Alnwick priest who ‘destroyed’ child’s life jailed for historic sexual abuse

Predator David Taylor told victim that abuse was “part of church life”.

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A former priest from Alnwick, who took advantage of his position to abuse a young male over the course of several years has now been jailed.

Seventy-three-year-old David Taylor, previously known as Father Taylor, subjected the young boy to years of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s.

He made the child believe that the abuse was “part of church life”. As the victim grew up, he began to question the behaviour but felt powerless to report his childhood abuser, fearing no one would believe him over a seemingly respected member of the community.

However, in 2019 the victim bravely found the courage to come forward with the support of his family. An investigation was launched, leading to the arrest of Taylor who denied his guilt last month.

A jury found Taylor guilty of 10 offences, including indecent assault of a child under 14. This week, a judge sentenced Taylor, of Angel Lane, Alnwick to 13 years behind bars.

The victim spoke of the long term effects of his childhood abuse, and how it led to him feeling suicidal as an adult. In his victim statement shared with the court, he said: “My childhood was regularly being sexually abused by a person I should have been able to trust.

“I will never be able to put into words fully how the abuse by Father David Taylor has affected my life. I knew by coming forward that I would need to talk about the worst times in my life and the emotions it would raise. However, I believed it was important that people knew exactly how my life had been affected.”

Detective Constable of Northumbria Police Helen Ohalleron who led the investigation said: “Taylor abused his position as a priest in the most cruel way possible and in doing so, he didn’t just destroy a young boy’s childhood but his lifelong ability to trust.

“The victim showed immense bravery by coming forward and thanks to that strength, his attacker is now behind bars and his reputation ruined.”

She added: “I hope this sentence gives some comfort to the victim who has proved he is every bit a survivor.

“I also hope it serves as a reminder to others that it’s never too late to come forward – you will be listened to, supported and we will do everything we can to ensure your abuser is put before a court. You’re not alone and you don’t deserve to suffer in silence.”

For support and information on how to disclose sexual assault or rape, please visit Northumbria Police website.

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