way, so you have to prepare yourself but I have no doubt – he won’t be able to pull the wool over people’s eyes any more.”

Karen has waived her anonymity to go public with her story, appearing on BBC news and on the ITV documentary “Wales This Week: Witness to the Truth.”

Karen also recently gave a very candid interview on JWpodcast in which she recounted her experience and the impact her ordeal has had in her family life. She confirmed that Sewell has yet to be disfellowshipped for his abuse of her and others despite his criminal conviction.

The news that Sewell’s appeal was rejected has coincided with yet another UK child molestation case coming to light, this time further south in Bournemouth. Barry Furlong is accused of raping and sexually abusing children over a 17-year period while he was a ministerial servant.

A jury of six men and six women at Bournemouth Crown Court are currently deliberating over four charges of rape, four of indecent assault and six of indecency with a child – all alleged to have been committed between December 1979 and November 1996.

One of the alleged victims claims she was only 10 years old when she was sexually abused.

Furlong’s position of trust in the congregation as a ministerial servant has already been pointed to as a key factor in his ability to keep his victims silent.

“When a person gets to that level, the abused children found it impossible at the time to disclose what had happened to them,” prosecutor Mark Worsley told the court. “Why would anyone believe what they had to say against the word of a trusted man like Barry Furlong?”

Many Jehovah’s Witnesses are unaware that, as recently as October 2012, elders around the world were instructed in a special letter that child molestation was not necessarily grounds for a man to be overlooked for special privileges in a congregation.

“It cannot be said in every case that one who has sexually abused a child could never qualify for privileges of service in the congregation,” the letter insisted.

 

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Further reading…

41 thoughts on “Mark Sewell has appeal rejected as yet another UK JW sex abuse case begins

  • December 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm
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    This Mark Sewell Case shows how FLAWED the ELDER ARRANGEMENT is !! In early bible times cases were tried before the City Gates .It was a public trial not some secret clandestine MASONIC trial.So where in the GREEK scripture is there a Trial by THREE ELDERS!!!Next when a wrongdoer was found guilty the crime was announced & Specific for example Paul named the crime that is fornication in 1 Cor.5v1 a man with his stepmother i believe.When a person is Reproved or Disfellowshipped it is kept quiet his sin so again NOT FOLLOWING the BIBLE. If it was Paedophilia it should be announced to all the congregation & parents could be alerted & any future Crimes could be avoided.SURELY the welfare of the VICTIMS should be put ahead of the Welfare of the perpetrators!!’

  • December 11, 2014 at 5:25 pm
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    disgusting slob, really what a hide to appeal, good they realise just how gross this crime is, something the Wt should sit up and take note of.

  • December 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm
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    This is just the tip of a enormous iceberg that is crumbling down. As more and more time goes by more and more case are and will be brought to “Light”. Perhaps this is the “New Light” they have been talking about all along?
    It just amazes me that one of the most professed God is with us religions has the most problems with sex abuse not to mention one of the single highest judgments on behalf of a single victim.
    Governing Body if any of you ever read these words I Pray you do the right thing and abolish your “two witness rule” and stop enabling these pedophiles to find a easy haven to carry out their sadistic practices in your organization!!
    Its about time you put your manmade pride aside and start protecting these young innocent Children.
    And your the ones calling us ” Mentally Diseased”

  • December 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm
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    Hear, Hear John! So well put!

  • December 11, 2014 at 7:25 pm
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    sounds like cultish activity to me…as usual -_-

  • December 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm
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    Watchtower is on its way down…….and all the gb have to do is humble themselves, and make things right.
    Its not in their nature…..they are hardheaded men , on the way to their ownmade distruction…good :)

  • December 12, 2014 at 12:31 am
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    The GOVERNING BODY tells all the Congregation publishers to Respect the older men in the congregation as they ARE A HIDING PLACE FROM THE WIND as mentioned in ISAiAH. We are told if there is only one witness to a crime & the perpetrator denies wrongdoing LEAVE IT WITH JEHOVAH!!! This has been the advice from F&D SlaVE for the last 100 years but I suspect the Legal Department are gradually telling the Governing Body to change this in the case of serious crime& report it to the police.BUT WHAT ABOUT The DAMAGE DONE to ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED ALL THESE YEARS!!!!! SUE THEM FOR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS !!The GOVERNING BODY always change their interpretation of Scripture when it hits them in the pocket!!!

  • December 12, 2014 at 5:52 am
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    Glad to hear the authorities that count are starting to see through the lies from the Watchtower organisation. Their rules regarding child abuse are clearly in place to protect themselves, and sadly make it easier for abusers to prey on these innocent people.How terrified they must be knowing how the ‘organisation’ fails them when they are at their most vulnerable. DISGUSTING! I do hope as more of their sickness is revealed, and more JWs see their donations being used to fund legal challenges and huge damages to survivors, they start to question the moral gutter the ‘Governing Body’ are operating from, and gradually, the Watchtower house of cards will collapse in on itself.
    …Just my view on things…

  • December 12, 2014 at 6:32 am
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    Folks,

    I am glad that Mr Sewell, or Mr sewer as he should be called, has lost his appeal. He sickens me.

    Karen, I have followed your story from the beginning, and I have nothing but deep sympathy and respect for you. You are a wonderful, brave, unselfish person and I wish you all the success in the world in whatever you choose to do.

    I will follow this case in Bournemouth with concern and hope that Mr Furlong will be punished to the full extent of the law. My sympathy and support goes out to his victims.

    It saddens me deeply that this cult cannot even do something as simple and basic as protecting and caring for children and young people.

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  • December 12, 2014 at 6:48 am
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    So this is the spiritual, predictor free paradise is it? The perniciousness of believing this leads to your denial, blindness and arrogance.

  • December 12, 2014 at 7:25 am
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    MOST HONEST CHARITIES will publish their accounts yearly so everyone who donates can see where their donations go.Now the Watchtower has sold over 16 properties in BROOKLYN in the last 10 years value over 800 MILLION DOLLARS since2004 & over 12 more to sell before their final move to Walkill,Warwick & Paterson.So as a donator to the watchtower over the last 30 years could see the ACCOUNTS and WHAT PROPORTION goes to paying off CHILD ABUSE CASES!!!

  • December 12, 2014 at 7:50 am
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    The last sentence of my previous comment meant to say ‘ COULD I SEE THE ACCOUNTS OF The WATCHTOWER for the Last 30 YEARS??? where is our MONEY GOING TO!!! MERCI BEAUCOUP! Can print them in French I will translate! As long as they print them in some language as long as it isn’t DOUBLE DUTCH

  • December 12, 2014 at 8:01 am
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    800m divide by 8m( per publisher) = plenty of money to compensate child abuse victims. Pity they don’t have the morals to do so.

  • December 12, 2014 at 8:16 am
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    And although the Watchtower claims it should not be held responsible and/or to compensate victims for abuse the facts show that in many cases they failed in their duty of care by trying to use confidentiality laws (clergy privilege) for their own protection thereby putting minors at risk. The morally wrong thing to do.
    Then of course the wrong application of the two witness rule and also appealing against compensation awards and finally, their refusal to assist authorities with their investigations while all the time that child is made to suffer. Good luck with God.

  • December 12, 2014 at 8:34 am
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    Now, consider this man’s actions and attitude by his appealing his sentence. He is not remorseful. He is not aware that he has done wrong.
    He considers his actions, where children are concerned, as normal.
    That is the characteristic of a paedophile.
    No shame to hang his head.
    What the hell is still doing as a Jehovah’s witness?
    Shame to you Watchtower. and to his local / regional congregations!
    Disgraceful

  • December 12, 2014 at 8:52 am
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    Of course the Watchtower very rarely excommunicates anyone until the legal process is complete. They do not want to get their hands dirty. What a bunch of lily livered cowards.

  • December 12, 2014 at 10:42 am
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    Dear Jehovah,, In the Paradise you sentenced the first man and
    woman to death, merely for stealing some fruit, but do you not
    see, much, much, worse sins taking place in your “Spiritual
    Paradise today?.

    Case after case of young children being sexually violated by
    so called “Shepherds” and then branded as liars, and adversaries.
    Followed by attempted cover ups, encouraged even by your
    “Holy Anointed” in New York?

    When are you going to send your angels, with the flaming swords
    to drive these evil men out.? Your Kingdom has been here for a
    100 years now, So when are we going to see the promise of
    “No more pain”.?

    It’s true that pedophilia is rife among “Worldly” people, and we’ve
    alerted our children to the dangers. How sad that now we must warn
    them to be on guard even in your own org, the one place they should
    be safe. Evil men get in everywhere, but this problem is aided by the
    stupid policies of men who claim to be guided by you, Jehovah.

    Are you really there Jehovah,? or are you an invention, a figment of
    human imagination.?

  • December 12, 2014 at 10:48 am
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    If this man were innocent he, in my mind, would have appealed the case not the sentence.

  • December 12, 2014 at 10:37 pm
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    When it comes to Ceasars law the watchtower society is supposed to scripturally uphold Ceasars law unless it goes contrary to Gods law. Sexual abuse / pedophilia is beyond disgusting and those committing such crimes against innocent children should be punished in a court of law

  • December 13, 2014 at 1:49 am
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    Karen Morgan and her fellow abuse victims can walk through any community with their head’s held high. They have protected innocent children by their bravery and often against religious bigotry.
    Four separate Judge’s and a jury have proved this man has “not showed a shred of remorse”
    Picture this grotesque man pleading for clemency without recognizing/acknowledging the damage or crime he’s done.
    I applaud the Judges’ wise and appropriate decision.
    I am surprised they had the restraint not to throw the Bible at him in disgust.
    He remains in good standing in the Jehovah’s witness community does he?
    Disgraceful.

  • December 14, 2014 at 10:23 am
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    Notice the lames mentioned here, are grey haired old men.
    They have gone on for so damn long without being disfellowshipped, reproved, or even hand slapped.
    The organization is so guilty of keeping these lames under their wings……and may i add……not wings of angels.

  • December 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm
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    Has anyone called the watchtower society and asked to speak with a governing body member ? I’ve already tried & it’s impossible. The last time I remember Jesus was always available

  • December 17, 2014 at 7:23 am
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    What does this tell you about the WTBTS?

    I was disfellowshipped for smoking tobacco. No! We can’t have a terrible sinner like you, Excelsior! How disgusting you are!

    Mark Sewell is CONVICTED of rape and child abuse and he remains in “good standing” and is not disfellowshipped!

    What a disgraceful lack of compassion, morality and decency!

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  • December 17, 2014 at 8:23 am
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    @Excelsior . You make a Very Valid Point! HYPROCISY of the Highest Order from the Governing Body!!

  • December 17, 2014 at 8:26 am
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    That my friends is a big 10-4

  • December 17, 2014 at 8:32 am
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    DOES ANYONE Know if A JW has ever been Disfellowshipped for Gluttony??Deut. 21v20,21 & 1Cor.6v9,10 If the Governing Body did it would LOSE HALF Its Publishers & more Importantly HALF its DONATIONS!!

  • December 17, 2014 at 8:47 am
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    Look at the chins of the gb…….theres your answer..

  • December 17, 2014 at 8:51 am
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    May i add: the chin of mark sewer…

  • December 17, 2014 at 10:12 am
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    I wonder if A Governing Body member can Disfellowship themselves??? For aiding & abetting Child Abuse or Disfellowship themselves for being A Pharsisee(nitpicking over small things like Beards,Smoking one cigarette but not disfellowshipping a 25 Stone Greedy Pig)???

  • December 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm
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    Food for thought on the nwt….
    12 th book of the bible = 2kings
    12 th chapter
    12 th verse
    Masons.

    Thank you

  • December 21, 2014 at 11:04 am
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    @brandnew. Good one.

    How about the one at Hosea 12:14. In the King James it reads: “Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.”

    This is the way it reads in the New World Translation:

    Hosea 12:14 “Ephraim caused offense to bitterness, and his deeds of bloodshed he leaves upon his own self, and his reproach his grand Master will repay to him.”

    Notice how Master is capitalized? This is what the footnote says about that scripture in the NWT “His grand Master,” Heb.k ‘Adhonav’, pl. of ‘Adhohn’, to denote excellence or grandeur accompanied by the sing. verb “repay.” Compare Ge. 39:2 ftn.”

    If a person didn’t realize that Charles Taze Russell was a 33rd degree Free Mason, you could read that scripture and never give it a 2nd thought. Interesting….

  • December 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm
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    Wowsers…..anonymous….we are like so off the subject…
    I LOVE IT ! ! ! ! !

  • December 27, 2014 at 10:43 am
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    Ted –
    When I was a JW, I used to think Jehovah will not keep putting up with the hypocrisy, he must surely step in soon.
    Since leaving, I have come to realise that THE TRUE GOD has nothing to do with this organisation. Jesus told us that we would know his disciples by the love among themselves – so where does abuse come into it?
    No, unfortunately nothing will stop this organisation until the appointed time when all false religion is done away with. All we can do is encourage others to ‘Get out of her, if you do not want to share in her sins’, and ‘Quit touching the unclean thing’.

  • December 28, 2014 at 9:50 am
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    The same thing happened in a nearby congregation where I live. The person was convicted and spent time in jail and he was still not df’d but put on reproof. Now he is free to go door to door and molest other children. This is a sick and depraved cult who will throw victims under the bus while keeping pedos and others who do gross and criminal activity.

  • December 30, 2014 at 5:37 am
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    @Bad Penny, I completely agree, God is not in nor ever
    has been in this org. We were temporarily deluded,
    Happily we reclaimed our life back again. And as you say
    let’s try and help others do the same,

  • December 30, 2014 at 7:23 am
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    @Bad Penny, I completely agree, God is not nor ever has
    been in this org. we were temporarily deluded.
    Happily we reclaimed our life back again, and as you say
    lets try to help others to do the same.

  • December 30, 2014 at 10:54 am
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    Bad Penny,

    With the deepest of respect for your religious beliefs, there is plenty that we can do.

    I view God as a personification of Love. The loving thing for those with faith and those, like me, without it, is to use the political and legal frameworks in our countries to try to change the laws so that the activities of the WTBTS are made illegal. Then the Courts can prosecute the WTBTS and force them to change their destructive policies. This is in complete harmony with Romans 13.

    I would urge everyone to complain. To make trouble for the WTBTS in whatever way they choose. Complain to the authorities about their charitable status, complain to your representative in the Legislature about the cruel policies. There is always something we can do.

    I totally agree with your point about encouraging and educating people about the true nature of this cult. We need to starve the WTBTS of new meat!

    I have no idea when your God’s appointed time is. I do not feel that doing the things I have suggested in any way dishonours God or Jesus. Indeed, Christians are commanded to Love. It is through showing love to those we can see, that we demonstrate that we love God, who we cannot see. 1st John, chapter 4.

    I wish you a happy New Year. May your God bless your genuine desire to help those many victims of the WTBTS.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • December 30, 2014 at 11:04 am
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    Pickled brain,

    A most amusing but serious question! Has anyone been disfellowshipped for gluttony? I have never heard of a case. Theoretically, it should happen if someone deliberately makes themselves obese through gluttony, then they are dishonouring their body by making it sick. It is the same principle they tote out for us smokers!

    If they were dishing out disfellowshipings for gluttony, then the governing body would be very nervous indeed! Not only are many of them obese, but all of them are so greedy as to assume all power on Earth for “true Christians”! Wow! Gluttony and greed, indeed!

    Of course, we must never expect consistent or logical rules and enforcement in this pathetic cult. It is the case that, if you know the right people, you can do whatever you like and get away with it, possibly, for ever! However, if you have no support and no backup, you can be marked and/or disfellowshipped for the slightest infraction.

    Your question made me smile.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • December 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm
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    @ Excelsior. I am glad you enjoyed my comment about Greedy JWs not being disfellowshipped but just take one cigarette into a kingdom hall not even smoke it but WAVE it AROUND!!! boy the Elders would have you in the Backroom faster than Usain Bolt could do the 100 metres.By the way I enjoy your comments too . They show much insight into how much Crazy logic there is in what the Governing Body will come up with next!!

  • January 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm
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    Shepherds, but not the “Fine” kind.

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