Paedophile priest, 96, jailed for abusing boys

St Helens Star

August 6, 2020

By Joanne Rowe

An elderly priest has been jailed for sexually abusing six boys more than 30 years ago.

All but one of 96-year-old former priest Father John Kevin Murphy’s victims came forward to police after seeing media reports about him being imprisoned in 2017 for molesting other boys.

The abuse of the victims, some of them altar boys, occurred at the homes of victims in Whiston, Ashton-in-Makerfield and Liverpool and at swimming baths in Liverpool and Leigh.

“The picture that emerges from the two cases is that for some 27 years the defendant was a predatory paedophile who used his position as a Catholic priest to groom and subsequently abuse at least ten children,” said Arthur Gibson, prosecuting, at Liverpool Crown Court.

The court heard how Murphy, of Hillside Crescent, Horwich, had been ordained as a priest in 1962 and served in a number of parishes in the Merseyside, Lancashire and Greater Manchester until he retired.

The six victims, who were aged between eight and 16 at the times of the offences, were molested while he took them on swimming lessons and also while visiting the homes of their devout Catholic parents.

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