Paedophile priest jailed for three years
McSweeney, together with his friend John Stingemore, abused the 15-year-old while working at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow. Stingemore, the manger of the care home died before the trial.
As part of his defence, McSweeny said he was too fat to fit a teenager on him.
The priest, who has been described as morbidly obese, used his condition as a defence when he denied molesting boys between 1979 and 1981.
As well indecent assault, he was also found guilty of three counts of making indecent images of children.
The priest was investigated as part of a police probe into allegations of a paedophile ring at Grafton Close.
At his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Alistair McCreath said:
He has a voyeuristic interest in children, either in seeing them unclothed, or in seeing them sexually abused by others.
The judge said the priest had abused his position of trust and there was no doubt the children observed by the priest had suffered sexual harm of a psychological nature.
McSweeney was not banished by the Catholic Church even though it had evidence of his activities.
During the trial, it emerged the Catholic Church had almost dismissed him when his cleaner found sex toys, truncheons and indecent videos of teenage boys at St Peter’s Catholic Church in Essex in 1998.
But after six months he was moved to a new parish, St George’s, in Norwich – after he was threatened with being “banished” from the priesthood.
Judge McCreath added that McSweeney posed a “high risk of serious harm” to children, via sexual assault and exploitation through sexual images.
Earlier in the trial, the priest confessed to jurors he had watched children in the shower and collected indecent videos of children.
The priest said he watched footage featuring boys as young as ten on a home cinema with Stingemore, above.
Prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes QC said:
This was a joint enterprise by both men, to use the victim for their own sexual gratification.
She said McSweeney had specifically targeted:
A particularly vulnerable child.
Hat tip: Angela K and AgentCormac