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In name of God, who is letting Payne out? The judge ordered he serve every day of a 6-year sentence..This is awful, I'm in shock


The Mirror (UK), 25 September 2002 by Yvonne Kinsella and Jenny Friel

A YOUNG man abused 103 times by sick pervert Fr Ivan Payne said last night: "Who in the name of God is letting this awful man out?"

Computer worker Andrew Madden, 29, was an altar boy when the twisted cleric subjected him to appalling sex attacks.

When 58-year-old Payne was convicted in 1998 a court ordered that he serve every day of his six-year sentence.

But next month Ireland's most infamous paedophile will leave the Curragh Prison in Co Kildare and live with a relative beside a girls' school in Celbridge.

Payne, the first pervert priest to be released early, was given pounds 27,000 from the Archdiocese of Dublin to compensate Mr Madden.

That secret payment rocked the diocese and then Archbishop, now Cardinal, Desmond Connell. The evil fiend abused altar boys and sick children in hospital - who he called his "little angels" - for 18 years.

In an emotional interview with the Irish Mirror, Mr Madden demanded to know why Payne was being freed.

He said: "My God, he should stay behind bars.

"I can't understand why they would let him out so early. I didn't think they let sex offenders out like this.

"He ruined my life and that of many other little children. He should pay in full for what he did.

"When he was given six years I expected him to serve six years.

"I can't believe he will be living beside a school next month. Anything is possible when you think of it.

"In the Curragh sex offenders do not have to receive rehabilitation treatment if they don't want it. I don't know what, if any, treatment he has had. If he had treatment will it be effective and stop his offending again?

"I want to know if there is any follow up treatment for offenders like Payne when they're released.

"There are a lot of questions to be answered here."

Mr Madden said victims had not been informed of his early release, adding: "I think that is an absolute disgrace.

"I only learned today there was a Victims Liaison Officer attached to the prison service after the Irish Mirror told me about the release.

"His job is to tell people like me that our abuser is getting out - but he can only do that if we ask to be contacted.

"But how could I ask to be contacted when I never even knew such an officer existed.

"The authorities should be obliged to contact all of Payne's victims and let them know of an impending release date.

"I am sickened today. It's the worst news. I just feel awful."

Payne was initially sentenced to two years in 1998 for sexually assaulting young boys.

But this was trebled to six years after an appeal by the DPP, with the court stating that he should not be release early. He is the most notorious pervert priest since Fr Brendan Smyth.

But the sex fiend is now ready to move into a house near St Wolstan's Girls' School in Celbridge, which is used by girls aged 12 to 17.

He is said to be over the moon at leaving the Curragh.

A source said: "He's cock of the walk now that he's getting out."

Mr Madden, who was abused by Payne from the age of 12, said: "I never knew there was remission time for sex offenders and that is something which should be questioned.

"I think the people living in Celbridge should be told that Payne is going to be there.

"He will have to go on the sex offenders' register but what does that really mean. OK, so they sign on every day but what good is that unless their movements are monitored.

"Payne is still a priest to my knowledge and he can still wear a collar.

"While he won't have the same position of trust he can still use his powers to get what he wants.

"He is still entitled, as far as I know, to say mass and if he wants to do something to another child he will find a way."

The evil curate carried out a litany of abuse on children for nearly two decades.

Complaints were first received about the cleric in the early 80s.

But the Church simply moved Payne to a new parish in Sutton, Dublin, where he continued to abuse.

Payne also presided over the Dublin Regional Catholic Marriage Tribunal which scrutinised the sex lives of young couples seeking an annulment

He eventually pleaded guilty to 13 sample charges of indecently assaulting nine boys on dates from 1968 to 1987. The boys were between 11 and 14 and the offences were committed on patients in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children.

Defending the pervert later, Dr Connell told his congregation the Church had sought professional advice after Payne's confession but decided he was no threat to children.

Mr Madden said: "I wonder if he has paid that pounds 27,000 loan back. And was he still being paid when he was in prison.

"He took the innocence of so many children but he still hasn't paid the price as far as I am concerned."

Mr Madden added that he wrote to Dr Connell in 1993 to tell him of the abuse he suffered.

Shortly afterwards he received the out-of-court settlement from Payne's lawyers.

Mr Madden was distraught when Payne was initially handed down the lenient sentence of just two years for abusing children.

He said at the time: "The abuse was horrendous. Some of the victims were altar boys and were called his little angels or pets. They were impressed by Payne. He was highly respected and thought of in the community."

Mr Madden said it was extremely difficult for Payne's young victims to accuse such a pillar of society of "sexual deviancy

He added: "It would have been unthinkable.

"They were convinced they would not have been believed. Payne was a popular figure."

When he was sentenced in 1998 the then 54-year-old cleric read out a prepared apology to the children whose lives he ruined.

He told his victims: "I acknowledge the hurt I have caused to so many, particularly the victims, their families, my own family, my friends and the entire community."

The Court of Criminal Appeal may have ordered Payne to serve every day of his sentence but it now appears that order is to be ignored and the pervert is to be set free.

A Prison Service spokesman said yesterday: "I cannot comment on individual prisoners."


ANGRY: Sexual abuse victim Andrew Madden yesterday; EARLY RELEASE: Payne has served four years of his term