Priest Francis Paul Cullen in court over sex abuse cases

Francis Paul Cullen in the 1960s and in 2013
Image caption Police said Francis Paul Cullen faces charges dating back nearly 50 years

An 85-year-old Catholic priest has appeared before magistrates in Derby charged with sexually abusing boys in the East Midlands.

Francis Paul Cullen was extradited from Tenerife, where police said he had lived "for some time".

He faces 27 charges relating to sexual offences against boys under the ages of 15, dating back nearly 50 years.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Derby Crown Court in September.

Derby Magistrates heard Mr Cullen was originally charged in 2000.

The offences allegedly took place in parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Mr Cullen's legal team said he would vigorously defend himself against the allegations.

He worked as the priest at the Mackworth parish of Christ the King between 1960 and 1978.

He later served at St Mary's in Hyson Green, in Nottingham.

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