‘Fat vicar’ accused of abusing boys in care
Along with the manager of a London care home, Roman Catholic priest, Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, above, sexually abused boys, Southwark Crown Court in London has heard.
McSweeny, according to this report, is accused of abusing boys at a Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London.
Prosecutors said one boy heard the “screams, shouts and crying” of another boy before being abused himself.
McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, West Sussex, denies four counts of indecent assault. He also denies three counts of making indecent images of a child and one of taking indecent images of a child.
The jury was told the defendant was close friends with John Stingemore, above, who managed the home between 1979 and 1981. Stingemore was found dead in January, aged 72.
Prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes QC said Stingemore would have been in the dock alongside McSweeney if he were still alive.
She told the court Stingemore took his “favourites” from the care home to his seaside property in Bexhill, East Sussex, during weekends.
The jury heard one of the accusers in the case was taken to the coastal home with the priest and another boy, who is not part of the indictment, and later killed himself.
Plaschkes said when they arrived they were told to “have a shower and dress smartly”, before they were each taken upstairs by the men.
Plaschkes said another boy was abused at the care home where McSweeney “used his body to overpower (the boy)”.
The priest is then alleged to have produced a camera and started taking photographs of the boy.
The prosecutor said:
Afterwards he said something along the lines of ‘This is just between us, don’t you be telling anyone else’.
Another victim alleges the defendant, who was known as the “fat vicar”, watched as Stingemore touched him as he showered at the care home.
This happened more than once and was done “for the sexual gratification of both men acting together”, the jury was told.
Stingemore, whose body was found at his home in Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, was described by the prosecutor as someone who:
Would have been aware of which of the boys were particularly vulnerable.
The trial is expected to last for two weeks.