A retired Methodist minister has been jailed for using hypnosis to sexually abuse boys as a way to “satisfy his own depravity”.
John Price, 82, of Ash Tree Close, Bedale, North Yorkshire, was found guilty of 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Price, a widower who walks with a white stick and is cared for by his daughter, had denied the charges but was convicted and jailed for eight and a half years after a trial at Teesside Crown Court.
The court heard he had fashioned ways of being alone with the boys, who were aged between 11 and 17, then he indecently assaulted them.
He claimed he could help them with stress, physical or emotional pain and used a cloak or blanket in the hypnosis technique.
Attacks happened at his manse, in the vestry or at the boys’ homes when he was a minister in York and Pocklington.
One victim, who read out a personal statement in court, said the abuse had left him in “a chasm of absolute despair”.
“Within a short time he destroyed everything I had come to believe in – other people, the church and God himself. He shattered everything positive I had about myself,” he said.
“He claimed to be able to help me relax but it was his sick ploy to sexually assault me.
“I was worth nothing, a means to satisfy his own depravity.”