Scotland

Monk appears in Scottish court on child sex abuse charges

Fort Augustus School

A former Catholic monk has appeared in court on seven charges of child sex abuse.

Denis "Chrysostom" Alexander, taught at Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands in the 1960s and 1970s.

The 84-year-old was brought back to Scotland from his home in New South Wales, Australia, after an extradition battle lasting almost five years.

At Inverness Sheriff Court he made no plea and was remanded in custody. The case was continued.

The charges include indecent assault, assault, and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour.

Extradition proceedings

His court appearance comes seven years after BBC Scotland first revealed claims against him.

The Crown Office launched extradition proceedings in December 2016, but since then Fr Alexander had contested the move on health grounds, saying he was too ill to face trial.

He was arrested in Sydney almost three years ago and has been in custody ever since.

In November, the Federal Court of Australia dismissed his case for a judicial review of the attorney general's decision to extradite him to Scotland.

Fr Alexander had until 5 December to lodge an appeal against that ruling, but failed to do so.

Run by Catholic Benedictine monks, Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands closed its doors in 1993.