THE shocking case of a Catholic priest who sexually abused two boys in Workington after his abbot sent him to work in the town – despite knowing he was a paedophile – is a scandal, says the town’s MP.

Eighty-year-old Peter Turner was this week jailed for more than 20 years for a catalogue of horrific child sex crimes.

During his court hearing, it emerged that he had abused two of his victims AFTER a Catholic abbot in York who knew of his perverted past sent him to work as a priest at Workington’s Our Lady & St Michael’s Roman Catholic Church.

As a priest, Turner went under the name Father Gregory Carroll.

But, in 2008, he changed his name by deed poll, the Times & Star can reveal.

It is the second case in a month featuring a paedophile who offended in West Cumbria and then changed his name.

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson said of the abbot’s decision to send Turner to work as a priest to West Cumbria: “It’s a scandal.

“I just can’t get my head around why anybody would think that was the right thing to do.

“Nobody is above the law.

“What happened was astonishing. The church needs to answer for it.

"People’s lives have been damaged. I hope the victims can find closure.”

Mr Jenkinson has vowed also to ask the Home Office to clarify the legal issues that govern when a convicted paedophile can or can not change his name.

During Turner's sentencing hearing, The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, told the defendant – formerly known as Father Gregory Carroll – that he brought evil into the world.

The former monk was jailed for 20 years 10 months after he admitted a string of sexual offences more than 30 years ago against three boys aged between nine and 12.

Turner admitted 11 counts of indecent assault, two serious sexual assaults, and gross indecency with a child. He had served another jail sentence in 2005 after he admitted offences against 10 pupils at Ampleforth between 1979 and 1987.

Judge Morris told the pensioner, who has recently been living in Redcar: “You have brought evil into this world when, by your calling, you should have brought hope, help and succour.

“You were a priest at Ampleforth boarding school.

“It’s a religious school and, no doubt, because of that, that’s a comfort to parents because they will be thinking that they are entrusting the care of their child to men of God, instead, in your case it was to a man of evil.”

The court heard emotional statements from the three now- adult victims.

Turner’s abused boys at Ampleforth between September 1984 and January 1987, when his victims were aged between 10 and 12.

Tom Storey, prosecuting, said the monk’s abuse had been comprehensive. He told the boy it was their secret and gave him sweets and alcohol. One victim spoke of being completely dominated by the defendant and completely at his mercy, unable of saying anything or seek help. Turner was removed from Ampleforth Abbey in 1987 – but sent by the abbot to Workington after confessing to the headmaster his sexual contact with a pupil.

In West Cumbria, he abused two more boys.

The judge continued: “And so you were shunted off to a parish in a completely different part of the country, a completely different type of place, Workington.

“And then you started again.”

One of the Workington victims just nine or 10 when Turner indecently assaulted him in 1987 and 1988.

The boy reported the abuse in 2006 after reading an article about Turner’s conviction for abusing pupils at Ampleforth.

But the CPS decided it was not in the public interest to bring further charges as he was already in jail. The third victim was just 10 when Turner sexually assaulted him between June 1987 and June 1990, the court heard. Turner abused him in the rectory of the church in Workington.

“You abused them in the most vile way, you continued your perversions,” said the judge.

“They, too, were innocent.”

He added: “Your values were not those of a man of the cloth and you have devastated their lives as well.”

The court heard how in 1999 Turner told the headmaster at Ampleforth he had abused more than one boy at the school.

He was recalled from Workington and confined to the monastery at Ampleforth in 2002 after the publication of the Nolan Report into the problem of clerical child abuse.

He was seen by a clinical psychologist who felt obliged to tell the police about his disclosures, leading to his conviction and four-year jail sentence in 2005.

Turner denied abusing any children in Workington until he entered his guilty pleas on Tuesday.

Nicola Gatto, defending, said: “This is going to have a very significant effect on this defendant and the victims listening will no doubt think this is no more than he deserves.”

Of the name change issue, Mr Jenkinson said: “I’ll take it up with the Home Office.” Last month, we reported the case of child rapist Mark Parker, 57. He was previously jailed for separate child sex offences, committed in West Cumbria when he was called Nicholas McKerrow.

After the Turner case, the Diocese of Lancaster issued a statement about Turner.

A spokesman said: "Abuse hurts so many people and we are deeply saddened by what has happened.

We extend heartfelt sympathy to all those who are suffering. We recognise the courage of the victims and survivors who have come forward and our priority is to support them if they need us to."

The spokesman said Lancaster Diocese follows national safeguarding procedures and provides training to clergy and those involved in parish life as part of our ongoing commitment to enabling all our parishes become safe and welcoming to all.

After the McKerrow case was reported, the Home Office told the Times & Star that it can withhold the right of a convicted sex offender to change his or her name - but Cumbria Police said it does not have that power.

A spokesperson said: “The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and there are measures in place to stop individuals changing their name in order to hide a criminal past.

“The failure of a sex offender to tell police of a name change within three days is a criminal offence with a maximum prison sentence of five years, and the Home Office reserves the right not to issue a document in a new name to a registered sex offender.”