AN IRISH priest has been cleared of historical allegations that he sexually abused a number of children in a Manchester parish.
Canon Mortimor Stanley, 82, denied all the accusations of indecent assault said to have been committed against nine girls and one boy in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, between the late 1970s and 2002.
It was alleged that the Limerick-born priest, who now lives in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, after retiring from the priesthood in 2002, targeted most of the complainants in his presbytery at St Vincent de Paul RC Church in Norden.
Yesterday jurors at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court found the former priest not guilty of all but one of the offences.
They were unable to reach a verdict on one count of indecent assault - but prosecutor Andrew Mackintosh said the Crown would not seek a retrial.
A not guilty verdict was recorded by Judge John Potter in respect of that count and also another count involving a 10th female complainant who was too unwell to give evidence during the trial.