Paedophile priest admits assaulting fourth victim

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A disgraced paedophile priest, already serving a 10-year jail sentence for sex crimes against three victims has admitted sexually molesting a fourth young victim.

James Martin Donaghy had been due to go on trial at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday but instead, defence QC Eugene Grant asked for the charges to be put to the sexual predator again.

Speaking in a calm, clear voice Donaghy, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and blue striped tie, entered guilty pleas to four charges of indecently assaulting a male child and a further charge of committing common assault against the same boy on dates between January and May 1989.

As he entered his guilty pleas, his victim’s mother wept quietly in the public gallery before fleeing the court in tears.

No facts of the case were opened in court and His Honour Judge Kinney remanded Donaghy back into custody until July 2 when he will be sentenced after pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled.

Judge Kinney told Donaghy he would be placed on the police sex offenders register and barred from working with children and vulnerable adults however it can now be revealed that given his previous litany of offences the priest, described by another judge as a “ruthless” character, is already on both lists for life.

In February last year following a five-week hearing in the very same courtroom Donaghy, whose address was given as c/o Magilligan Prison but who is originally from Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn, was jailed for 10 years after he was convicted by a jury of a total of 23 sex offences committed over a 17-year time span against three victims who were all teenagers when the abuse first began.

Those offences included indecent assaults and committing acts of gross indecency with two as well as attempted buggery with his third victim.

His victims Father Patrick McCafferty, James Doherty and a third man who cannot be identified for legal reasons, gave evidence against the “domineering and controlling” priest who subjected them to bouts of disgusting and sickening abuse.

While Father McCafferty’s ordeal began in the early 80’s when he himself was a trainee priest and continued on until 1987, Donaghy’s other two victims were young choir boys in the churches where the predatory paedophile was a parish priest.

In jailing Donaghy in February last year, Judge Patrick Lynch QC described him as a “ruthless individual” and “sexual predator” who used his charm, humour and “domineering personality” to get his gratification.