Beds, Herts & Bucks

Father Francis McDermott: Priest guilty of child abuse offences

Father Francis McDermott Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Father Francis McDermott, 75, denied committing sexual offences against six children in the 1970s

A Roman Catholic priest has been found guilty of abusing six children during the 1970s.

Father Francis McDermott, 75, abused his victims in London, Norwich and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury Crown Court heard.

One of his victims kept a diary marking each sexual encounter while another said McDermott regularly stayed at his family's home and sexually abused him.

He was convicted of 18 sex offences, including 15 indecent assaults.

McDermott, who is due to be sentenced on 14 March, was also found guilty of two indecent assaults on a male and one charge of indecency with a child.

He was found not guilty of two counts of indecent assault on a male, three counts of indecent assault on a female, one count of gross indecency on a boy under 14, rape and a serious sexual offence.

McDermott, from Atlantic Way, Bideford, Devon, was a priest in a number of different parishes between 1971 and 1979.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Yasmeen Malik said: "Francis McDermott exploited his position as a priest to strike up friendships with families in his local parishes, and then used his charm and charisma to gain the trust of the children so he could sexually abuse them."

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