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Lengthy jail term imposed on ‘wolf in shepherd’s clothing’

Lengthy jail term imposed on ‘wolf in shepherd’s clothing’

Paedophile Catholic priest Philip Temple, 66, above, was today jailed in London for 12 years after admitting the sexual abuse of 13 children dating back to the 1970s.

Temple, a former children’s home worker, was sentenced at Woolwich crown court after pleading guilty to 20 charges of sexual assault in April and a further seven charges this week.

Temple twice stood trial in the late 1990s. In the first case the jury was unable to reach a verdict and Temple was acquitted in a retrial.

Before passing sentence today, judge Christopher Hehir, apologised to one of Temple’s victims, saying that

Justice was not done when you came to court in 1998 and 1999.

The court heard that the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had become a self-harming recluse and had attempted suicide following the trials. He said:

I can only imagine the damage he has caused to other victims. We can never escape from what he did and we can never be free of it.

Temple was “an extremely skilled liar and manipulator with sociopathic qualities”, the victim added.

The judge said there had been another missed opportunity to bring Temple to justice when the youngest known victim, who was six or seven when abused by Temple when he worked for Wandsworth council in south London, began civil proceedings against the council in 1991.

According to Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, the civil case “appeared to be settled with no payment” and police did not investigate when the victim reported the alleged abuse four years later.

Temple sexually assaulted boys and one girl when working for Wandsworth and Lambeth councils in the 1970s. He became a priest in 1988 and abused two altar boys while serving at Christ the King monastery, Vita Et Pax in Cockfosters, north London, in the 1990s.

The judge said he viewed Temple’s move to become ordained as a Catholic priest as:

An aggravating factor. You of course exploited the opportunities your deceit as to your character had afforded you, not only by sexually abusing children but, as a priest, by lying on oath to deny the truthful accusations brought against you by one of your victims.

Your actions as a priest demonstrated that in truth you were a wolf in shepherd’s clothing.

Detectives from the Metropolitan police’s sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse (SOECA) command launched an investigation after receiving information that implicated Temple in multiple offences.

He was arrested on 6 July last year.

Lambeth council said it was cooperating with the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA). A spokesman said:

We hope the outcome provides some solace to the victims of these dreadful crime.

In a statement, the diocese of Westminster said it was:

Aware of the sentencing of Philip Temple, a member of the Monte Oliveto Benedictine order. The diocese has fully cooperated with the statutory authorities throughout the investigation. The diocese of Westminster has robust safeguarding policies in place and rigorous selection procedures for candidates for the priesthood.

Temple, of no fixed address, also admitted two counts of perjury relating to his earlier trials.

Hat tip: PPS and BarrieJohn

9 responses to “Lengthy jail term imposed on ‘wolf in shepherd’s clothing’”

  1. Robster says:

    “Temple was “an extremely skilled liar and manipulator with sociopathic qualities”, which is of course de rigueur for those afflicted with priestly DNA.

  2. NoMo says:

    This is becoming the new normal. One can almost truthfully assert …
    Catholic Priest= Child Rapist.
    When I was a school governor I had to have a criminal record background check even when in that role I hardly ever attended the school whilst children were there and was never alone with children.

    I think all Catholic priests need to be checked out by an independent body on the assumption of guilty until proven innocent.

  3. Paul says:

    Isn’t this just awful, the harm done by his earlier acquittal because people don’t want to believe child abuse happens and surely not by a priest.
    Akin to collective amnesia or consonant dissonance where facts are changed to suit perceptions. How it would be good to learn how the earlier jury worked out ‘no way a priest could Have done that’, ‘abuse of children by a priest?’ ‘Never’.
    The judges comments say everything about this man, he became a priest to abuse children. A wolf in shepherds clothing. Not really – I think now we know to distrust priests with our children. All of them.
    An abomination of a ‘man’. Cruel heartless despicable.

  4. Broga says:

    Being an RC priest is great cover. The deluded parents don’t believe the kids and the Vatican covers up for the priests. I knew one religion drenched RC woman who told me that the highlight of her week was a visit from the priest. Set that against a complaint from her kids should one be made.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    As I said when I mentioned this story on the previous thread, 12 years is a derisory sentence – it should have been life.

  6. Lucy says:

    And he swore, on oath, as a priest, so every idiot believed him…and, if you read the back story, made up lies about the children, so that people would mistrust them even more. Despicable and typical.

    But what is so wonderful is that the RCC remains an unchanging beacon of steadfast morality in this aggressively secular society, where atheists cannot tell right from wrong. (Irony alert)

  7. Neil says:

    Time to seize the vatican. Send the new ever so humble modest eco unostentacious pope Francis to live in a much more basic accommodation with a few of his acolytes. Then convert the vatican into a high security prison to incarcerate every priest found guilty of child rape. Of course the prison must be under the control of an international secular organisation with no catholics involved and be of the sackcloth and ashes, piss in the pop slop out, cement floor, wooden plank bed, tiny barred window primitive variety. No luxurious drug baron type cells.

  8. Peterat says:

    “Cockfosters”?? Seriously?? Is that a beer for gay Aussies?

  9. Frank Lostaunau says:

    Am I tickled that this devil with blue eyes is going to jail?

    YUP! clink…

    SF