Trial date set for Priest Francis Paul Cullen sex abuse case

Francis Paul Cullen in the 1960s and in 2013 Francis Paul Cullen appeared via videolink from Nottingham Prison

An 85-year-old Catholic priest charged with sexually abusing boys in the East Midlands will stand trial next year.

Francis Paul Cullen was extradited from Tenerife in August to face 27 charges of sexual offences against boys under the ages of 15, dating back 50 years.

He appeared at Derby Crown Court via videolink from Nottingham Prison and spoke only to confirm his name. No plea was taken.

The offences allegedly took place in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

He was remanded into custody and a trial date of March 2014 was set.

The custody time for his extradition warrant runs out at the end of February and an application for its extension is expected.

He worked as the priest at the Mackworth parish of Christ the King in Derbyshire between 1960 and 1978.

He later served at St Mary's in Hyson Green, Nottingham.

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