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Family Gets $1.3 Million Over Abuse By Priest

Feb 3, 2004 | Toronto Star

A family has been awarded more than $1.3 million in damages for pain and suffering inflicted by a sexually abusive Roman Catholic priest more than 30 years ago.

The groundbreaking judgment, handed down yesterday by Superior Court Justice John Kerr, found Rev. Barry Glendinning and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ont., liable for damages suffered by the Swales family.

The decision was hailed by members of the family as vindication for their long battle for justice.

"Now my kids can relax and start to enjoy their lives," Donna Swales, the mother of the abused men, said.

From 1967 to 1974, Glendinning was a professor at St. Peter's Seminary in London. He became a trusted friend of the Swales family after meeting John, Ed and Guy at a summer camp for underprivileged children in 1969.

Trial testimony showed Glendinning introduced the Swales brothers and other children to tobacco, alcohol and sexual activities during visits to his seminary quarters and camping trips.

Kerr found the diocese negligent because it failed to recognize and stop Glendinning's abuse of the Swales brothers. He also found the diocese vicariously liable for the actions of Glendinning while he was in their employ.

London lawyer Paul Ledroit, representing the Swales family, said the general damages for pain, suffering and loss of life opportunities is thought to be one of the highest awards in Canada.

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