Appeal looming over ‘abuse’ at seminary by Wigan priest

Wigan Today

July 4, 2018

By Peter Magill

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

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 July 24.

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.

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.

Earlier this year the Court of Appeal gave the minister leave to appeal after considering submissions from his legal team.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Teare and Mr Justice Kerr, ruled that a previous fraud charge relating to the alleged victim, should have been admitted into evidence during the trial.

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