Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Catholic priest fathered child with teenager.
A Roman Catholic priest, who had a relationship with a woman after he secretly fathered a child with her teenage daughter, has been jailed for two years.
Alan Devine, 75, of Stockport, who had become infatuated with the girl when she attended his convent school aged 15, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years after being convicted following a two-week trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
The girl later gave birth to his child, which was given up for adoption. The woman, who cannot be identified, initially kept quiet about the father’s identity.
After leaving the priesthood in the 1980s, Devine, who had been chaplain at the convent school ten years earlier, began a relationship with the woman’s mother.
The scandal emerged four decades later when the victim, now 58, went to the police in 2016. Her younger sister, who was four years younger, also claimed that Devine had molested her around the same time.
Devine was convicted of six indecent assault offences, five against the older daughter and one against the younger, between 1972 and 1976.
The court heard that the older girl had been a pupil at the former Stockport Convent School, where Devine was appointed chaplain in 1973 aged 30. He lived in a presbytery but was said to be “different” from the older, stricter priests.
He was known for shunning cassocks in favour of regular clothing and soon befriended the girl’s family. The victim claimed that she had had sex with Devine three times, including in his office. She became pregnant by him aged 19.
She said: “I was not ready to be a mother. I had no idea I was going to be a mother. He was a priest, he should not have been having sex with anyone.” She said she later had flashbacks and doctors diagnosed depression.
In a police statement, her younger sister recalled that Devine was always in the family home. She said that once, while aged 11 or 12, when she was showering at a swimming pool, he had “put his hand down my bikini bottoms”, telling her: ‘It’s fine because I’m part of the family.’ ”
She told the court that she had been unaware that her sister was pregnant or had a boyfriend before she gave birth. She said: “Mum didn’t believe her so there was a massive divide in the family.”
A family friend recalled the older girl babysitting for her when she said that she was in terrible pain. An emergency doctor was called and said that she was about to give birth.
Devine admitted fathering the child but claimed that the affair began after she turned 18. He said that he was infatuated with her.
Devine was cleared of two charges of rape and various other indecent assault allegations.
Det Insp Gina Brennand said Devine’s actions were a "complete abuse of his position.”
She added: "Devine's depravity knew no bounds, shown by the way he assaulted two young girls while working in a position of trust.
"Both victims have shown immense strength in reporting this to police and I hope knowing he will now spend the next two years behind bars, brings them some comfort."