The Irish Post [London, England]
June 21, 2023
By Gerard Donaghy
A FORMER Catholic priest who is currently in jail for indecently assaulting children has been handed a further custodial term of eight-and-a-half years.
David Leslie Crowley, 69, was jailed at Leeds Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to committing 15 sex offences against five young boys across Yorkshire, England.
Crowley is already serving a sentence of 18 years, extended by two years, after being sentenced in 2019 for 13 similar offences committed between 1979 and 1985.
He had also previously served time after being given an 11-year sentence in 1998 for 15 sex offences against young boys.
“Crowley flagrantly abused his position of authority and trust within the communities he served to commit vile offences against young boys, leaving many of them with lifelong trauma,” said Graham Guest of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
PLIED WITH GIFTS AND ALCOHOL
The offences Crowley was sentenced for this week occurred on dates between 1982 and 1984 and between 1991 and 1995.
During those times, Crowley served a priest at St William’s RC Church in Bradford, Our Lady of Lourdes in Huddersfield and St Mary’s and St Michael’s RC Church in Settle.
Crowley used his position of authority to groom the five boys, taking them on day trips, plying them with gifts, alcohol and food and bringing them to pubs.
Some of the victims came forward as a result of media coverage of Crowley’s previous offending.
The abuse one victim suffered caused him to experience flashbacks and to attempt suicide as an adult, while another was left with drug and alcohol dependence.
“Crowley’s appalling offences were committed decades ago — but the passage of time cannot ease the pain and anguish suffered by the victims,” said Detective Constable Suzanne Hall of North Yorkshire Police.
‘APPALLING BREACH OF TRUST’
Mr Guest from the CPS said Crowley had betrayed both his victims’ trust and his own vocation.
“The true extent of his offending when he was in holy orders is now becoming clear,” he said.
“It is difficult to imagine a more appalling breach of trust and complete betrayal of the values of his priestly vocation.
“Our thoughts remain with his victims, as they have been throughout.”