A priest has been convicted of sexually abusing a child more than 30 years ago at a children's home in Hanworth.
The Catholic priest, 68-year-old Father Anthony McSweeney, was found guilty, on Friday (February 27) at Southwark Crown Court following a 10-day trial, of indecent assault of a boy under 16, between January 1979 and July 1981, and three counts of making indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of children on or before January 15 2013.
McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage in Crawley, Sussex, was convicted in connection with the incident which was committed during his time working at Grafton Close Children's Home in Hanworth.
He was convicted as part of Operation Fernbridge, a strand of the wider Operation Fairbank which was launched in 2012 to investigate allegations that child abuse had taken place at the home in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In the late '70s, McSweeney was offered a role at Grafton Close by John Stingemore [Fernbridge 1], who worked at the home as the officer in charge.
Also charged with a number of offences in connection with the investigation, and due to stand trial alongside McSweeney, he died at his home in East Sussex on January 14.
McSweeney worked at the children's home on an ad-hoc basis as a 'helper' - he was never formally employed by The Royal Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames - and the role brought him into contact with the young boys who resided at the home.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Keith Braithwaite, from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: "McSweeney was an abuser who used his role in a position of trust.
"I would like to pay tribute to the courage of the victim in speaking out against McSweeney. It was that testimonial that secured the charges and enabled this case to be brought to court.
"I would also like to thank those witnesses who provided key evidence that ensured the court could hear what sort of man McSweeney really is.
"I am only sorry that McSweeney in denying his offences has forced the victim to relive the experience in court. I hope however that today's result will give the victim some sense of closure."
McSweeney will be sentenced on March 27 at Southwark Crown Court.
The jury found him not guilty on three counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 years [Victim 2] between January 1979 and July 1981; and one indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 years [Victim 3] between January 1979 and July 1981.