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Hackney priest found guilty of rape and assault

Father Eugene Fitzpatrick worked at a Catholic Church in Hackney

Stained glass

31 May 2017

Father Eugene Fitzpatrick, 68, was found guilty of rape and assault charges at Blackfriars Crown Court on 25 May 2017 and has been jailed for 22 years.

Fitzpatrick raped and assaulted one boy while working at Our Lady and Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Balls Pond Road. He also indecently assaulted another boy throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Fitzpatrick was found guilty of 11 counts of indecent assault and indecency with a child relating to the first victim, for which he received a total of five years.

Detective Constables Lorraine Simpson and Klementina Balint, the investigating officers, said: 

“Eugene Fitzpatrick is a predatory sex offender who abused his position of trust, preying on vulnerable youngsters and subjecting them to horrific sexual abuse over a period of years.

“In addition to the two known victims in this case, I believe that there may be additional survivors of Fitzpatrick’s actions who continue to suffer in silence. I urge anyone who has been abused by Eugene Fitzpatrick to contact police without delay.

“Specially trained officers will support victims throughout the investigative process and there are a number of additional support pathways that we are able to signpost.”

Anyone who thinks they are a victim of Eugene Fitzpatrick can contact the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command by dialling 101.

Alison Millar, abuse lawyer at Leigh Day, said:

“The offences of which Father Eugene has been convicted are horrific and represent the gravest breach of trust.  The survivors of this appalling abuse are to be commended for their courage in coming forward and giving evidence.  

“This case shows that it is still possible to secure convictions many years after the offending took place and that investigation of non-recent child abuse offences should remain a police priority.  

“We understand that The Islington Survivors’ Network (ISN), had information about a Father Eugene going back to the 1990s and have contacted the police about this.  

“Clearly, this requires thorough investigation: were possible opportunities missed to prosecute Father Eugene sooner?

“We strongly support the call made by ISN for an independent police-led investigation working towards the prosecutions of those who perpetrated or facilitated institutional or organised child abuse in Islington and the surrounding area, and who have still not been brought to justice.”  

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