Catholic priest pleads guilty to 27 counts of historical sexual assault against children in his care

A Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to 27 counts of historical sexual assault against children in his care.

Philip Temple, 66, worked in various children's care homes around London in the 1970s before being ordained as a priest.

Temple, who had previously pleaded guilty to 20 non-recent sexual abuse and perjury charges at Croydon Crown Court in April, admitted seven further counts of non-recent sexual assault when he appeared for trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Temple was employed by Wandsworth Borough Council, at Woking Close and Hertfield House between 1972 and 1974, before working for Lambeth Borough Council between 1974 and 1977 at Rowan House in Croydon.

He carried out the offences against both boys and girls residing in the care homes over the five-year period.

He then changed career path to become a priest and served at Christ the King Monastery, Vita Et Pax in Cockfosters where he abused two altar boys.

One of these victims made allegations that led to two trials during which Temple perjured himself by continually maintaining his innocence.

Temple has since pleaded guilty to perjury in relation to those proceedings.

He was arrested in July 2015 as part of Operation Trinity, which was launched after two allegations of abuse were reported to police in November 2012.

The investigation was launched by detectives from Scotland Yard's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command after information was received by officers that implicated Temple in multiple offences.

Temple, of no fixed address, is due to be sentenced later this month.