French ex-priest faces six months jail for abusing boy
NICE, France, Jan 10 (AFP) – French prosecutors on Monday demanded a six-month prison term for a former Orthodox priest charged with fondling a British boy who spent Christmas with him in 1999.
Monsignor Paul, born Peter Alderson, denied accusations he abused the British boy, then 11, saying he only “helped him undress” and “rubbed his back a little” when the boy was bathing.
The boy, who lost his parents and was under the care of his grandmother who had made the acquaintance of Paul, was not present at the trial and was “on the run” according to his lawyer Marie-Pierre Lazard.
Incriminating parts of a diary of the priest, who retired in 2000, were read out in court, including passages where he mentioned “losing control of himself” and “frantically searching for physical pleasures”.
Prosecutors requested an 18-month jail term for Paul, with 12 months suspended.
A verdict is expected February 7.