Trial date set after ex-Northampton diocese Catholic priest denies 20 historic child sex offences

The former priest denied all charges at a hearing in Aylesbury Crown Court
The former priest denied all charges at a hearing in Aylesbury Crown Court

A retired Catholic priest of the Northampton diocese will stand trial next year after he denied 20 alleged historic child sex offences.

Francis McDermott, 75, from Bideford in Devon is alleged to have committed the attacks on underage boys and girls between 1971 and 1978.

The offences are said to have been committed in Buckinghamshire and Norfolk at a time when they were both part of the Diocese of Northampton.

He denied all charges at Aylesbury Crown Court yesterday (November 6) and is set to stand trial on February 4, 2019.

McDermott later worked at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Aylesbury, which is still part of the diocese, and he withdrew from active ministry in 2005.

He was charged with the following in relation 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, and one count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16.