Wigan priest in court on sex rap

Police probe
Police probe

A Wigan priest will face a trial after being charged with historic sex crimes against children.

Francis William Simpson faces seven charges of indecent assault, including two against a boy under the age of 16 and five against a boy under the age of 14.

All the attacks are alleged to have taken place between September 1, 1980 and September 30, 1982.

The 71-year-old of Knightscliffe Crescent, Shevington, denied all the offences when he appeared in a short hearing at Bolton Crown Court on June 20.

Simpson was a member of the clergy at St Jude’s RC Church, in Worsley Mesnes, between 1980 and 1982, the dates between which the crimes are alleged to have taken place.

A spokesman for the Archidiocese of Liverpool confirmed that Simpson was a priest at the church during those years, but that he had stopped working in the Archdiocese some time ago.

They declined to issue any further statement until proceedings conclude.

Simpson will next appear before a Bolton Crown Court judge on November 26.

He has been released on conditional bail.