Former Coventry Priest in Court to Face Child Sex Charges

By Warren Manger
Coventry Telegraph
August 10, 2009 court-to-face-child-sex-charges-92746-24356490/

A FORMER Coventry priest appeared in court on Saturday charged with a string of sexual abuse crimes against young boys.

James Robinson finally faced the British legal system when he was brought before magistrates in Birmingham.

He denied more than 20 acts of sexual abuse spanning more than two decades, with the earliest dating back half a century.

Robinson was an assistant parish priest at the Roman Catholic Church of St Elizabeth's in Eld Road, Foleshill, in the 1980s before moving to America.

The 71-year-old lived in California for 24 years before being extradited by UK police last week to face trial in this country.

He touched down at Heathrow on Friday and was taken straight to a police station in Birmingham.

Robinson is charged with 22 offences of serious sexual abuse and indecent assault between 1959 and 1983.

During that time he trained and was a parish priest at a succession of West Midlands churches, including St Elizabeth's and Father Hudson's Children's Home in Coleshill, north Warwickshire.

Robinson appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Saturday looking fit and healthy.

He wore a grey T-shirt, a grey hooded top and jeans.

He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he understood the charges were so serious that they could only be dealt with by a crown court.

No application for bail was made and Robinson was remanded in custody to face a jury of his peers.

He will appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on November 3.

Peter Jennings, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, attended the hearing and read out a prepared statement.

He said: "This is a matter of great concern to the Archdiocese in Birmingham."

"Our prayers are with all those affected and their families.

"The Archdiocese is fully committed to the safety and protection of children and vulnerable individuals and has in place comprehensive safeguards and procedures."

Mr Jennings said the Archdiocese had co-operated fully with the police and would continue to do so.


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