England

Sex abuse accused priest in 'surprise' pub meeting

  • 7 October 2010
  • From the section England
Richard John James Robinson
Image caption James Robinson denies all charges against him

A priest accused of sexually abusing boys met up with one of his alleged victims in a pub "as a surprise" while on a visit from America, a court heard.

Richard John James Robinson, 73, denies 22 charges relating to offences against six boys aged under 16 between 1959 and 1983 at churches in the West Midlands.

One of the alleged victim's sister said her brother made allegations about Mr Robinson after the pub meeting.

She said Mr Robinson had been a regular visitor to their Walsall home.

The alleged victim's brother-in-law told the court Mr Robinson had arrived back to the UK from America to visit his sick mother.

'Taken aback'

The priest told the brother-in-law he would like to meet the alleged victim "as a surprise" and the brother-in-law took him to the pub where he was, the court heard.

The brother-in-law said the alleged victim looked "taken aback" to see him and the two men had chatted for around 45 minutes.

Earlier, the sister had told the court the alleged victim had called family members together within weeks of the meeting and made allegations about him.

The former clergyman, who was known to parishioners as "Father Jim", worked in churches in Staffordshire, Birmingham and Coventry until the mid-1980s, when he moved to California.

He was extradited from the US in August last year.

The trial continues.

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