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Priest facing indecent assault claims found dead on day he was to answer bail

Priest facing indecent assault claims found dead Credit: PA

A Catholic priest facing historic allegations he indecently assaulted boys has been found dead on the day he was due to answer bail.

Father Ernest Sands, 67, was discovered at an address near Oswestry in Shropshire on April 11.

Lancashire Police arrested Father Sands last year in connection with allegations against five boys dating back to the 1970s, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time.

In a statement, Lancashire Police said:

"A 67-year-old man was arrested last year in relation to historical offences of indecent assault.

"As a consequence of the investigation, charges were being sought in relation to five male victims aged between 11 and 15 at the time.

"The allegations related to him serving as a Catholic priest in the late 1970s and 1980s.

He had been due to answer bail on April 11, but was found dead at an address in Wales on April 11."

– Lancashire Police

There are no suspicious circumstances and a file has been passed to the coroner.

The police said the alleged victims had been informed.