Priest Jailed For 24-Year Reign Of Abuse

10/23/2010 21:35

From Sky News

A former Roman Catholic priest who started abusing boys more than half a century ago has been jailed for 21 years.

James Robinson: One victim described him as his 'hero'

James Robinson, 73, known as 'Father Jim', had a "dreadful weakness" for boys as young as 10, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Robinson was found guilty of a string of offences involving the sexual abuse of children over a period of 24 years.

He moved from parish to parish in the West Midlands between 1959 and 1983, and repeatedly abused at least six boys.

Prosecutor John Attwood told the jury that the priest used his position of trust to gain "unfettered and unlimited" access to victims who "caught his eye".

His parishioners saw him as a "charismatic, charming, forceful personality" but in reality he was grooming youngsters by giving them gifts and taking them on trips in his sports car.

He became like part of our family... everybody loved him...he was my hero, I was very fond of him. He was a boxer, a local celebrity...I was like a lamb to the slaughter...I was totally under his control, I don't know why.

Victim of paedophile priest James Robinson

"He became like part of our family", said one victim, "everybody loved him and liked him, he was a very popular man...he was my hero, I was very fond of him. He was a boxer, a local celebrity...I was like a lamb to the slaughter...I was totally under his control, I don't know why".

Robinson worked in churches in Staffordshire, Birmingham and Coventry until he moved to California in 1985, the same year that one victim found the courage to tell the church and police about his abuse.

He continued to work as a priest in America until further victims contacted West Midlands Police in the early 1990s. But, officers say they weren't able to extradite him until last year- following a change in Californian law.

One complainant spotted Robinson's photograph on Sky News, prompting him to give a statement to police. Detectives think there could be many more victims both here, and in America.

 

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