Disgraced Scottish priest appeals against sex abuse conviction

The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
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A disgraced priest jailed for nine years for the historic sexual abuse of three young boys and a trainee priest is appealing against his conviction and sentence.

Francis Moore, 82, who was also known as Father Paul, was found guilty after trial at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year.

In April judge Lady Rae sentenced Moore and told him: “You have been convicted of despicable crimes involving the sexual abuse of three children 40 years ago and more recently of a student priest.

“The most serious of these crime involved the repeated sodomy of a little boy aged five. In carrying out these crime you took advantage of your position as a minister of religion.”

Yesterday an official at the High Court in Edinburgh confirmed that Moore’s legal team has lodged an appeal against conviction and sentence.

Jurors in the trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard that allegations against Father Moore were first raised in 1996, but it was not until 2015 that a major police investigation was launched.

Bishop Maurice Taylor, 91, told the court that Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and had “a desire to abuse minors”.

As a result of this Moore was sent to a specialist clinic and then told he could no longer serve as a parish priest.

Moore’s youngest victim was just five when the priest abused him at primary school

The man, now aged 46, told of how that Moore kissed him and then sexually abused him.

He said the abuse took place for the first time when he was sent to Moore by his teachers after drawing a picture of Jesus Christ with nipples.

Another man, now 49, said he was abused on Irvine beach by Moore, who was his parish priest, when he was 11.

A third victim, who has been a priest for more than 20 years, told a jury at the High Court in Glasgow that on two separate occasions he woke to find Moore, whom he knew as Father Paul, beside his bed touching his genitals.

A fourth victim, now 52, said that when he was aged between 11 and 13 as he changed in the Magnum Centre, Irvine, after swimming Moore tried to grab the towel he was covering himself with.

Moore denied abusing the three boys and a student priest between 1977 and 1996.