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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Priest sentenced over sex abuse
A priest who admitted sexually abusing a young boy scout has been given an 18 month suspended sentence.

Father Daniel Curran pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to indecently assaulting the boy on two occasions between 14 June 1986 and 15 June 1989.

At the time, Curran was a priest at Saint Paul's parish in Belfast and chaplain to a scout troop.

Curran has already served seven years in jail for abusing nine other boys in the 1990s.

Passing the sentence, which was suspended for two years, the judge said Curran had already been given a "severe punishment" at the time.

"In the circumstances I don't think I should send you back to prison," he stated.

Both instances of abuse had taken place at a house in Tyrella in County Down, where Curran had taken the boy on two separate occasions.

His defence barrister said the key problem Curran had in his life at that time was his alcoholism and excessive drinking.

He said his client no longer drank and had undergone intensive psycho-sexual counselling.

Since his release from jail in 1998 he had been living quietly with his elderly parents in Newcastle and had not come to the attention of the police in any way, the barrister said.

He asked the court to accept that his client had now been "effectively rehabilitated".


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