Monday, January 31, 2011


Church abuse victims secure compensation
by Lisa Hutchinson, Evening Chronicle
Jan 31 2011
0ShareAdd a commentRecommend CATHOLIC church leaders have finally paid compensation to three brothers robbed of their childhoods by a paedophile priest.

The lads were sexually abused by Bernard Traynor, a trainee priest working in the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese in the 1970s.

They were in care at St Vincent’s childrens’ home in Newcastle when the abuse took place.

Traynor, now 56, formerly an assistant at St Robert’s in Morpeth, and a priest at St Anne’s in Low Fell, Gateshead, molested them for five years after befriending them in the home.

But his sordid past returned to haunt him 20 years on when the brothers finally found the courage to alert the authorities.

At Newcastle Crown Court in 1995, Sunderland-born Traynor pleaded guilty to a string of sex attacks and was given a two-year probation order after admitting six counts of indecent assault between 1972 and 1979.

The court heard how Traynor first came into contact with them and their fourth brother while visiting the orphanage in Lemington, as a student. Traynor was said to have molested the boys during a caravan holiday at Scarborough, at his parents’ home, on a nun’s bed and during confession.

After the case, the men were told because so many years had passed they weren’t eligible for compensation.

But in 2008 Lottery rapist Iorworth Hoare, who bought a £700,000 luxury home in Ponteland with his winnings, was successfully sued by his victim decades after he attacked her. The case changed the law to allow victims of assault to claim damages many years afterwards.

Three of the brothers, who do not want to be named, and all still live in Newcastle, consulted Thompsons Solicitors to claim compensation from the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese.

Thompsons was successful in settling the case for the men, now 49, 51 and 52, and clinched “substantial compensation”.

One of the brothers said: “Claiming compensation was never about the money. All our lives have been affected by the abuse we suffered at St Vincent’s. Had the abuse not happened we are certain that we would all have taken different paths but we never received a proper apology from the Diocese for what they put us through.

“Finally, after three decades, we have received acknowledgement of the abuse we suffered by the very organisation that should have been looking after our interests.”

Bryan Prudham from Thompsons Solicitors added: “What Traynor did was a gross abuse of his position.”

“While this compensation will never replace the lives these brothers feel they have lost as a result of the abuse they faced, we hope it will go some way towards providing a feeling of justice.”

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