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Breaking News from U.K: Priest found guilty of sex abuse

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at a children's home in west London.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, abused the teenager while working at Grafton Close Children's Home in Hounslow.

McSweeney, from West Sussex, was also found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of making indecent images of children.

He was investigated as part of a police probe into allegations of a paedophile ring at Grafton Close and Elm Guest House in Barnes, west London.

 Judge Alistair McCreath warned McSweeney he would face jail.

 "You are not to come to court in four weeks thinking to yourself that the judge gave me bail and therefore I'm not to go to prison, because that would be a false hope," he said.

 'Too fat'
McSweeney confessed to jurors that he had watched a child porn film featuring boys as young as ten on a home cinema with his friend John Stingemore, but he denied molesting boys when they sat on his lap claiming he was too fat to fit a teenager on him.

He was cleared of three indecent assaults on two other boys at the care home and taking a pornographic photo of one of these boys.

Mr Stingemore, 72, who managed Grafton Close, was found dead in January, weeks before the start of his trial for sex abuse.

 Mr Stingemore used his connections to help get his friend a job at Grafton Close, where they molested vulnerable boys together, until Mr Stingemore was sacked from the children's home in 1981, the jury was told.

The court heard the priest watched children in the shower and collected child porn.

Priest found guilty of sex abuse.

In 1998 McSweeney nearly lost his job in the church when his cleaner discovered pornographic videos featuring teenage boys at St Peter's Catholic Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, the court heard.
The jury heard he was threatened with being "banished" from the priesthood, but after six months he was moved to a new parish, St George's, in Norwich.
'Totally unacceptable'

Police said McSweeney worked at the children's home on an ad hoc basis as a "helper" and was never formally employed by the council.
Gillian Norton, the chief executive of Richmond Council, apologised to the victim.
She said: "The assault happened 35 years ago and clearly the service leadership and management laid bare in court were totally unacceptable.

"The system today puts much greater emphasis on the views of children and staff are employed specifically to help children to give their views."

McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, West Sussex, was found guilty of one indecent assault on a male between 1979 and 1981 and was also found guilty of three counts of making indecent images of children.

He was released on bail and is due to be sentenced on 27 March.
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