The victim of a former priest jailed for sex abuse at a Catholic boarding school said he cried so often “I could have drowned in my own tears”.
Father Michael Higginbottom was found guilty of repeatedly abusing the teenage boy at St Joseph’s College in Upholland, Lancashire.
He was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of four counts each of a serious sexual offence and indecent assault.
The 74-year-old, of West Farm Road, Newcastle, was jailed for 17 years.
The court heard the victim, now in his 50s, was aged between 13 and 14 at the time of the abuse, which began about a week after arriving at the school.
He said he was invited into Higginbottom’s living quarters and the defendant locked the door and ordered him to undress before sexually assaulting him.
The victim said he would be hit with a strap if he did not go to the physics teacher’s living quarters at allocated times.
In a statement read to the court, he said: “My sexual abuse happened so often I became numb to what was happening to me.
“I cried so often I believe I could have drowned in my own tears.”
He said he used to pray that he would die to escape the abuse.
“There are worse things than death – living with an evil man and being left alone at Upholland,” he said.
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