December 2018

Paedophile priest who abused four young boys in the 80s found guilty

A perverted Lancashire clergyman has been found guilty of historical child sex crimes.

Francis Simpson molested four boys while serving as a parish priest between 1980 and 1982.

Bolton Crown Court heard that the abuse, which involved sexual touching over clothing, took place on visits to the boys’ homes, in his car when taking them on trips and, in one victim’s case, when in class at school.

The age range of the victims at the time was between seven and 15.

The sickening offences took place at Worsley Mesnes St Jude’s Church in Wigan but he later moved to St Chad’s in Chorley in 2016.

Simpson, of Knightscliffe Crescent, Shevington, had denied nine counts of indecent assault. But after eight days of evidence and two days’ deliberations, a trial jury returned nine guilty verdicts against the 71-year-old.

Records from 2017 show Simpson was on “administrative leave” from St Chad’s in Chorley, where he was appointed in 2016. Prior to this, he had been a parish priest in Litherland, Merseyside.