14th March 2019 – PRESS STATEMENT REGARDING THE SENTENCING OF FR. FRANCIS MCDERMOTT AT AYLESBURY CROWN COURT
On 14th March 2019, Father Francis McDermott, a retired Priest for the Diocese of Northampton, was sentenced to 9 years 11 months in prison, following his convictions on 18 counts of child sexual abuse. Following the sentencing and further to the statement issued on 19th February 2019, Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, issued the following statement
“My heart goes out to all those affected by these terrible crimes. How courageous the women and men have been after having carried the wounds of abuse for more than forty years. My hope is that the sentence today will aid in the long journey of healing for the victims and survivors of this abuse. I wish to reassure you all that abuse of any kind is not tolerated in the Church and that we will together, lay people and clergy, continue the building of safe environments for all.”
Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, 14th March 2019.
19th February 2019 – Press Statement – Father Francis McDermott
Fr Francis McDermott a priest of the Diocese of Northampton, was found guilty on this date of 18 counts of child sexual abuse offences following a trial at Aylesbury Crown Court. Sentencing for these offences has been adjourned to take place on 14th March 2019.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Northampton, the Right Reverend Peter Doyle, acknowledges the immense courage of the victims in coming forward. It is acknowledged that the trial has been a very difficult time and the Bishop is conscious of how devastating the offences committed by Father Francis McDermott will have been for the victims and their families and for the communities involved. It was saddening to hear of the considerable abusive behaviour spoken about by the witnesses in this case and the Bishop is willing to meet with those victims and their families, if they so wish, as has been communicated to the police.
The Diocese is committed to ensuring the safety and protection of every child and vulnerable person in our parishes and it is important to say that there are robust safeguarding policies and procedures in operation throughout the Diocese, and indeed the Catholic Church in England and Wales. 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, please contact either the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator, Danielle Dixon (01604 723514) or the Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding, Canon Michael Harrison (01536 203121). At present, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment.
Issued by: Neil Roseman
The Northampton Diocesan Communication Office
Date: 19th February 2019
Tel: 07725 234700