Former Jehovah's Witness worshipper who was raped by an elder 30 years ago after they went door-to-door evangelising together LOSES claim for £62,000 compensation from the church

A mother has lost £62,000 damages for being raped by a preacher after a church won a legal battle in the Supreme Court.

The worshipper was attacked by Jehovah's Witness elder Mark Sewell, near Cardiff more than 30 years ago.

Devastated, the victim told leaders of the church about the horrific incident - but an internal inquiry found her allegations 'not proven.'

The Jehovah's Witness organisation has now won a Supreme Court appeal after a High Court judge ruled that a rape victim should get damages.

But Supreme Court justices on Wednesday ruled against her and concluded that the 'Jehovah's Witness organisation' was not 'vicariously liable'.

Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, part of the Jehovah's Witness organisation, had asked the Supreme Court to consider the case.

Five justices had considered arguments at a Supreme Court hearing in London in February.

They said, in a summary of their ruling, that they had to decide whether Court of Appeal judges 'wrongly' upheld the High Court ruling that the Trustees of the Barry Congregation, part of the Jehovah's Witness organisation, were 'vicariously liable' for a rape committed by one of their elders.

Justices said they had unanimously allowed the appeal by the trustees and concluded that the 'Jehovah's Witness organisation is not vicariously liable for the rape'.

They have not named the woman - she is referred to as 'Mrs B' in the ruling - and said she could not be identified in media reports of the case.

But they have named the man who raped her as Mark Sewell.

He had raped her at his home after they had been out 'evangelising together', justices said.

They said Sewell had been convicted of raping Mrs B - and of indecently assaulting two other people.

'In 2017, Mrs B brought a claim for damages against the worldwide governing body of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Watchtower and Bible Tract Society of Pennsylvania, and the Trustees of the (Barry) Congregation,' said justices in the summary of their ruling.

'She claimed that they were responsible in law, or, "vicariously liable", for the rape, because of the nature of their relationship with Mr Sewell and because of the connection between that relationship and the commission of the rape.'

A High Court judge had 'found them vicariously liable for the rape' and awarded Mrs B £62,000 'general damages', justices said.

Court of Appeal judges had upheld that decision.

Justices said they had unanimously allowed an appeal by the Barry trustees and concluded that the 'Jehovah's Witness organisation is not vicariously liable for the rape'

The victim, who is no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, said she suffered from depression following the attack near Cardiff.

She previously said there had not been a 'proper' internal inquiry and leaders were 'vicariously liable' for the rape.

Sewell was jailed for 14 years at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court after being found guilty of rape and indecently assaulting three other women.

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