Belfast Telegraph

Former monk is acquitted over child abuse charges

By George Jackson

A former monk who has 14 child sex abuse convictions has walked free from court after the Public Prosecution Service offered no evidence that he sexually abused a boy under the age of 12.

Co Cork resident Gerard John McCallion (66) had denied three charges of indecently assaulting the boy and one charge of committing an act of gross indecency.

The offences were alleged to have taken place in Londonderry from 1987 to 1988. The acquitted man - whose address was given as Ballynally in Iniscarragh - was due to have gone on trial at Derry Crown Court for the offences. However the prosecution barrister told the jury that he was offering no evidence in the case.

Judge Philip Babington then told the jury to return not guilty verdicts on all four charges.

"He was charged with some historical sex abuse cases. At the time he was a monk on secondment in the city as a curate in St Mary's parish in the Creggan. It was alleged he indecently assaulted an altar boy in the late 1980s," the judge told the jurors.

After the not guilty verdicts, Judge Babington told Mr McCallion that he was free to go.

In 1996, McCallion was convicted of nine indecent assaults on a female child. In 1997, he was convicted of another five on a second girl.

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