Uni Monk Guilty of Sex Abuse
Attack on 'Vulnerable' Victim

By Gordon Lyon
January 17, 2006

A UNIVERSITY chaplain was yesterday found guilty of a string of sex attacks on a woman.

A court had been told Carmelite friar Mark Paterson struck at his chaplaincy as his "vulnerable" victim helped with domestic tasks.

The woman had also been indecently assaulted by a priest in his 70s who previously worked at Aberdeen University Chaplaincy.

The elderly priest admitted the attacks but the woman refused to bring charges.

However, she told Aberdeen Sheriff Court New Zealander Paterson, 47, a former sheep-shearer, groped her and exposed himself to her.

The court was told the incidents involving Paterson, who now lives in London, came to light following the allegations against the other priest.

David Moggach, defending Paterson, said the woman made up the allegations to get back at Paterson after the older priest was withdrawn from the chaplaincy.

During a filmed police interview played in court, Paterson told officers he may have brushed past her legs and chest.

He also admitted he had brushed her hair but he denied he had asked her if she could be his girlfriend.

Mr Moggach said: "She appears to be prone to huge exaggeration. She is not in my respectful submission as vulnerable and incapable as she may try to portray."

But Sheriff Kenneth Stewart said he had no doubt that the prosecution witnesses were reliable.

He deferred sentence on Paterson for six weeks and ordered his name to be put on the sex offenders' register.

A university spokeswoman said: "Paterson was an honorary chaplain to Catholic students for about two years and left during 2004."


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