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Ex-priest faces 22 child abuse charges

A former Roman Catholic priest with a "dreadful weakness" for young boys moved from parish to parish sexually abusing children over the course of 24 years, a court heard yesterday.

James Robinson (73) is alleged to have committed a string of offences against six boys aged under 16 between 1959 and 1983 at a number of churches in the West Midlands, England. He faces 22 charges, including five counts of buggery, two of attempted buggery, 12 counts of indecent assault and three counts of indecency with a child.

The former clergyman, whose full name is Richard John James Robinson but was known to parishioners as "Father Jim", worked in Staffordshire, Birmingham and Coventry until the mid-1980s, when he moved to California. He was extradited from the US in August last year.


At Birmingham Crown Court prosecutor John Attwood said: "The defendant, Mr Robinson, was sexually attracted to young boys and he used the trust and respect that came with his position within the church to prey in a predatory manner on vulnerable children."

He said Mr Robinson had "a dreadful weakness" for young boys but his behaviour did not appear suspicious to his victims' families because "it was a different world back then".

The court heard that Mr Robinson took the boys on trips, and some stayed overnight.

Mr Attwood said the priest had "a knack for spotting the quiet child of the family", adding: "Although he moved from one boy to another over the years, there are marked similarities in the way he behaved".

Mr Robinson, who denies all the charges against him, was remanded in custody. The case was adjourned to today.

Irish Independent