Father Francis MCDermott, who worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Aylesbury charged with child sex offences

Our lady of Lourdes Church
Our lady of Lourdes Church

He has been charged with 20 sex offences against six victims.

They were all below 16 at the time.

Francis McDermott, aged 75, of Atlantic Way, Westwood Ho, Biddeford, Devon, faces 20 charges of non-recent sexual offences which took place between 1971 and 1978 in High Wycombe and Norwich.

He retired from the Ministry in 2005.

Attacks are alleged to have happened between 1971 and 1978 when both Buckinghamshire and Norfolk were part of the Diocese of Northampton.

Fr McDermott later worked at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Aylesbury which is still part of the diocese.

The Diocese of Northampton said in a statement: "Father Francis McDermott, a priest of the Diocese of Northampton, who withdrew from active ministry in 2005 and has not exercised any active ministry since that time, has today been charged with twenty child sexual abuse offences between 1971-1978. The case is due to be heard at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court.

"The Right Reverend Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, affirmed that the Diocese would continue to co-operate fully with the Court proceedings as the safeguarding of children and adults at risk is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church.

"As in all such cases, our thoughts and prayers are with those hurt by abuse in all forms.

Our Lady of Lourdes declined to comment.

Bishop Peter Doyle said the diocese will cooperate with court proceedings.

McDermott has been charged with the following which relates to six victims:

One count of rape of a female under the age of 16.

One count of a male person committing buggery with a boy under 16.

One count of gross indecency of girl under the age of 14.

Four counts of gross indecency of a boy under the age of 14.

One count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.

Eight counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14.

Three counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16.

One count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16.

He is due at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on 4 October.