A DISGRACED priest jailed this month for abusing young boys in Irvine is appealing his conviction and sentence.

Father Francis Paul Moore was caged for nine years for attacks on children as young as five on Irvine beach and in St Mark’s Primary School.

The 82-year-old was found guilty of the historic abuse also included an attack on a trainee priest, at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year.

During sentencing Judge Lady Rae told Moore he had committed “despicable crimes”.

He added that by going to trial he forced his victims to relive the traumatic experiences suffered at his hands.

This week the High Court in Edinburgh confirmed that Moore’s legal team had lodged a notice of intent to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

The trial heard that Moore abused one boy at a school, another at the Magnum leisure centre and a third on the beach at Irvine in the 1970s.

He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting a student priest in 1995.

The court heard that the priest groomed some of his victims by taking them swimming or out for meals before sexually abusing them.

His youngest victim was just five when the priest abused him at primary school.

The man, now aged 46, told of how that Moore kissed him and then sexually abused him.

He said the abuse took place for the first time when he was sent to Moore by his teachers after drawing a picture of Jesus Christ with nipples.

The man said he was crying and Moore embraced him and then sexually abused him.

Bishop Maurice Taylor, 91, gave evidence in the trial and told the court Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and had “a desire to abuse minors”.

Moore was removed from the pastoral ministry after his admission but continued to live in a house purchased by the church.

He denied sexually abusing the three boys and a student priest between 1977 and 1996.

At one point, Moore told police: “It is absolutely untrue. I would take a lie detector test.”

A date for the appeal hearing has yet to be confirmed.