Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No appeal for 'abuse cash' priest

No appeal for 'abuse cash' priest A priest who financed the grooming of a young girl for sex has lost his bid to appeal against his five-year sentence.
Father Jeremiah McGrath, 64, who had worked as a missionary in Africa, gave £20,000 to paedophile Billy Adams.
Adams used the cash in 2005 to shower a 12-year-old with gifts then raped her repeatedly over a six-month period.
The appeal court said McGrath's conduct had "facilitated the continuation of extremely grave offences and required no lesser sentence".
After a trial at Liverpool Crown Court last May, McGrath, from Rosslea, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, was jailed when a jury found him guilty of one count of facilitating the abuse from August to November 2005.
Silence
McGrath had insisted he had no idea that Adams, with whom he had had a brief sexual relationship, was abusing the girl and claimed that the money was linked to his gambling habit.
Having bought her silence and trust, Adams, 38, originally from Belfast but latterly of Merseyside, raped her repeatedly over a six-month period in 2005.
He admitted raping the girl and was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years before he is considered for release.
He had a previous conviction for child rape.
McGrath's application for leave to appeal against his sentence was refused by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.
Funded
Mr Justice Underhill, sitting with Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Silber, said McGrath's conduct had facilitated the continuation of extremely grave offences and required no lesser sentence.
He said it was McGrath's money which funded three holidays to Blackpool on which Adams took the girl, who he presented as his daughter, and other members of her family.
McGrath accompanied them on two of these and his status as a priest added extra respectability to the enterprise.
Although McGrath knew about Adams's past and proclivities, he said nothing to the girl's family.
The judge said: "He was very aware of what was going on and prepared to facilitate it in the way he did because of his obsessive desire to maintain his own relationship with Adams."
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7205496.stm

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