Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

72-year-old Catholic priest jailed for sex attacks on children

A Catholic priest has been jailed for four years by a court in Newcastle for a string of sex attacks on children.

72-year-old Father John Benedict Corrigan had been extradited from Ireland to England to face charges for the attacks, the earliest of which occurred over 40 years ago.

Corrigan, known as Father Ben, had retired to Ireland in the early 1990s, and was brought back to England from Westport in Co Mayo to face trail for the attacks on the children at the church in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

The three altar boys and one girl were all members of the same parish where Corrigan worked as a curate between 1967 and 1975.

Corrigan admitted two counts of indecently assaulting a girl when she was 14 and 15 and also pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault on boys when they were aged between eight and 13.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that none of the victims had come forward at the time because they felt they would not be believed.

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