An 85-year-old atholic priest has pleaded guilty to a series of child-related sex offences after being extradited from enerife. In a hearing at Derby Crown Court, Francis Paul Cullen admitted 21 counts of indecent assault of seven children. The abuse, of boys and girls from 6 to 16, took place between 1957 and 1991. Cullen, born in Dublin, worked in Scunthorpe, Leicester, Nottingham and lfreton, Buxton and Mackworth, Derbyshire.
‘Terrible crimes’ spokesman for the Diocese of Nottingham said he was pleased Cullen had “taken responsibility for his terrible crimes”. Cullen was first arrested in Nottingham in 1991, but he skipped bail and fled to enerife in Spain where he lived for more than 20 years. Father Andrew Cole, spokesman for the Diocese of Nottingham, said: “I would like to offer our sympathy to those who have been affected by this tragedy in any way and assure them that we will do whatever we can to support them.
“I also wish to thank Cullen’s victims for their bravery in coming forward after many years of silence; it is due to them that Cullen has pleaded guilty. “Nothing can take away the horror of what happened to them, but I hope that today’s verdict will help them in some small way to find peace,” Father Cole said. Cullen will be sentenced on 24 March. He worked as a priest at the Mackworth parish of Christ the King in Derbyshire between 1960 and 1978. He was parish priest in Buxton from 1978-87 and in Hyson Green, Nottingham from 1988-91. He retired in September 1991.
If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact our specialist child abuse solicitors. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.
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