Reverend Alan Morris, a church deacon who sexually abused ten schoolboys while scolding them, was sentenced to nine years in prison.
In November 2012, he was arrested at his house in Hale following a police complaint. The complaint was filed by an ex-student who attended a baptism ceremony in which Morris was involved.
The crimes were perpetrated between 1972 and 1991, while he was employed as a teacher at St Ambrose College in Hale.
“He misused his position of authority inside the school to prey on vulnerable young boys and continued to do so years after physical punishment was abolished,” said Joanna White of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
“For decades Morris exhibited a facade of utter respectability, but now he has been unmasked as a persistent and habitual sex offender,” Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge said. DCI Bridge stated on Thursday that 75 people came forward with information during the police inquiry against Morris. This, he claimed, revealed the “sheer enormity of the impact of Alan Morris’ actions.”
In a statement, Saint Ambrose RC College stated it was “abhorrent that Morris has been found to have broken the confidence and duty that had been placed in him as a teacher.”
DCI Chris Bridge appealed to the public, saying, “the key message I want to get across is that people who have suffered these crimes now have the confidence to come forward and tell the Greater Manchester Police that they have suffered this type of abuse again in the confidence that we will do our utmost and the goal being to bring these people to justice.”
The widespread coverage of abuse and criminal convictions of Catholic Church priests around the world has resulted in various legal precedent decisions in higher courts about the nature of the church’s accountability for the criminal behaviour of priests.
Churches have issued a number of publications and guidelines outlining the proper procedure to follow when an allegation of abuse is made against the Church. Counseling is frequently offered in exchange, but there is rarely an open offer to recompense the victim, .hence the need to instruct solicitors