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Catholic care home child sex abuse: Two found guilty

James Carragher, 75, and Anthony McCallen, 65,
Image caption James Carragher, 75, and Anthony McCallen, 65, were found guilty by a jury a Leeds Crown Court

A former chaplain and an ex-principal of a Roman Catholic care home have been found guilty of abusing boys.

Anthony McCallen, 65, was chaplain at the now defunct St William's Children's Home in East Yorkshire, where James Carragher, 75, was head.

The pair denied a total of 87 sex offences against children at the home between the 1970s and the 1990s.

Leeds Crown Court heard Carragher, a convicted sex offender from Merseyside, took boys naked swimming late at night.

The jury heard they both preyed on boys aged between 10 and 16 years old.

'Way beyond norm'

In total, 18 men gave evidence describing how they were indecently "touched".

One victim stormed out of court after telling the jury the pair had visited him as he slept and sexually assaulted him.

Another witness spoke of how boys were taken swimming "after lights-out" at the home and told not to "wear any swimming trunks".

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Media captionNigel lived at the now defunct St William's Children's Care Home in Market Weighton between 1971 and 1972

Following the verdict, Judge Jeffrey Marson QC praised members of the jury for the way they conducted themselves.

He said: "I've never ever in many years of doing this had a jury who had to consider so many charges, it is way beyond the norm, and they are some of the most difficult charges to deal with".

Carragher, who was jailed for seven years in 1993 and 14 years in 2004 for sex offences, pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of indecent assault and 12 other serious sex offences.

Image caption Prolific sex offender James Carragher worked at St William's during the 1970s, 80's and 90's when boys were being abused under his care

McCallen, also of Merseyside, who was convicted of abusing two boys in the 1990s, denied 18 indecent assaults and seven other serious sexual offences.

After a 10-week trial and 11 days of deliberations, the jury found Carragher guilty of 21 indecent assault and three serious sex offences, but he was cleared of a further 30 charges.

McCallen was found guilty on a total of 11 charges including a serious sexual offence. He was acquitted of eight other charges.

But the jury was unable to reach verdicts on 13 charges and were discharged by the judge.

The pair are due to be sentenced on 4 January.

Image caption St William's, a care home and school for delinquent boys, was run by members of the De La Salle Brotherhood

St William's in Market Weighton, which closed in 1992, was owned by the Diocese of Middlesbrough and run by members of the De La Salle Brotherhood.

In a statement, the diocese said it hoped "those affected by the abuse can move on with their lives".

"We condemn any behaviour which harms young people.

"The behaviour of Anthony McCallen whilst he was a priest was a betrayal of the trust that was placed in him from the Diocese of Middlesbrough."

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