Crime & the Law

Voyeuristic Catholic priest jailed for three years

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Catholic priest Anthony McSweeney said to continue to pose a risk. Image: Custody photograph Met Police

68 year old Father Anthony McSweeney has been jailed for voyeuristic conduct while working at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow between 1979 and 1981.

The court heard that he was known as the ‘fat vicar’ and was also convicted of making indecent images of children.

Judge Alistair McCreath at Southwark Crown Court said he recognised there were no evidence to suggest the priest had himself molested the child, but that he had encouraged it.

He said:

He has a voyeuristic interest in children, either in seeing them unclothed, or in seeing them sexually abused by others. […] I would certainly assess that Father McSweeney poses a high risk of serious harm to children.

The judge added that he had no doubt the children that had been observed by McSweeney had suffered sexual harm of a psychological nature.

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