Jail for Priest Who Abused Girls

BBC News

September 29, 2008

A Catholic priest whose abuse of girls was uncovered after his victims swapped memories on the Friends Reunited website has been jailed for a year.

Father Peter Carr rubbed stage-paint on to pupils' naked bodies before plays at a school in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, between 1969 and 1975.

Carr was brought to justice after two women got back in touch through the website and spoke out about the abuse.

The girls the priest abused were all aged 11 or 12 at the time.

Jailing him at Gloucester Crown Court, judge Martin Picton said the priest had done the Church "much damage" and had left his victims "degraded and humiliated".

The two women complained to police, who found that other girls had also been abused at the school.

Father Carr, whose duties included teaching drama, was convicted of eight counts of indecently assaulting six different girls at a retrial in December 2007 after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict.

Last week Carr, a member of the Salesian Order, admitted two counts of indecently assaulting a seventh girl who came forward later.

One of the first two victims, now 49, said Carr had become a "monster in her mind" during the decades she did not mention the abuse.

Prosecutor Ian Dixey told the court: "They were torn between desire to take part in productions which they enjoyed and the discomfort of having to be totally naked before a strange man."

Noel Lucas, defending, said: "The plays were a huge success for a number of reasons. The girls in them loved being in the plays and returned year on year."

Mr Lucas explained that the Church also planned to hold its own internal disciplinary inquiry.

"He's been publicly humiliated and shamed. It is no exaggeration to say his life is now in ruins," Mr Lucas added.

Carr, of Orbel Street, Battersea, south London, was also made the subject of an order which bars him from working or living with children.


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