A man will tonight appear on television to talk about his sexual abuse at the hands of a Bradford vicar.

In an interview to air tonight on the BBC's Inside Out (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire) programme, Matt Ineson also claims that Church leaders failed to act when he told them, more than 20 years later, that he had been raped by Trevor Devamanikkam in 1984.

Mr Ineson, who has waived his legal right to anonymity, has given a lengthy statement to South Yorkshire Police and says: “By lies, by cover up, the Church of England has gone out of its way to protect them [the bishops]."

His lawyer David Greenwood says: “There’s potential for those bishops to be investigated.”

The Church's national safeguarding team said it was investigating complaints.

Mr Ineson said the abuse began when, following a family breakdown at the age of 16, he was sent to stay with Mr Devamanikkam, who at the time was vicar at St Aidan's Church in Buttershaw.

Ineson explains: “There was a complete family breakdown and my Nan who was my carer turned to the church for help. He [Devamannikkam] came into my room and put his hand under my duvet and tried to do sexual things…..Over time he said that I had to do what he wanted otherwise I’d be out onto the street and the abuse [would] get worse.”

Ineson became a vicar at Holy Trinity Church in South Yorkshire and only reported the abuse decades later, in 2012, to the Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows.

Ineson explains: “I became a vicar in South Yorkshire and there was an allegation of sexual abuse in the parish. I wasn’t happy with the way the church dealt with that and because of that I disclosed my abuse to the Bishop of Doncaster and said this has happened to me. I’ve been here and I’m not prepared to allow it to happen in my parish if I can do anything about it.”

Ineson claims he also told Steven Croft, then Bishop of Sheffield and Martyn Snow the then Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham. He also wrote to John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, to complain about the abuse and the failure of his bishops to act.

He filed complaints of misconduct with the Church in 2015 against Bishop Croft and Bishop Snow, in addition to the Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows and Archbishop John Sentamu.

However, the complaints were dismissed by the Church because they were filed outside a time limit of one year.

Inside Out has also seen evidence which suggests that the church knew that Matt wasn’t the only victim of Mr Devamanikkam. In a church document Ineson is described as being "one of the survivors" of abuse.

Ineson explains: “I’ve never believed I was the only one. We put in a data protection request to the church, they are refusing to release a lot of material but one thing we did get was a memo from the safeguarding officer at Bishopthorpe Palace to the Archbishop of York. It clearly states on that memo that ‘Matthew is ONE of the victims of Trevor Devamanikkam.’ This is something the church has always denied.”

The Church of England said "We and the police have only ever dealt with one victim - the memo mistakenly contained a plural reference to 'survivors'".

Ineson’s lawyer David Greenwood said: “We will never know how deep this runs, we will never know what cover-ups have been successful until we get complete disclosure of all the files that have ever been recorded.”

As well as the criminal investigation, Matt Ineson is also pursuing a civil claim for compensation from the Church of England.

The Church of England said Mr Ineson's complaints were being investigated and once that had been completed it would be commissioning a review of the case. A spokesperson said: "The National Safeguarding Team has been involved with it [the case] since it was brought to their attention and are taking it very seriously but it is ongoing therefore we would not comment further at this stage."

It added: "All allegations of abuse are taken seriously by the Church and we are aware this is a very complex and difficult situation."

A spokesperson for the Bishop of Doncaster said: "Matthew's account of the abuse he suffered as a teenager is harrowing and we regret that the church did not offer him better protection and support at that time."

The Archbishop of York’s office said: “The Archbishop did not fail to act on any disclosure made. As the Diocesan Bishop has responsibility for matters such as these in his/her Diocese, this is a matter for the Diocesan Bishop to inform the Diocese Safeguarding Adviser.”

Mr Devamanikkam, who later lived in Oxfordshire, was subsequently charged with child sex offences but killed himself in June before his case came to court.

Matt Ineson resigned in 2013 after ten years as a vicar in South Yorkshire. He now sells ecclesiastical supplies in Batley.