The victim of a paedophile priest has spoken of his anger after his abuser’s sentence was reduced on appeal.

Father Francis Paul Moore, 82, subjected three children to a series of terrifying assaults at various locations in Irvine between 1977 and 1996.

In March this year he was jailed for nine year but last week he had 12 months cut from his sentence after winning a legal challenge.

Former altar boy Paul Smyth, who was abused as a child by the sick clergyman, says even if Moore dies in prison, his victims still won’t have justice.

Speaking exclusively to the Times from his Irvine home, he said: “It makes me feel angry. I don’t understand how they have reduced his sentence. Lady Rae said at the time he would have got a longer sentence if it wasn’t for his age.

“I know he will probably see out his final days in jail but I’m not sure that is even justice. We are all still left with the scars.”

Mr Smyth, 50, who was just 11 when the priest assaulted him, says Moore needs to be stripped of his ‘priest’ title.

He said: “The Catholic Church don’t seem to care. The Bishop needs to come and out publicly defrock him and say he is no longer a priest otherwise the Church’s apologies mean nothing.

“He is in jail because he is a paedophile. He should not have anything to do with the Catholic Church.”

Moore abused one boy at St Mark’s chool, another at the Magnum leisure centre and a third on the beach at Irvine in the 1970s.

Moore was also convicted of indecently assaulting a trainee priest in the 1990s with Judge Lady Rae saying he was guilty of despicable crimes and a gross breach of trust following his original trial earlier this year.

However, at a hearing at the Criminal Court of Appeal last week, lawyers for Moore successfully argued that their client should have been acquitted of the assault on the student priest.

They argued that the nature of the assault on the trainee was different from the assault on the children and the crime took place 20 years after the first set of offences.

Moore’s legal team argued that the length of time between the assaults and their different nature meant that the abuse against the trainee couldn’t be corroborated with the 1970s abuse.

Appeal judges Lady Dorrian, Lord Brodie and Lord Turnbull agreed with the legal arguments and quashed the conviction for assaulting the student priest.

The judges then reduced Moore’s sentence to eight years. Moore was returned to prison.

Moore’s youngest victim, was just five when the priest abused him in his school.

The court heard that the priest groomed some of his victims by taking them swimming or out for meals before sexually abusing them. The priest was also known as Father Paul.

The Catholic Church in Scotland said it wished to “sincerely renew” its apologies to victims.