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  1. ITV Report

Catholic priest jailed for historical abuse of children in Norwich, London and High Wycombe

Francis McDermott was convicted of 18 counts of historical child abuse Credit: South Beds News Agency

A Catholic priest who abused six children in the 1970s has been jailed for nine years and 11 months.

Francis McDermott, who is 75, abused six victims in London, Norwich, and High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, between 1971 and 1978. Some were as young as 10.

One of those victims now lives in Northampton.

McDermott was found guilty of 18 counts of historical child sex offences following a trial.

Judge Catherine Tule told McDermott he had "turned down so many opportunities to admit your wrongdoing".

The offences were reported to the church on two separate occasions but were not passed on to police after McDermott denied the allegations, the court heard.

Two of his victims read statements during Thursday's sentencing hearing which recounted the "devastating impact" he had on their lives.

"I hate you. There is no one to blame but you."

– Victim of Francis McDermott

Trevor Burke QC, defending McDermott, said the defendant had been a Catholic priest "all his adult life" but said "for a period of seven years where he had completely lost his way".