March 2018

Paedophile priest locked up for abusing youngsters tried to rape 11-year-old in Ayrshire church

A PAEDOPHILE priest locked up for abusing young boys tried to rape an 11-year-old in church, his alleged victim claims.

The man, now aged 51, said he only escaped Father Francis Moore by punching him in the stomach.

But when he reported the attack to police, he claims officers forced him to apologise.

Moore, now 82, is behind bars after being convicted of preying on three boys and a trainee priest.

The alleged victim said: “He’s perverted, pathetic and a monster. I was going to be his victim but I got out.”

The man told how he was targeted in St Margaret’s Church in Irvine, Ayrshire.

His cousin was locked in an office with Moore and he banged on the door demanding for him to be let out.

He said: “I shouted ‘I want my cousin,’ and he said, ‘Get out’ and then came out.

“He pinned me against the wall with his belly pressing up against me, I was only 11 but I could tell what was next.

“I punched him in the gut and he fell backwards so I managed to get out of there.”

He claims Moore then set a gang of teens on him who beat him up.

He added: “I walked to the police station to try and expose him.

“They said, ‘What do you want us to do about it?’. I had to apologise and he phoned my school and I got the belt every morning for a month.”

March 2018

A disgraced former priest has been convicted of the appalling sexual abuse of three young boys and a trainee priest.

Eighty-two-year-old Father Francis Moore was told by judge Rita Rae that he had abused his position as a parish priest.

Moore, who was also known as Father Paul, was found guilty after trial at the High Courtin Glasgow. Some of the jurors were openly weeping as they delivered their verdicts.

Judge Lady Rae told the priest: “Mr Moore you have abused your position as a priest in the most horrible manner. You have been convicted of, particularly in relation to the young children, appalling abuse.

“The damage such conduct does to young people is immeasurable.”

First offender Moore will be sentenced next month. He showed no emotion as he was remanded in custody and led away to the cells.

The court heard that the allegations against Father Moore were first raised in 1996, but it was not until 2015 that a major police investigation was launched after a former top cop and Labour MSP raised the matter in the Scottish Parliament.

Ninety-one-year-old Bishop Maurice Taylor told the court that Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and had “a desire to abuse minors.”

As a result of this Moore was sent to a specialist clinic in Toronto for his problem. When he returned from Canada he was told he could no longer be a parish priest.

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

His youngest victim was just five when the priest abused him in his primary school The man, now aged 46, told how Moore kissed him and then sexually abused him.

He said the abuse took place for the first time when he was sent to Moore by his teachers after drawing a picture of Jesus Christ with nipples.

The man said he was crying and Moore embraced him and then sexually abused him.

He sobbed saying: “ Time sort of froze. He had his hands running up and down my back. He kept saying I was a nice boy. I just wanted to get it over. I just wanted to get home to my mum.”

The witness told the court he was abused by Father Moore on four or five occasions over a six-month period.

Another witness, aged 49, said he was abused by Father Moore , who was his parish priest, when he was 11.

He told the court the priest abused him on two occasions after they went swimming together.

The victim, who was an altar boy, added: “We would go to a secluded area up the top of the beach to change. He would take an interest in drying me.”

A third victim, who has been a priest for more than 20 years, told a jury at the High Court in Glasgow that on two separate occasions he woke to find Father Francis Moore, whom he knew as Father Paul, beside his bed.

The priest, said: “I was wakened by Father Moore in my room. I woke up with something touching my genitals. I was woken up and saw him in my room.

“He was standing at the side of the bed. He was quite drunk.”

Some weeks later he again awoke to find Moore on his knees at the side of his bed.

He said: “His hand was under the covers on my genital area. His head was close to my genital area.”

The priest told the court that he reported the incident to his bishop.

He also told the jurors he felt uncomfortable when in a communal changing room at Prestwick swimming pool in Ayrshire with Moore after they had been swimming.

The priest said: ‘Father Moore was looking at people getting changed. I felt very uncomfortable. He had a fixed smile like it was normal, but I found it embarrassing.

Earlier another man said that when he was aged between 11 and 13 he and a group of others went to the Magnum Leisure Centre in Irvine, Ayrshire, with Moore to swim.

In the changing room the man, who is now 52, said that as he stood getting dried in the communal changing room Moore said: “We’re all boys here,” and tried to grab the towel.

Moore told police who interviewed him him about two alleged incidents involving the boy: “I think it is shocking. These are things I’ve never done.

“It is absolutely untrue. I would take a lie detector test. It disgusts me that would happen to a child.”

Moore denied sexually abusing the three boys and a student priest between 1977 and 1996.

Moore was was interviewed by detectives on December 8, 2015, in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a five-year-old boy more than 40 years ago.

During the interview he was shown a photograph of a five-year-old boy and asked if he recognised him.

The retired priest replied: ‘Honest to God I don’t.”

He is facing a lengthy prison sentence when he appears in court next month.

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