Northumberland priest jailed for historic sex attacks on boy in church vestry

David Taylor, of Angel Lane, Alnwick, abused his victim in an old convent, in a church and while away on football trips. Credit: PA Images / NCJM media

A priest who carried out sex attacks on a boy in a church has been jailed for 13 years and made to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Father David Taylor, of Angel Lane, Alnwick, abused the youngster in a church vestry, in an old convent, and also during a trip to a football tournament 40 years ago.

His victim said the abuse had caused him nightmares, as well as leading him to contemplate suicide.

In a court statement, the man said: "Father Taylor has taken my childhood away from me and has totally ruined my life."

Taylor was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for ten offences - including five counts of indecency with a child, two counts of indecent assault, and three counts of indecent assault on a male person.

Judge Julie Clemitson told the 73-year-old he had a sexual interest in boys from an early stage in his career, having been ordained in 1977.

Taylor has previously been convicted of five offences of indecent assault against boys in the 1980s in 2009. He was jailed then for 30 months.

In 2017, he got a suspended sentence for another count of indecent assault.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Taylor first abused this particular victim by putting him under his gown and forcing him to perform a sexual act.

The victim kept his abuse a secret for decades out of fear he would not be believed.

He said: "I will never be able to put into words fully how the abuse has affected my life. Before it started I was an innocent child.

"I was angry and confused and started to blame myself for what happened. I felt disgusted I had allowed Father Taylor to abuse me in the way he had.

"I had difficulty telling people. What was I supposed to say, who would believe me over Father Taylor?

"I had so much anger inside of me, I didn't know how to deal with it. I chose to continue to suffer in silence."

Judge Clemitson told Taylor: "There were so many occasions, he can't recall them. It seems to him there were hundreds of them because it happened so often in various places.

"He lived with the memories of what happened for decades. He couldn't tell his parents because they thought so highly of you and it would be devastating for them.

"Throughout this long process you have protested your innocence, saying you had no recollection of him. That clearly can't be true."

Lorraine Mustard, mitigating, said Taylor continues to protest his innocence.

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