Former Bedgrove priest accused of child sex attacks appears in court

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A priest who practiced at a Bedgrove church has appeared in court charged with sexual offences.

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

They were all below 16 at the time of the alleged incidents.

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 appeared at High Wycombe Magistrates Court today and a trial date has been set for November 6 at Aylesbury Crown Court.

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.

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.