Jailed priest who worked in Wigan to appeal against abuse conviction

An appeal is set to be heard this week for a Catholic priest convicted of repeatedly abusing a teenage boy at a seminary near Wigan.

Monday, 29th October 2018, 1:44 pm
Updated Monday, 29th October 2018, 2:48 pm
Father Michael Higginbottom

Law lords will rule upon the case of Father Michael Higginbottom, who worked at St Joseph’s College at Up Holland in the late ’70s, after a hearing on Thursday.

The 74-year-old, who last lived at West Farm Road in Newcastle, is currently serving a 17-year jail sentence.

Appeal court judges will be asked to consider the verdicts on eight sexual offences, said to involve Higginbottom, between September 1978 and March 1979.

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The priest was convicted of abusing his alleged victim while he was a physics teacher at St Joseph’s which trained young boys wanting to become priests.

The former St Joseph’s schoolboy at the centre of the case said he was struck with a strap if he did not attend Higginbottom’s living quarters at the seminary, where most of the abuse was said to have happened.

The boy claimed his schoolwork suffered, as a result of him being repeatedly molested.

But Higginbottom alleged his accuser was motivated by possible compensation payouts.