Aylesbury Catholic priest denies 20 child sex offences

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image captionFrancis McDermott ministered at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Aylesbury

A Catholic priest has denied 20 sex offences against children in Buckinghamshire and Norfolk in the 1970s.

Father Francis McDermott, 75, from Bideford in Devon, faces charges including the rape of a girl under 16 and gross indecency of boys and girls.

The attacks are alleged to have happened between 1971 and 1978.

He denied all the charges at Aylesbury Crown Court on Tuesday and is set to stand trial on 4 February.

Both Buckinghamshire and Norfolk were part of the Diocese of Northampton during the time the alleged attacks are said to have happened.

Mr 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.

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