A Jehovah’s Witness who groomed a girl for sex has been thrown out of his church.
Richard Ogilvie was ‘put outside’ the Hartlepool South Congregation after a meeting of elders earlier this month.
The meeting was called to discuss Ogilvie’s conviction for sexual grooming of a child following a trial at Teesside Crown Court last November.
A Jehovah’s Witness spokesman said: “I can confirm Richard Ogilvie has been put outside the congregation.
“As witnesses, we are guided by the scriptures.
“Any abuse of a child is a biblical sin, as well as being a serious criminal offence.”
The victim’s father previously said his daughter and family were severely damaged by Ogilvie.
Commenting on his ejection, the father said: “I hope as a family we can move on from this and draw a line under it.
“What the Hartlepool South Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses do to their own has no effect on the ongoing repair my family is still trying to achieve.”
Ogilvie, 32, of Scott Grove, Hartlepool, was given a suspended prison sentence after a jury convicted him of sexual grooming by sending texts to the girl telling her he ‘loved her to bits’, wanted to snog her, and hoped they could ‘do it properly’ one day.
Ogilvie was acquitted of a separate charge of inciting the same child to commit sexual activity.
Christine Egerton, defending, told the court Ogilvie had lost his job due to the conviction, but was not ‘seeking to hide’ from what he had done.
In addition to the suspended sentence, Ogilvie is the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which severely restricts his contact with children.