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St William's home: Ex-principal on trial for sex offences

James Carragher
Image caption James Carragher denies 50 counts of indecent assault and 12 other serious sexual offences

A convicted sex offender who was a principal at a children's home and school has gone on trial accused of further sex offences against boys.

Leeds Crown Court heard James Carragher was jailed for seven years in 1993 and 14 years in 2004 for sex offences.

He denies 50 counts of indecent assault between the 1970s and the 1990s at St William's in Market Weighton, East Riding of Yorkshire.

Two other former staff at the home also went on trial earlier.

The home for boys with behavioural problems was run by the Catholic De La Salle order. It has since closed.

'Cloak of respectability'

Mr Carragher - who was head of St William's from 1976 to 1990 - and two other men are accused of abusing 19 former pupils between them.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Richard Wright QC said Mr Carragher was a man who had a "committed sexual interest in children and young boys in particular".

Image caption St William's, in Market Weighton, East Yorks, has since closed

Mr Wright said: "He hid behind a cloak of respectability.

"Who would believe the word of a delinquent boy set against those of a respected teacher of a Catholic order," Mr Wright added.

Mr Carragher went on trial along with former chaplain at St William's, Anthony McCallen, 69, and former teacher Michael Curran, 62.

The jury was told how Mr McCallen was convicted of abusing two boys in the 1990s.

Mr Curran has no previous convictions, the prosecutor said.

Image caption Anthony McCallen (l) and Michael Curran (r) are also on trial at Leeds Crown Court

Mr Carragher, of Merseyside, denies 12 other serious sexual offences alongside the counts of indecent assault.

Mr McCallen, also of Merseyside, denies 18 indecent assaults and seven other serious sexual offences.

Mr Curran, of Teesside, denies one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another of indecent assault.

The trial continues.

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