A VICTIM of predatory Horwich priest Father John Murphy has told how he "nearly choked" when he spotted him on TV after he had been convicted of abusing other boys.

“For years I thought he was dead. I recognised him straight away," he said.

In 2017 Murphy, of Hillside Crescent, Horwich, was jailed for three years for previous offences against and now the 96-year-old former Catholic priest has been jailed again for five years after admitting a further 32 offences committed against boys over a 27 year period from the 1960s.

READ MORE: Paedophile priest jailed

One of Murphy’s victims, who came forward following the original court case said: “I knew he wouldn’t get a lengthy sentence because of his age but I’m just glad I’ve done what I’ve done – it feels like a huge weight has been lifted.

"If I hadn’t it would have been on my mind until the day I died."

He told how he kept the abuse quiet while his mother was alive because she was deeply religious and "it would have killed her. She was deeply religious. I used to be an altar boy, I was serving mass every day. He would find any excuse to turn up at the house or at school."

The boy was abused for three years by Murphy.

“I dodged games because he used to go in the changing rooms and he would always sit in the same place so he could see the boys in the shower," he said.

“He insisted on giving me swimming lessons and that’s when the abuse happened.

“People from school have since said I was a loner but you didn’t want to tell anyone because I thought ‘why me?’ I could never feel clean.

“I just tried to keep out of the way. Most lads that age went to parties and had girlfriends but I kept myself to myself. I never imagined he could be abusing so many more.

“It never goes away. Even now I get upset if I hear of a Catholic priest being prosecuted because it brings it all back. My psychiatrist said it’s embedded in my mind."

Richard Scorer, a lawyer from Slater and Gordon who is representing a number of Murphy’s victims in civil claims against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, said: “Murphy was in a position of trust which he exploited in the most sickening way, but his crimes have finally caught up with him.

“The regularity with which he offended, however, and the facts my clients describe – his habit of visiting the boys’ changing rooms for example – do raise serious concerns about the Archdiocese and its inability to safeguard against child abuse.

“The church must acknowledge its failings, apologise and show that meaningful progress has been made to prevent such abuse happening in the future. That is all my clients want”.