AN IRISH Catholic priest is on trial for sexually abusing 10 children over four decades while based at a parish in Manchester.
Limerick-born Canon Mortimer Stanley, 84, was based at the St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church in Norden, Rochdale at the time the alleged abuse took place,
He has since returned to Ireland.
Now living in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, he denies 19 counts of indecent assault said to have been committed between 1977 and 2002.
The alleged victims were pupils at the adjacent St Vincent’s Roman Catholic Primary School for children of parishioners.
Nine of the children allegedly targeted were girls, who were of primary school age at the time of the attack, a 10th victim is male.
On Thursday, May 19 a jury at Manchester’s Minshall Street court heard from the boy, who cannot be named.
He said the canon sedated him with a chloroform-like substance before abusing him.
The boy was nine at the time the alleged abuse took place.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Canon Stanley allegedly came up behind the boy while he was getting undressed and covered his mouth and nose with a handkerchief soaked in a ‘chloroform-type’ substance, causing him to pass out and slump over a shelf.
The alleged victim went on to tell the court that when he woke up Canon Stanley, still partially dressed in church robes, was sexually assaulting him.
Canon Stanley, who denies all the charges, moved into the Norden presbytery in 1977.
The court heard how the former priest retired in 2002 and returned to Ireland.
The move came after the mother of one of the girls informed teaching staff that the canon had kissed her daughter inappropriately.
The trial continues.