|Pervert Priest Was Blackley Scoutmaster
By Dan Thompson
October 9, 2008
COMMUNITY members are in shock after a former scout master was jailed for sexually abusing a string of boys 20 years ago.
Father William Green - an ex-master of the St Clare's pack in Blackley - systematically molested 'vulnerable and impressionable' youngsters at a top Catholic school in Manchester.
The 67-year-old priest admitted to sexually assaulting pupils aged 11 to 15 at St Bede's Boys' School, Alexandra Park, while he worked as a religious education teacher.
He also assaulted an eight-year-old boy at St Margaret Mary's Junior School, New Moston, where he worked as a physical education teacher.
He pleaded guilty to 27 counts of sexual assault at Manchester Crown Court and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but will only serve six behind bars.
Green, of Cale Lane, Aspull, Wigan, was a scout master at St Clare's from the late 1970s to mid 1980s and lived in Blackley during that period. The pack used halls at St Clare's school and church, on Victoria Avenue.
Father Green was not charged with any offences relating to his time as a Blackley scoutmaster and he had no official affiliation with St Clare's.
A local community source, who knew Green from his time there but asked to remain anonymous, said: "I am absolutely devastated by the news, as is everyone I know who knew Bill Green. I know in my heart of hearts that the court's findings in this matter will reverberate strongly in countless households diocese-wide for many years to come.
"With regard to the serial offences against children for which Bill Green was sent down, I can say quite categorically that I have never previously heard so much as a whisper relating to any such wrong doing.
"Even more certainly, I never witnessed anything myself.
"Even at this late stage, I keep hoping that someone will come along and tell me it is all a big mistake."
The court heard how Green groomed boarding pupils at St Bede's by appearing friendly, approachable and relaxed in contrast to the relative strictness of other members of staff at the school.
Pupils often spent time in his living quarters where they were treated to food, sweets, tea, television, and in some cases, cigarettes and alcohol.
Passing sentence, Judge Clement Goldstone said: "You systematically and sexually abused these boys, who were vulnerable and impressionable, and they were groomed by you for the purposes of your own sexual gratification.
"You left in your wake devastation and ruination in as far as the lives of your victims were concerned the effects were to last many years, and in some cases remain."
In 1991, Green left St Bede's and took up the priesthood at the Holy Family Roman Church in Wigan. Greater Manchester Police stressed there is no evidence of any abuse while he was in this post.
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