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Father Tells Jury He Believed His Son Was 'In Good Hands'

The Sentinel
January 31, 2012

http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Father-tells-jury-believed-son-good-hands/story-15087682-detail/story.html

THE father of a man who claimed he was abused by a priest as a boy has told a court he saw no reason to worry about his son's well-being.

Alexander Bede Walsh, who served as a Catholic priest in Cheadle for 14 years, is currently on trial accused of abusing eight boys over a 20-year period.

One alleged victim, giving evidence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, claimed Walsh befriended him and indecently assaulted him in a number of ways on several occasions.

He told the jury that Walsh, of Church Lane, Abbots Bromley, near Rugeley, plied him with alcohol.

Yesterday, the man's father told the court that he "absolutely trusted" Walsh and was "quite pleased" about his son's friendship with the priest.

He said his son would often spend time with Walsh at weekends, sometimes stopping over at his house, and that he also went to stop with him at Cotton College, in the Staffordshire Moorlands, during the summer holidays one year.

He said: "He was in good hands as far as we were concerned."

The man was told about the alleged incidents by his son many years later.

The court heard he asked his son not to go to the police.

He said: "I have got a very religious family and I was thinking about the Cheadle community and the impact it would have, and has had, on the community."

The offences are said to have taken place between 1974 and 1994.

None of the victims can be named for legal reasons.

Walsh, aged 58, has been charged with 27 offences including indecency, and indecent assault. He denies them all.

The trial continues.




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