September 2008

Anger As Pervert Priest Is Jailed for Just One Year

A JAIL sentence imposed on a priest who sexually abused at least seven children was yesterday labelled “too soft.”

Father Peter Carr molested girls aged between 10 and 11 after getting them to strip naked so he could apply stage make-up for school pantomimes.

The paedophile’s crimes came to light 30 years later after two victims – a lawyer and a singer – met up on the Friends Reunited website. 

The women exchanged painful memories of how Carr made them strip for productions of Sinbad the Sailor and Tom Thumb so he could paint on their bodies or wash it off afterwards.

Carr, 73, was jailed by Gloucester Crown Court for 12 months after a jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting six girls.

Last week he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a seventh. The court heard three more victims have since come forward.

Judge Martin Picton told Carr: “What you did to your victims all those years ago was wrong. You abused and humiliated those children out of sexual motivation.

A older photo of Carr

“They have had to live with a sense of being humiliated and degraded.”

But Michele Eliott, of the children’s charity Kidscape, criticised the sentence as “too soft.” She said: “It is no deterrent. The message is that it is not very serious to interfere with children. He is a dirty old man and to use his position as a religious leader was dreadful.”

The court heard that the girls appeared in Christmas shows put on by Carr at a Catholic boys school in the Forest of Dean, Gloucs, between 1969 and 1976.

Carr, who claimed he “only wanted to put on a good show,” was never forgotten by his victims. 

One, a singer, said the priest had “become a monster in her mind.”

She could not bring herself to speak of him until she met up with another victim on a website.

The woman said: “In my 20s I would have wanted revenge but I simply didn’t want him dying and people saying what a wonderful priest he was.

“I don’t think he believes he’s done anything wrong. He has no inkling of how he’s affected our lives. I feel quite sorry for him.” The woman recalled she was astounded when she discovered she shared the same memories of the Catholic priest with another woman on Friends Reunited.

Noel Lucas, defending, said Carr, of Battersea,  London, had been “humiliated and shamed.” His life was “in ruins.” The priest now faces a church inquiry.

He was a member of the Salesian Order, founded by Don Bosco in the 19th century to help poor boys.

The order’s Father Michael Winstanley said: “We are saddened by this case and we apologise to the victims.” Carr will not face a new trial over other alleged cases. Crown lawyers said it was not in the public interest.