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Former Aylesbury priest convicted of 18 sexual assaults

Court

Published by Mix96 News at 6:31pm 19th February 2019. (Updated at 5:51am 20th February 2019)

A former priest has been convicted of 18 counts of non-recent sexual offences.

Francis McDermott, aged 74, of Atlantic Way, Westward Ho!, Bideford, Devon, was found guilty by a jury at Aylesbury Crown Court today (19/2) of the following:

  • Five counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.
  • One count of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.
  • One count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16.
  • Five counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14.
  • Six counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16

The offences took place between 1971 and 1978 in High Wycombe and Norwich where he worked as a priest.

The offences were committed against six victims and he has been remanded in custody.

He was acquitted of a further eight counts; one count of rape, five counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency and one count of buggery.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Catriona Cameron, of the Child Abuse Investigation Department in Aylesbury police station, said:

“Francis McDermott was a priest in the Catholic Church held in high regard and was a trusted member of the community. He used his position to befriend children for his own sexual gratification.

“The six victims in this case bravely came forward to report the abuse they suffered more than 40 years ago. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their courage and support of this investigation.

“They have been put through the trauma of a trial adding extra distress to them, and McDermott showed no remorse.

“Thames Valley Police will always take reports of any sexual offence seriously and will investigate reports thoroughly whether these are recent or non-recent.

“I hope this is the start of a healing process for all those involved.”

He is due to be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on 14 March.

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