Former Holy Cross priest jailed for three years for sexual assault on boy

Lifestyle / Sat 28th Mar 2015 at 10:34am

A “voyeuristic” Catholic priest who sexually assaulted a teenage boy at a children’s home in west London has been jailed for three years.

Anthony McSweeney, 68, abused the 15-year-old while working at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow.
He assaulted the boy with his friend John Stingemore, the manager of the care home, who died before the trial.

He was parish priest at Holy Cross church in Tracyes Road, Harlow for four years in the nineties.

As part of his defence, he had said he was too fat to fit a teenager on him.

McSweeney, who has been described as morbidly obese, used the defence when he denied molesting boys between 1979 and 1981.

As well as indecent assault, he was also found guilty of three counts of making indecent images of children.
‘Voyeuristic interest’

The priest was investigated as part of a police probe into allegations of a paedophile ring at Grafton Close.

At his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Alistair McCreath said: “He has a voyeuristic interest in children, either in seeing them unclothed, or in seeing them sexually abused by others.”

McSweeney showed no reaction.

The judge said the priest had abused his position of trust and there was no doubt the children observed by the priest had suffered sexual harm of a psychological nature.

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