Former national education advisor found guilty of sexually and physically abusing a boy while he was a parish priest in the Warwick area

Police praised the bravery of the victim for coming forward and giving evidence against him

The disgraced former national education advisor for Roman Catholic schools sexually and physically abused a boy while he was a parish priest at a church in the Warwick area.

As well as sexual abuse, Father Joseph Quigley beat the boy with a hurling stick and locked him in the cold and dark crypt.

He was forced to resign in disgrace, prosecutor Adrian Langdale QC told a jury at Warwick Crown Court.

Joseph Quigley, aged 56, of Stone, Staffordshire, was found guilty at Warwick Crown Court (pictured) of four counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of false imprisonment and one count of child cruelty.

Quigley (aged 56) now of Stone, in Staffs, denied four charges of sexual activity with a child, two of sexual assault, two of false imprisonment and one of cruelty.

But the jury took less than four hours to find him guilty of all nine charges by majority verdicts of 11-1.

Describing the perverted priest as ‘a sexual sadist and voyeur,’ Judge Peter Cooke remanded him in custody while a report is prepared on him to assess the danger he poses in the future.

Mr Langdale said: “This case involves allegations of historic abuse at the hands of this defendant, as he was known at the time, Fr Joseph Quigley. He was a Catholic priest, in a position of power and trust over the complainant.

Joseph Quigley.

“The abuse took two forms. First that it was overtly sexual by nature, such as touching and massaging the legs of the young complainant up to and around the groin area.

“There were other acts which were more like punishment of a sado-masochistic nature, such as caning or hitting boys with hurling sticks or shutting boys in the crypt of the church.

“It will seem extraordinary that a person’s religious beliefs could make them blind to what was wrong, but this is why Father Joe, as he was known, was able to get away with the abuse for so long.”

Mr Langdale added: “Father Joe was ordained in 1990. He held various prestigious roles, including being in charge nationally for education in Roman Catholic schools, as well as being a parish priest."

When his behaviour towards the boy came to light, and he was ‘removed from high priesting’ and sent to an institute in the United States for six months.

“After six months of therapy, he was returned to the UK and put on restricted duties. It would seem the Catholic Church believed that by doing so it had met its duties,” commented Mr Langdale, who pointed out that the police were not informed.

“Despite there not being an investigation at the time, there was clearly another victim the church would have found if they had looked.”

When Quigley was questioned he told a series of ‘careful and deliberate lies and untruths’ – and after the jury’s verdicts Judge Cooke praised the ‘devastatingly effective’ questioning by officers during the interviews.

Adjourning the case for a report to be prepared, he said: “This defendant, previously diagnosed by an expert as a sexual sadist and voyeur, has demonstrated that.

“A lengthy prison sentence is inevitable. I need to decide whether, given that diagnosis, he falls to be sentenced as a dangerous offender.”

He added that investigating officer DS Abigail Simpson and the Warwickshire Police team were ‘richly deserving of a public statement of commendation and thanks.’

Following today's outcome, investigating officer Detective Sergeant Abigail Simpson from the Warwickshire Police Criminal Investigations Department, said: “Joseph Quigley held a prestigious role and a position of trust within the community at the time the offences were committed, a position he abused by preying on a vulnerable child, grooming him and subjecting him to physical and sexual abuse over a number of years.

"I would like to pay tribute to the victim and witnesses who came forward and gave evidence against him. Thanks to their bravery, Quigley has now been convicted of his appalling crimes and will face justice for his actions, and hopefully this will now give the victim some sense of closure.

"I hope this case reassures anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse, either non-recent or current, that Warwickshire Police is committed to providing help and support to victims and bringing offenders to justice. We will always thoroughly investigate, no matter when the abuse took place. There is help and support out there, so please don't suffer in silence."

Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence is encouraged to report the incident to police by calling 101, where specially trained officers will help victims with care and sensitivity, and will work to get the right result for them with their wishes in mind. Always call 999 in an emergency.

There are a number of services available to people affected by sexual offences in Warwickshire. Click here for more information.