Irish Examiner [Cork, Ireland]
May 25, 2021
By Tom Wilkinson
Kilkenny-born Clohosey, whose last parish was in Crook, County Durham, and who now lives in Filey, North Yorkshire, was not “worldly-wise” about women, the court was told by Robin Patton, defending.
A Roman Catholic priest has been cleared of raping a woman in 1986 following a trial in the UK.
Retired John Anthony Clohosey, 72, who presided over churches across north-east England, denied one charge of rape, and said what happened between him and the woman was consensual.
During the six-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court, he said he wanted to have sex with the woman and that they kissed and cuddled but it went no further.
The complainant had told jurors she was raped by the priest on her bed after he repeatedly asked her for sex, which she refused.
His accuser, who cannot be identified, in recent years had asked the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle for help to pay a legal bill.
She grew angry when she was turned down, as the Catholic Church had paid out money to victims of sexual abuse, the court heard.
She said in an email to her priest – not the defendant – that she herself had been abused by a serving priest years before, the court heard.
And in 2019 she told police she was raped by Fr Clohosey and claimed that as he left her home, he said: “Goodnight, God bless.” But the jury cleared him after deliberating for around 90 minutes.
Kilkenny-born Clohosey was one of five brothers who went to an all boys school before going to a seminary and joining the priesthood.
Robin Patton, defending, said the priest, whose last parish was in Crook, County Durham, and who now lives in Filey, North Yorkshire, was not “worldly-wise” about women.
He reminded the jury that the defendant told them that priests do not claim to be perfect, adding: “This is what this case is about – weakness.” Fr Clohosey declined to make a statement after he was cleared.