An 82-year old Catholic priest, Father Paul Moore, has been jailed for nine years for sexually abusing three children and a student priest in crimes spanning more than 20 years.
He committed the crimes in various locations in Ayrshire between 1977 and 1996. The court heard how he abused one boy at a school, another at a leisure centre and a third on the beach at Irvine in the 1970s.
He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting a student priest. The judge, Lady Rae told Moore he was guilty of despicable crimes and a gross breach of trust. She also said the victims had shown considerable courage in coming forward The youngest was just five when the priest abused him in his primary school.
The court heard that the priest groomed some of his victims by taking them swimming or out for meals before sexually abusing them. A BBC Scotland investigation revealed five years ago that Moore confessed his abuse to his bishop in 1996. Bishop Maurice Taylor, 91, gave evidence in the trial and told the court Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and had “a desire to abuse minors”.
The bishop sent him to a treatment centre in Toronto and to Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands. Moore was removed from the pastoral ministry after his admission but continued to live in a house purchased by the church. The priest, who was identified in court as Francis Moore but was known as Father Paul, was found guilty after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.