Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 14:05 UK

Priest jailed for sexual assaults

William Green
Green admitted 27 counts of sexual abuse

A priest who sexually abused boys at a Catholic school over a 20 year period has been jailed for six years.

William Green, 67, of Cale Lane, Aspull, Wigan, admitted 27 counts of sexual abuse on children in August.

He abused pupils aged 11 to 15 at St Bede's Boys' School in Manchester between 1975 and 1987 where he worked as a religious education teacher.

He also assaulted an eight-year-old boy at St Margaret Mary's Junior School, Moston, where he also worked, in 1968.

He was jailed at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Police were first contacted in late 2007 by a victim who had been abused by Green during the 1970s.

The effects of your abuse on their lives was to last for many years
Judge Goldstone QC

Further inquiries revealed other victims and Green was charged in April 2007.

The court was told how Green abused "lonely" and vulnerable boys hundreds of times.

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said Green presented himself as a friendly father figure who won his victims' trust by offering them privileges and treats of tea, sweets, cigarettes and television in his room.

Passing sentence, Judge Goldstone QC said Green had systematically sexually abused the boys as both a priest and teacher.

Victims' courage

He said: "These boys were vulnerable and they were groomed by you for the purposes of your own sexual gratification.

"You abused them in the school and on church-related activities.

"As far as the lives of these boys, and later men, were concerned the effects of your abuse on their lives was to last for many years and in some cases it remains."

The police investigation was carried out with the support and co-operation of the Salford Diocese Child Protection Commission, St Bedes College and Manchester City Council.

Supt Nadeem Butt, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "Thanks to the courage of the victims who were prepared to come forward after years of living with the knowledge they had been abused, we have been able to bring Green to justice.

"This investigation has never been about the institutions where Green worked, and I would like to praise St Bedes, the church and Manchester City Council for their openness and the way they have helped us throughout our inquiries.

"No one can be held responsible for the actions of Green but Green himself, and the support we were given has been greatly appreciated."

Priest admits 27 sexual assaults
19 Aug 08 |  Manchester
Man charged with 28 sex offences
17 Apr 08 |  Manchester

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