A PAEDOPHILE ex-priest who was jailed for horrific sexual abuse across Ayrshire has died after contracting coronavirus, according to reports.

Paul Moore, who subjected three children and a student cleric to a series of terrifying assaults across Ayrshire, has died aged 85.

The former clergyman abused one boy at a school, another at a leisure centre and a third on the beach at Irvine between 1977 and 1996.

Moore also indecently assaulted a trainee priest in the 1990s. 

The BBC reported the death of Moore - following its own investigation ahead of the prosecution of the former Father - with The Scotsman reporting he was taken from HMP Dumfries to hospital after catching the virus.

Judge Lady Rae jailed Moore at the High Court in Glasgow back in 2018 saying he was guilty of despicable crimes and a gross breach of trust.

Bishop Maurice Taylor, gave evidence that Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and had a “desire to abuse minors”.

The bishop sent him to a treatment centre in Toronto and to Fort Augustus Abbey in the highlands. 

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

The priest, who was identified in court as Francis Moore but was known as Father Paul, was found guilty after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow. 

However, at a hearing at the Criminal Court of Appeal, 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 in nature from the assault on the children and the crime took place 20 years after the first set of offences.

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.