March 2019

Man jailed for child sex offences – High Wycombe

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a former priest has been convicted of 18 counts of non-recent sexual offences.

Today (14/3), Francis McDermott, aged 74, of Atlantic Way, Westward Ho!, Bideford, Devon was sentenced to nine years’ and 11 months’ imprisonment at Aylesbury Crown Court.

On 19 February, McDermott was found guilty by a jury at the same court of the following:

Five counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.

One count of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.

One count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16.

Five counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14.

Six counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16.

McDermott was found guilty by unanimous verdict on 16 of the 18 guilty counts and by majority jury on the further two counts. The offences were committed against six victims. He has been remanded in custody.

They took place between 1971 and 1978 in High Wycombe and Norwich where McDermott worked as a priest.

February 2019

Man convicted of sexual offences – High Wycombe

Following an investigation by Thames Valley Police, a former A Catholic priest has been convicted of 18 counts of non-recent sexual offences.

Father Francis McDermott, aged 74, of Atlantic Way, Westward Ho!, Bideford, Devon, was found guilty by a jury at Aylesbury Crown Court today (19/2) of the following:

  • Five counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.

  • One count of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.

  • One count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16.

  • Five counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14.

  • Six counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16

McDermott was found guilty by unanimous verdict on 16 of the 18 guilty counts and by majority jury on the further two counts. The offences were committed against six victims. He has been remanded in custody.

They took place between 1971 and 1978 in High Wycombe and Norwich where McDermott worked as a priest.

Fr 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.

He was acquitted of a further eight counts; one count of rape, five counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency and one count of buggery.

McDermott is due to be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on 14 March.