95-Year-Old Former Priest From Bolton Admits More Child Indecency Charges

A frail 95-year-old former parish priest today admitted a catalogue of historic sexual abuse offences against six young boys.

In a weak voice John Murphy pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to 32 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency involving the youngsters between September 1960 and 1989.

Murphy, who served in a number of parishes in the Merseyside, Lancashire and Greater Manchester area until he retired, committed many of the offences during swimming lessons and also some took place during camping trips in Ambleside and Kielder National Park in Northumberland.

Murphy, who was parish priest at St Alphonsus in KIrkdale, St Luke the Evangelist in Whiston and St Gabriel’s in Leigh, was jailed in December 2017 for three years after admitting indecently assaulting four other boys .

Following publicity about that offending behaviour five of the victims in the new charges came forward and by coincidence the sixth victim also approached the police.

Murphy, of Hillside Crescent, Horwich, Bolton,  turned up at court today with a suitcase but sentence was adjourned after Arthur Gibson, prosecuting, explained that only two impact statements were available and two of the other victims wanted their impact statements to go before the judge.

Judge Robert Warnock renewed his bail to await sentence next month.

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