independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Priest who helped groom child for sex loses appeal

A PRIEST jailed for helping to fund the grooming of a young girl for sex by a paedophile has lost an attempt to appeal against his sentence.

Father Jeremiah McGrath (64) who had worked as a missionary in Africa, gave £20,000 to paedophile Billy Adams.

Adams used the cash to shower a 12-year-old with gifts then raped her repeatedly over a six-month period in 2005.

After a trial at Liverpool Crown Court last May, McGrath was jailed when a jury found him guilty of one count of facilitating the abuse from August to November 2005.

London's Court of Appeal yesterday said McGrath's conduct had "facilitated the continuation of extremely grave offences and required no lesser sentence."

McGrath had insisted he had no idea that Adams, with whom he had had a brief sexual relationship, was abusing the girl and claimed that the money was linked to his gambling habit.

McGrath comes originally from Co Kerry, had worked as a missionary in Africa with the Kiltegan Fathers and, more recently, had spent time in the diocese of Clogher, based in Rosslea, Co Fermanagh.

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