Paedophile priest jailed for 15 years

A Dublin-born paedophile priest who abused seven children, including altar boys, over a 34-year period has been jailed for 15 years.

Paedophile priest jailed for 15 years

“Predatory” Francis Paul Cullen, 85, pleaded guilty to 21 charges of indecent assault and other sexual offences last month after being extradited to the UK last year following 22 years on the run in Tenerife.

The offences were committed between 1957 and 1991 on children aged between six and 14.

Judge Jonathan Gosling told the former priest: “You took full advantage of your position, and the trust in which you were held, to satisfy your perverted lust.

“To say that you were a disgrace to your cloth understates your activity. This was gross hypocrisy. In a sentence, your entire life was a lie.”

Cullen was traced to Tenerife last year with the help of a Church body.

He was extradited back to the UK on a European arrest warrant containing a series of sexual abuse charges.

He was due to deny the charges at Derby Crown Court last month but changed his plea to guilty on what would have been the first day of his trial.

He admitted 15 counts of indecent assault, five of indecency with a child, and one of attempted buggery.

The crimes against five boys and two girls whose relatives had connections with the Church took place while Cullen was a priest in Mackworth and Buxton, both Derbyshire, and Hyson Green, Nottingham.

Four altar boys were abused while Cullen was practicing in Mackworth, Derbyshire, between the 1950s and 1970s.

In the 1980s, he abused two girls after he moved to work in Buxton, Derbyshire, and then went on to abuse another altar boy in the early 1990s after he moved to Nottinghamshire.

He fled to Tenerife in 1991 while facing charges of sexual assault brought by Nottinghamshire Police.

While on bail, Cullen, then in his 60s, fled to Tenerife, where he remained for 22 years. He was traced to Tenerife in 2012 with the help of the Nottingham Catholic Safeguarding body.

Police were told Cullen had attended Sunday Mass at the same church in Playa de las Americas for 20 years.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence