Tolkien's Priest Son in Sex Abuse Investigation

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Byline: Samantha Lyster

The son of author J R R Tolkien is being investigated by West Midlands Police over allegations that he abused a child while serving as a priest in Birmingham more than 40 years ago.

Father John Tolkien was based at the Roman Catholic English Martyrs Church in Evelyn Road, Sparkhill, from 1950 to 1957 when the alleged abuse was said to have taken place.

He later moved to other parishes in the Midlands before retiring.

A police investigation is now under way after allegations were made against Tolkien (83).

It emerged yesterday that detectives interviewed the complainant this week and have also discussed the case with officials from the Birmingham Archdiocese.

The Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, said in a statement: 'I understand from West Midlands Police that a formal complaint of sexual assault has been made against a priest of the archdiocese.

'I have assured the police of our full co-operation in their inquiries.

'The priest in question has for many years been living in retirement and is now in sheltered accommodation due to ill health.'

The alleged victim, who is now aged in his 50s, claimed he first told the Church authorities and police about the alleged abuse in 1993.

Tolkien is the first child of his famous father and his wife Edith and was born John Francis Reuel on November 16 1917. …