April 2022

Priest Stephen Matroni made boy take off clothes

AN Ardrossan priest who made a boy take off his clothes in Italy awaits his fate after being found guilty of lewd historic sexual behaviour.

Stephen Motroni, 64, awaits sentence after being found guilty of lewd, indecent, and libidinous behaviour from 1992 to 2001.

The priest returned to court last week – after the case was previously thrown out at trial over the jurisdiction of offences having taken place in Italy.

However prosecutors at The Crown Office successfully overturned that decision at the High Court.

Motroni, formerly of Smithstone House, Kilwinning, and currently of Stockport, previously faced two historic charges of lewd and libidinous conduct.

After hearing several days of evidence in 2020, Sheriff Michael Hanlon decided he did not have jurisdiction to hear the Italian charges and acquitted Motroni of all other offences.

However, the Procurator Fiscal successfully challenged the original acquittal verdict, arguing that the trial sheriff had retrospective jurisdiction over the incidents in Italy under the amended Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995.

Motroni was later found guilty of an amended charge last month [March 9] while found not guilty of a second charge.

The complaint states he induced the youngster, then aged between five and 13, to remove his clothing between April 12, 1992 and April 11, 2001 at a house in Vinchiana, Italy, as well as a home and a beached area in Barga, Italy.

When Motroni appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week [Monday, April 4], sentence was deferred until a later date so that previous presiding Sheriff Michael Hanlon could deal with the case.

Stephen Motroni was educated at Saint Peter’s Primary School, Ardrossan, Saint Michael’s Academy, Kilwinning, the Sacred Heart Fathers’ Noviciate College, Gateshead, County Durham, England, Ushaw College, Durham and Durham University.

He was ordained as a priest of the Congrégation du Sacré-Coeur (Congregation of the Sacred Heart) at the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Saltcoats On 4 June 1983.

He served with the Sacred Heart Fathers in Dublin, Ireland till 1985 then did retreat work in Cheshire till 1989.

He resumed his studies in Rome till 1991 after which he returned to Gateshead for a year. Motroni moved to the Sacred Heart Fathers’ home in Smithstone House, Kilwinning in 1992 where he remained for three years.

He also worked in England and Dublin until 2003, when he returned to Kilwinning as a Sacred Heart Father as well as working for the Diocese.