March 15, 2005

Trusted Priest Inflicted 'Horrific' Sex Abuse on Boy


By Jan Colley, PA

A man whose psychiatric illness was caused by prolonged and horrific sexual abuse by his trusted parish priest launched a High Court damages action today.

The 34-year-old, one of seven children from a devout and successful Catholic family, suffers from both schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder and is unable to work.

Only identified as A for legal reasons, he is one of a number of individuals who allegedly suffered at the hands of Father Christopher Clonan, who served at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Coundon, Coventry for 20 years.

He left his post of assistant parish priest in July 1992 and fled to Australia, where he died of natural causes in 1998.

In January last year, former altar boy Simon Grey received a £330,000 out-of-court settlement from the Archdiocese of Birmingham over similar claims.

Today, Robert Seabrook QC, who also represented Mr Grey, told Mr Justice Christopher Clarke in London that A sought compensation for the “most horrific sexual abuse” over a 10-year period between the ages of eight and 18.

Posted by kshaw at March 15, 2005 09:21 AM