Northern Ireland

Paedophile former priest pleads guilty to past offences

Belfast crown court statue
Image caption No details of the offences were heard in court

A convicted paedophile and former priest pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to 10 charges of sexual abuse.

Joseph Michael Steele, 71, from Kimmage Manor, Dublin, accepted charges of sexually abusing a boy and a girl between 30 and 40 years ago.

Steele admitted committing seven sexual offences against a male child, between January 1967 and January 1971. He also pleaded guilty to a further three counts of indecently assaulting his female victim between August 1979 and July 1983.

At a court appearance in 1996, the former member of the Holy Ghost Order confessed to 12 previous sexual offences against children between the age of nine and 15 whilst working as pastor and chaplain of a children's home.

Steele has been released on continuing bail and will be sentenced next month.