Priest who downloaded 5,000 indecent images of children awaiting Rome’s decision on future

Timothy Gardner. Picture: Central News

Timothy Gardner. Picture: Central News - Credit: central news

A priest who downloaded thousands of child abuse pictures will not be returning to his lodgings or work at a Gospel Oak church.

Friar Timothy Gardner, 42, a former teacher at Maria Fidelis Catholic School, Phoenix Road, Somers Town, was last week given a suspended eight-month prison sentence for downloading more than 5,000 indecent images, including one showing a nine-year-old engaged in a sex act with a dog.

He has moved out of his home at St Dominic’s Priory in Southampton Road, Gospel Oak, and “will not be returning”, the Catholic church said.

The friar was an ordained priest who carried out mass and confession at St Dominic’s.

Gardner is suspended from all “priestly duties” until a decision on his future is made in Rome.