Father Anthony McSweeney abuse trial: Boy 'heard victim's screams'

John Stingemore Image copyright PA
Image caption Care home manager John Stingemore was found dead at his home last month

A Roman Catholic priest sexually abused boys with the manager of a care home, Southwark Crown Court has heard.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, is accused of abusing boys at a Grafton Close Children's Home in Hounslow, west London.

Prosecutors said one boy heard the "screams, shouts and crying" of another boy before being abused himself.

Fr McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, West Sussex, denies four counts of indecent assault.

He also denies three counts of making indecent images of a child and one of taking indecent images of a child.

'Favourite' boys

The jury was told the defendant was close friends with John Stingemore, who managed the home between 1979 and 1981.

He was found dead in January, aged 72.

Prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes QC said Mr Stingemore would have been in the dock alongside Fr McSweeney if he was still alive.

She told the court Mr Stingemore took his "favourites" from the care home to his seaside property in Bexhill, East Sussex, during weekends.

The jury heard one of the accusers in the case was taken to the coastal home with the priest and another boy, who is not part of the indictment and later killed himself.

Ms Plaschkes said when they arrived they were told to "have a shower and dress smartly", before they were each taken upstairs by the men.

The alleged victim was forced to listen to "screams, shouts and crying" of the other boy before being abused himself, the prosecutor said.

'Fat vicar'

Ms Plaschkes said another boy was abused at the care home where Fr McSweeney "used his body to overpower (the boy)".

The priest is then alleged to have produced a camera and started taking photographs of the boy.

"Afterwards he said something along the lines of 'This is just between us, don't you be telling anyone else'." the prosecutor said.

Another victim alleges the defendant, who was known as the "fat vicar", watched as Mr Stingemore touched him as he showered at the care home.

This happened more than once and was done "for the sexual gratification of both men acting together", the jury was told.

Mr Stingemore, whose body was found at his home in Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, was described by the prosecutor as someone who "would have been aware of which of the boys were particularly vulnerable".

The trial is expected to last for two weeks.

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