November 22, 2017
A priest who was jailed for 17 years after he was convicted of a campaign of sexual abuse of a teenage boy today won the first stage of his fight to clear his name.
Michael Higginbottom, 74, allegedly subjected the boy to repeated sex assaults while he was working as a teacher at a seminary in Lancashire in the 1970s.
The Catholic clergyman was accused of abusing the youngster in his living quarters at St Joseph’s College, in Upholland, near Skelmersdale.
He was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of eight serious sex crimes in April and jailed for 17 years.
But Higginbottom, of West Farm Road, Walker, Newcastle, continues to claim innocence and was today granted the right to an appeal by the UK’s top judge.
A Court of Appeal panel, led by lord chief justice, Lord Burnett, said Higginbottom has an “arguable” case that his convictions should be quashed.
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