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Priest jailed for sexual abuse.


A Catholic priest has been jailed for nine years for sexually abusing three children and a student priest during a 20-year period.

Father Paul Moore, 82, committed the crimes in various locations in Ayrshire, Scotland, between 1977 and 1996.

Glasgow High Court heard how he abused one boy at a school, another at a leisure centre and a third on the beach at Irvine in the 1970s. He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting a student priest in 1995.

The judge, Lady Rae, who said the victims had shown considerable courage in coming forward, told Moore he was guilty of despicable crimes and a gross breach of trust.

The court heard that the priest groomed some of his victims by taking them swimming or out for meals before sexually abusing them.

The youngest was just five when the priest abused him in his primary school.

Moore’s bishop, Maurice Taylor, 91, who gave evidence, told the court Moore had admitted to him that he had "an attraction to young boys" and had "a desire to abuse minors.”

The bishop sent him to a treatment centre in Toronto and to Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands.

Moore, who was identified in court as Francis Moore but was known as Father Paul, was removed from the pastoral ministry after his admission but continued to live in a house bought by the church.      

The Bishop of Galloway, Bishop William Nolan, said: "All allegations of abuse are taken seriously and are reported to the police. It is hoped that publicity from a case like this will encourage survivors to come forward knowing that they will be heard and that justice can be achieved.

"I hope that the sentencing will bring some comfort to those who have suffered, although it can never undo the harm they have experienced or the long wait for justice they have had to endure.

"I sincerely renew the apologies previously made for the abuse suffered by anyone in the care of those ministering, or working, on behalf of the church.

"We aspire to the highest standards of care and protection, and are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe."

Procurator fiscal for sexual offences, Kenny Donnelly, said: "The actions of Francis Moore have had a devastating impact on the lives of his vulnerable victims.

"He was trusted and respected by the community he served while all along he was abusing his position of trust. Thanks to the bravery of his victims in coming forward to report what happened to them, he is now paying the consequences for his actions."