A FORMER altar boy claimed yesterday that he was regularly raped and beaten by a Catholic priest from the age of eight.
Former altar boy Jim Lawn outside St Patrick's Church in Dumbarton (Image: Digby Brown Solicitors/PA Wire)
Jim Lawn, now 54, says he was repeatedly abused by Father John Gowans, who warned him that he would “burn in Hell” if he told anyone.
The Church has apologised to anyone who has suffered abuse and said “lessons have been learned from the past”.
Mr Lawn, who has bravely waived his right to anonymity, said Father Gowans would abuse him after weekday Mass.
Jim Lawn, as a young boy, was told he would 'burn in Hell' if he spoke out (Image: Family Handout/PA Wire)
“You never stop feeling like a victim and you never stop suffering – but if you talk to someone you at least don’t need to do it alone.”
Recalling the first alleged attack, he said: “He took me into a toilet just off the corridor leading from the sacristy to the church.