Predator priest jailed for sexually abusing vulnerable children in Wandsworth and Croydon care homes

A Catholic priest and former children’s home worker was jailed for 12 years today for sexually abusing vulnerable children under his care.

Phillip Temple, 66, was employed by Wandsworth Borough Council and Lambeth Borough Council as a care worker, where between 1974 and 1977 he abused male and female children in care homes.

He worked in Wandsworth at Woking Close and Hertfield House between 1972 and 1974, and at Rowan House in Shirley Oaks, Croydon between 1974 and 1977.

Later he became a priest serving at Christ the King Monastery, Vita Et Pax in Cockfosters, sexually abusing two alter boys, a crime for which he was twice found not guilty after maintaining his innocence.

Temple appeared at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday, pleading guilty to seven counts on non-recent sexual assault having already pleaded guilty to 20 counts of the same offence at Croydon Crown Court on April 6.

In total the priest pleaded guilty to 27 counts of non-recent sexual assault in addition to two counts of perjury for the previous trials.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Temple’s victims were all abused in places where they should have felt safe and protected from predators like him.

“He was responsible for the care of children but instead abused his position of trust in the most shocking way.

“Children in care will have experienced tumultuous lives and the vital thing for them is to have someone who is reliable and always there for them.

“By speaking out about what happened to them, Temple’s victims have finally got justice and have contributed to making children safer. This case also sends a clear message that justice can be served no matter when the abuse took place.”

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Wingrave, of the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “We take very seriously any allegations of sexual abuse reported to us.

“If anyone believes they have been a victim I would urge them to contact the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command on 020 8217 6582.

“We have specially trained officers who are here to listen, investigate, and bring offenders to justice. Alternatively you can contact police via 101. In an emergency always dial 999.”

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