Priest jailed for child abuse

FOR­MER CLERIC SEN­TENCED TO 20 YEARS AFTER MORE VIC­TIMS OF HIS­TORIC ABUSE STEP FOR­WARD

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - News - By STEPHANIE FIN­NEGAN stephanie.fin­[email protected]­plc.com @StephanieFin­neg

A FOR­MER priest has been given an ex­tended prison sen­tence to­talling 20 years for the his­toric abuse of boys in Hud­der­s­field.

David Crow­ley abused at least 11 boys in Hud­der­s­field, Brad­ford and Devon be­tween 1981 and 1996.

The 64-year-old has pre­vi­ously served time in prison for 15 charges of sex­ual of­fences against nine of those boys and was re­leased in 2004.

Now, he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison after two more of his vic­tims from Hud­der­s­field came for­ward with al­le­ga­tions that he had abused them while they were be­low the age of 13.

He worked in a Catholic pri­mary school in Hud­der­s­field and was an as­sis­tant priest at a Catholic church in the town and after he was moved to Brad­ford and later to Devon, he con­tin­ued abus­ing boys.

Crow­ley would groom the boys with al­co­hol and cig­a­rettes and sex­u­ally abuse them.

He would also en­cour­age a group of boys to strip off, lay on the floor naked and touch each other while he watched - which he would call ‘grat­i­fi­ca­tion’.

Leeds Crown Court heard Crow­ley signed four con­tracts made out by the bishop agree­ing to only have ‘for­mal and min­i­mal’ con­tact with young boys but he ‘sys­tem­at­i­cally breached it’.

Recorder Mark Cran QC told Crow­ley he had a ‘very strong urge to abuse boys when­ever he could’, adding: “You demon­strated a re­peated un­der­stand­ing of how to bring young boys un­der your spell.”

The court heard he lacks any re­morse. On the first day of a trial in March last year, Crow­ley pleaded guilty to six counts of in­de­cent as­sault and two counts of in­de­cency with a child.

Sen­tenc­ing was ad­journed as a rel­a­tive of the vic­tim sug­gested po­lice should con­tact an­other man who had sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions against Crow­ley.

He de­nied those of­fences, sub­ject­ing that vic­tim to a trial, and in De­cem­ber was found guilty of nine counts of in­de­cent as­sault and three counts of in­de­cency with a child.

Both of his vic­tims, who are en­ti­tled to life­long anonymity, now strug­gle to trust other males. One said: “You can trust some­one like that and that is what they to do you.”

One of the vic­tims strug­gles with shame, was afraid of com­ing for­ward in case he was named in the press and turned to drugs and crime.

Sean Smith, mit­i­gat­ing, said his client had been em­ployed as a de­liv­ery driver for a bak­ery for seven years up un­til his re­mand in March 2018 and en­cour­aged the judge not to as­sess him as dan­ger­ous.

Crow­ley, pre­vi­ously of Abbey Holme, Over­ton Road, Chel­tenham, Glouces­ter­shire, was told he must serve a cus­to­dial term of 18 years, two thirds of which must be spent in cus­tody.

He must serve a fur­ther two-year pe­riod on li­cence.

He was also made the sub­ject of an in­def­i­nite sex­ual harm pre­ven­tion or­der.

The judge told Crow­ley his vic­tims had re­vealed an ‘ap­palling abuse by you of your po­si­tion of trust and au­thor­ity’ and he had of­fended ‘in or­der to se­duce for your own per­verted plea­sure two boys, leav­ing them with psy­cho­log­i­cal harm for the rest of their lives’.

A num­ber of boys were abused by David Crow­ley when he was a Catholic priest

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