September 2016

Catholic care home paedophile chaplain’s jail term appeal refused


A former chaplain of a Roman Catholic care home who sexually abused 11 boys has failed in his bid to appeal against his 15-year jail sentence.

Anthony McCallen was jailed in January for abusing the boys at the now defunct St William’s Children’s Home near Market Weighton between 1970 and 1991.

The Court of Appeal refused his application for leave to appeal against the sentence.

McCallen claimed his jail term was too harsh and had applied for it to be cut.

The ex-chaplain, formerly of Whernside Crescent in Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, was convicted in December of 11 charges including a serious sexual offence, but was acquitted of eight others after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

His co-defendant James Carragher, of Cearns Road, Merseyside, was jailed for nine years after he was found guilty of 21 indecent assaults and three serious sex offences. He was cleared of a further 30 charges.

January 2015

Pervert boss who ‘trapped’ children at remote Catholic kids home in East Yorkshire is jailed for THIRD time


James Carragher, 75, and Anthony McCallen, 65, were found guilty by a jury at Leeds Crown Court

A FORMER head of a Yorkshire children’s home run by a Catholic order who has already served 21 years in prison for sexually abusing boys has been jailed for a further nine years.

James Carragher was head from 1976 to 1990 of St William’s – an approved school for boys with behavioural problems in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, run by the Catholic De La Salle order.

Carragher, 75, was jailed for seven years in 1993 and a further 14 years in 2004 for offences he committed at St William’s.

On Monday, he was jailed for nine years at Leeds Crown Court by a judge who said he and co-defendant Anthony McCallen had the boys at the school “effectively trapped” and added: “It is difficult to imagine a worse case of breach of trust”.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told Carragher he had to take into account the sentence he would have passed if he had heard all the evidence from all three trials – in 1993, 2004 and 2015.

The judge said this would have led him to a sentence of 30 years in prison, from which he deducted the 21 years he had already served.

McCallen, 69, a former chaplain at St William’s, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a series of historical sex offences.

The jury heard how McCallen had also been convicted before – of abusing two boys in the 1990s when he was also found in possession of indecent photographs of boys, some of which he took through spyholes as they showered and used the toilet.

Judge Marson said: “Each of you has a long standing, deeply engrained sexual interest in teenage boys.

“It’s an interest, I have no doubt, that continues to persist.”

Carragher, of Cearns Road, Prenton, Merseyside, and McCallen, of Whernside Crescent, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, denied all the charges against them but were found guilty of a series of offences by a jury just before Christmas.

The judge said: “It’s perfectly clear that each of you targeted some of the most vulnerable boys. You groomed them, abused them for your own sexual gratification, then threatened them to ensure they did not complain. And you, Carragher, were physically violent.”

He said the 11 victims suffered “severe long-term, continuing psychological harm as a result of what you did”.

Judge Marson explained how boys had been placed at the school because of difficult circumstances in their lives and were among the most vulnerable in society.

He said Carragher and McCallen knew the boys would not complain at the time because they would not be believed.

“They were effectively trapped,” he said, “and there was no escape from you.”

Judge Marson said: “Each of you contributed significantly to their misery.”

The judge said McCallen told one victim he was was “paying for his sins” during the abuse.

And he said it was clear the pair had shown no remorse as they “lied persistently” in the witness box.

Carragher was found guilty of 21 counts of indecent assault and three serious sexual assaults in December.

McCallen was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault and another serious sexual assault, by the jury which deliberated for for more than a week.

The pair were found not guilty of offences against three further complainants. The jury did not reach verdicts over four more alleged victims and the judge ordered these charges to lie on file.

Solicitor David Greenwood, who represents 109 men who were sexually assaulted at St William’s, said a civil compensation case started in 2004 has still not reached a conclusion.

Mr Greenwood said: “Whilst I welcome the sentences imposed on Carragher and MacCallen we must remember that hundreds of men allege that they have suffered very serious sexual abuse at this children’s home.

“I have heard hundreds of descriptions of horrendous abuse at this remote school which was operated by two Catholic organisations. The men who suffered have led poor quality lives with the psychological torment that abuse leaves together with restricted work opportunities.

“The criminal prosecutions represent some justice for the survivors but the public should be aware that the boys, now men, who were at St William’s have had to endure not only the abuse itself, but not being believed by police and social workers who they told, incomplete police investigations and years of delays caused by legal delay tactics of the home’s Catholic operators.

“Legal technicalities are to this day being used to prevent them getting compensation and restoring some dignity to their lives.”

Mr Greenwood said: “I am hopeful that the convictions will mark a turning point in the case and that the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle organisations will now attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement with the claimants.”

December 2015

Former chaplain & an ex-principal of Roman Catholic care home found guilty of abusing boys

Anthony McCallen, 65, was chaplain at the now defunct St William’s Children’s Home in East Yorkshire, where James Carragher, 75, was head.

The pair denied a total of 87 sex offences against children at the home between the 1970s and the 1990s.

Leeds Crown Court heard Carragher, a convicted paedophile from Merseyside, took boys naked swimming late at night.

The jury heard they both preyed on boys aged between 10 and 16 years old.

In total, 18 men gave evidence describing how they were indecently “touched”.

One victim stormed out of court after telling the jury the pair had visited him as he slept and sexually assaulted him.

Another witness spoke of how boys were taken swimming “after lights-out” at the home and told not to “wear any swimming trunks”.

Following the verdict, Judge Jeffrey Marson QC praised members of the jury for the way they conducted themselves.

He said: “I’ve never ever in many years of doing this had a jury who had to consider so many charges, it is way beyond the norm, and they are some of the most difficult charges to deal with”.

Carragher, who was jailed for seven years in 1993 and 14 years in 2004 for sex offences, pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of indecent assault and 12 other serious sex offences.

McCallen, also of Merseyside, who was convicted of abusing two boys in the 1990s, denied 18 indecent assaults and seven other serious sexual offences.

After a 10-week trial and 11 days of deliberations, the jury found Carragher guilty of 21 indecent assault and three serious sex offences, but he was cleared of a further 30 charges.

McCallen was found guilty on a total of 11 charges including a serious sexual offence. He was acquitted of eight other charges.

But the jury was unable to reach verdicts on 13 charges and were discharged by the judge.

The pair are due to be sentenced on 4 January.

St William’s in Market Weighton, which closed in 1992, was owned by the Diocese of Middlesbrough and run by members of the De La Salle Brotherhood.

August 2006

RC church faces 140 abuse claims at one boys’ home

Police are investigating dozens of fresh claims of child abuse at St William’s Community Home, in Market Weighton in Yorkshire.

Two members of the De La Salle Order of Christian Brothers, which ran the home, have already been jailed for abusing a number of boys at the home. Five other members of the Catholic teaching brotherhood were also previously charged, but not convicted.

The former principal, Brother James Carragher, abused vulnerable boys — some as young as 12 — in the swimming pool, in the showers, in his personal chambers, and even in the care home’s chapel. Some of his victims had been plied with alcohol. Others were made to take drugs.

Details of the sickening abuse by Carragher and his colleague, Father Anthony McCallen, first emerged in the 1990s. Carragher was jailed for seven years for a catalogue of abuse and McCallen was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years, reduced to two on appeal, for indecent assault and taking indecent pictures of young boys in 1993. In 2001, nine separate accusations of abuse by teachers were made by former residents at the home.

Father Joseph O’Brien, who served as a priest in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, for 15 years, had previously been dismissed for abusing a number of boys at the St William’s children’s home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.