Priest in dock who used to teach in Wigan on child sex charges

Fr Michael Higginbottom
Fr Michael Higginbottom

A Catholic priest who used to teach in Wigan has appeared before a judge accused of a series of historical child sex crimes.

Fr Michael Higginbottom is charged with a total of six indecent assaults, two counts of buggery, a rape and a further count of gross indecency.

All the counts concern complainants who were boys at the time and date back several decades.

Higginbottom, now 75, taught physics at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic seminary at Roby Mill, Up Holland, in the 1970s.

Latterly he has been a resident of West Farm Road in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He did not enter any pleas during a brief hearing at Preston Crown Court. This may take place on December 19.

A provisional trial date, should he deny the charges, was set for June 19 at the same court next year and Higginbottom was released on bail.