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Paedophile priest dies in prison aged 89

A paedophile priest has died in prison aged 89 Credit: Derbyshire Police

A paedophile priest who abused five boys and two girls over a 34-year period has died in prison aged 89.

Father Francis Cullen was jailed for 15 years in 2014 after admitting the campaign of abuse.

His seven victims - four in Mackworth, two in Buxton and one in Nottingham - had been subjected to sexual abuse so graphic that details cannot be published.

Cullen died at HMP Oakwood in Wolverhampton.

Cullen was ordained at the age of 24 and worked at Christ the King church in Mackworth in the late 1950s Credit: BPM Media

Four of his victims were targeted while he worked at Christ the King church in Mackworth, Derbyshire.

Cullen evaded jail after he skipped bail in 1991 for a similar sexual offence by going on the run to Tenerife for 22 years.

As victims started to come forward, he was tracked down and extradited.

In 2014, Cullen - then aged 85 - was jailed after pleading guilty to 21 counts of sexual abuse which took place between 1957 and 1991.

The court heard that after abusing one victim, Cullen held his hand on the child's head and said: "God will forgive you".

Cullen was jailed for 15 years in 2014 Credit: BPM Media

One of his victims said he found it difficult to form relationships and suffered from anxiety because of the abuse.

He told the court: “It became clear to me the Roman Catholic Church turned a blind eye to the activity.”

Last year it was revealed that another of his victims received £95,000 in compensation from the Catholic Church.

The former altar boy, who was just eight when the abuse started, suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.