May 02, 2005

Priest in row over defence of abuser

Belfast Telegraph

By Debra Douglas

02 May 2005
A counselling organisation for sex abuse victims last night criticised a priest who claimed a former headmaster guilty of indecency offences against teenage boys was an "innocent man".

Jude Lynch, the ex-head teacher of Good Shepherd Primary School, Co Londonderry, was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to 33 sexual offences against three young teenagers, including indecent assault and gross indecency.

During the case, Father Michael Collins, a parish priest from Limavady and a family friend, said: "He has lived all his life in a structured society where there are moral expectations, but he moved out of that environment into a murky world.

"He is an innocent man."

Reacting to his comment, Helena Bracken, regional manager of the Nexus Institute, said it was disappointing and offensive to the victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at May 2, 2005 06:45 AM