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Sorrow expressed as priest found guilty of child abuse

Father Francis McDermott, a priest of the Diocese of Northampton, has been found guilty of 18 counts of child sexual abuse following a trial at Aylesbury Crown Court which ended today (February 19). Sentencing for these offences has been adjourned to take place on March 14.


Three of the offences took place against two different victims in Norwich between 1972 and 1974 when Fr McDermott was based at St George’s Church. In the 1970s, Norfolk was part of the Diocese of Northampton. It is now part of the Diocese of East Anglia.

Along with the Bishop of Northampton the Rt Rev Peter Doyle, the Bishop of East Anglia the Rt Rev Alan Hopes has acknowledged the immense courage of the victims in coming forward. They are both conscious of how devastating the offences committed by Fr McDermott have been for the victims and their families and for the communities involved.

Bishop Alan said: “I want to express my deep sorrow for the hurt and damage that has been caused to all victims of this abuse and I will make time to listen to those who wish to speak with me about what they have suffered.

“The safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church and our Diocese. There are robust national safeguarding procedures in place and we always follow-up any complaint and co-operate fully with any Police investigation.”

Any abuse reported to the Diocese is referred to the police and other relevant authorities.

In the event of any concerns arising from this case or over safeguarding issues, please contact the East Anglia Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator, Mick Thurley on 020 8505 4199 or 07429 215344.

At present, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment.

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