Belfast Telegraph

Catholic priest abused boy (7) at Co Down seaside

By John Cassidy

A disgraced former Catholic priest has received an 18-month suspended prison sentence for what a judge described as "a significant and grievous breach of trust'' for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy in his care.

Daniel Curran (64), of Bryansford Avenue, Newcastle, appeared at Downpatrick Crown Court for sentencing after he admitted one count of gross indecency and a single charge of indecent assault on the child.

The offences took place between August 1990 and August 1993 at a family cottage in Tyrella, Co Down, when the victim was aged between seven and 10. Curran took altar boys, including the victim, to the cottage.

Passing sentence, Judge Piers Grant told Curran that he had pleaded guilty to "serious offences'' by "deliberately targeting groups of individuals'' to ply them with alcohol so he could abuse them in the cottage.

Judge Grant said that it was the fifth time Curran had been convicted and sentenced for his "serious and significant offending'' towards children.

The judge also praised the courage of the complainant in coming forward to police.

Stating that Curran had received prison sentences totalling 13 years and eight months for previous sexual assaults, Judge Grant said: "I take the view that the appropriate sentence for each of these offences is 18 months in custody but, given the totality principle, I will suspend those sentences for three years.''

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