Defrocked Liverpool rector sentenced to 4 years imprisonment on child pornography charges


A former Church of England vicar has been jailed for a third time after he was found to possess over 800 pornographic images on his computer.

Paul Battersby, (72) the former vicar of St Ambrose Leyland, and a one time Church of England National Youth Officer, was arrested by North Yorkshire police after they searched his home in Skipton last October. A laptop was found by police that contained pornograpic images. He was arrested and charged with with three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing extreme pornography including videos, breaching a sexual-harm prevention order and a further count of possessing 205 prohibited or cartoon images of children.

Prosecutor Lucy Brown told the York Crown Court that Battersby, who served the Church of England for 31 years in the ordained ministry, possessed 832 pornographic images, including rape of children as young as five, and images of bestiality.

Battersby pled guilty to all charges in  A paedophile ex-vicar once caught with a shoebox full of kid’s clothes is back in jail for the third time after watching children as young as five being raped. 

“You say you want to change,” Judge Simon Hickey told Battersby on 3 August 2021. “I find that difficult to accept, given, in my judgement, your deeply embedded behaviour.

“You deliberately flout any court order and attempts to rehabilitate yourself.”

Declaring him a dangerous offender, the judge said: “I am quite satisfied on the evidence before me – these offences and the deliberate way they were committed and the offences on three other occasions – you will go on to commit serious harm by the commission of further specified offences.” 

Battersby was sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Court.

This is Battersby fourth time in the dock for child pornograph offenses. In 2008, Battersby received a suspended prison sentence at Preston Crown Court for possessing “very disturbing” images of children after being turned in by his wife.

In 2010, he was jailed again after police found 160 obscene images of children on his laptop which had been used to organise missions for the Church of England.

In 2017 Battersby was jailed for 20 months by the Liverpool Crown Court for downloading 1,730 indecent images of children and extreme animal pornography.