Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 19:22 UK

Priest 'stole victim's childhood'

William Green

One of the victims of a priest who sexually abused boys at a Roman Catholic boys school has spoken of his "stolen childhood".

William Green, 67, was jailed for six years after admitting abusing a number of boys at St Bede's Boys' School in Manchester between 1975 and 1987.

One man who suffered abuse told the BBC Green was not suspected because he was so well-liked.

He hopes speaking out will encourage other abuse victims to come forward.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Green abused "lonely" and vulnerable boys hundreds of times by offering them treats.

One of his victims, who cannot be identified, told BBC North West Tonight: "He was a likeable kind of a guy. He was well liked by kids in the school.

"He lived at the school, had his own room, and in break times and lunch time he would allow children in his room to smoke, watch TV or whatever.

The man told no-one for 30 years

"Because I lived some distance from the school he would give me a lift home. So I would go to his room and wait for him.

"While I was in the room he'd start messing with you playfully and then he'd go on to abuse you."

The man, who did not tell anyone about the abuse for 30 years, said Green went on to befriend his parents, who did not suspect anything.

He added: "There were a couple of weekends where he needed help at a church he was looking after, it was in the Peak District somewhere, and he asked my parents if I could go and be altar boy on the weekends when he was there. Which, obviously, they didn't object to because he was a likeable guy.

"There were days when they made me go to school when I didn't want to go go - but they just put that down to me being a rebel."

Asked about his decision to come forward to Greater Manchester Police, he added: "It's something I had to do. It's not been easy.

"I'll never know the true effect it's had because it has stolen my childhood. It has stolen my education. I don't know what I would have gone on to be.

"It's like it was just yesterday. All over again."


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

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