Accused priest weeps at porn hoard


Accused priest weeps at porn hoard

A Catholic priest broke down in tears today at his sex abuse trial as he recalled his gay and S&M pornography collection.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, denied molesting three teenage boys at Grafton Close children’s home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981.

But he admitted being shown a child sex porn film by his close friend, the care home manager John Stingemore, 72 – who was found dead weeks before the beginning of his trial.

McSweeney did not tell the authorities as it “did not occur” to him.

He also confessed to going to Amsterdam’s notorious red light district with Stingemore, where he bought gay porn.

The priest became emotional as he told how his secret pornographic collection was discovered by his cleaner at his parish, St Peter’s in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex in 1998. She alerted church authorities.

Obese McSweeney fought back tears as he told his trial at London Southwark Crown Court: “There were seven to my memory, two gay, two straight, lesbian. You can imagine…”

Teary-eyed, he added: “I find this very difficult. I think one was S&M.”

McSweeney was threatened with being “banished” from the priesthood, but after around six months was moved to another parish in Norwich.

The priest, who is gay, said he was “ashamed” at his porn collection but just could not quit his porn habit.

Years later police found seven indecent images of boys on his laptop.

The former scout leader regularly visited Grafton Close children’s home, run by his close friend Stingemore, but denied abusing teenagers there.

He admitted being shown a child porn clip by Stingemore but said no “alarm bells” rang and he did not alert the authorities.

Describing the clip he said: “My best guess would be they (the children) were 10, 11 or 12. Pre-adolescent.

“I have never seen anything inappropriate of John when he was with the kids. I didn’t think much (about it) to be honest.

“The police asked me why I didn’t do anything about it and that was a fair question. The answer is I don’t know.

“We didn’t know then what we certainly know now – that child porn does severe damage to people and I deprecate the whole business.”

McSweeney also referred to the controversial Paedophile Information Exchange, which campaigned to legalise sex with children.

He said “Last year there was a great conversation about an organisation which was pushing for intergenerational sex and was getting official money to lobby politicians from the National Council of Civil Liberties.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/accused-priest-weeps-at-porn-hoard-31015133.html

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