Priest jailed for 28 years for abusing vulnerable children
Roy Lovatt, 71, above, a Catholic priest and housemaster at a Yorkshire children’s home, received the lengthy jail sentence at Leeds Crown Court this week after he was was found guilty of four charges of indecent assault and five of serious sex assaults against two boys.
Roy Leonard Allen, 72, a colleague of Lovatt’s at Thorp Arch Grange school on the outskirts of Wetherby, West Yorkshire was found guilty at the trial of nine charges of indecent assault, two of serious sex assault and one of attempted serious sex assault involving four boys. He was jailed for 18 years.
Their victims, the court heard, were abused by the paedophiles during the 1970s and 1980s.
Lovatt, of Redcar, also admitted 23 charges of indecent assault and two of gross indecency on three other boys and a girl. Some he had got to know when he was training to be a Methodist minister prior to his conversion to Catholicism.
Allen, of Burnley, was teaching at the time of his offending and later went on to become deputy head and headmaster at the school.
Jailing them Judge Neil Clark said their victims had given harrowing and emotional evidence revealing their “tormented childhood memories” at Thorp Arch where there was a culture of bullying and control.
He said the victims felt “utterly unable to complain” and were “regarded in any event as naughty boys who could not be believed”. He added:
That your behaviour has continued to haunt their adult lives is abundantly clear. You were in a position of significant trust in relation to those boys. You were there to educate, nurture and care for them, that is what the people of Yorkshire paid for you to do and what they expected you to do and what their parents trusted you to do.
However you did not, you exploited their vulnerability, used that to prey on them to satisfy your own lust. The two of you frankly made an irony of the title care order that was imposed on the children you had care of.
Richard Wright QC prosecuting told the jury the school was effectively a secure children’s home housing youngsters sent there by courts or local authorities. The victims were among the most vulnerable in society.
They were troubled, they often came from terrible domestic environments, some had become involved in petty offending, others in the commission of more serious crimes.
They did not choose to live in these institutions; rather they were sent to them by people in positions of authority and the children had absolutely no say in the matter.
However they were not sent to a place of safety where they would be cared for because among the many dedicated professionals were “bullies and paedophiles” who used violence to control them.
Roy Lovatt and Roy Allen were such men who abused boys and in the most extreme cases raped them.
These were not caring professionals dedicated to education, training and protection of the young. They were rather cynical sex offenders.
Hat tip: Vanity Unfair