Pervert priest set to be sentenced

Francis Paul Cullen
Francis Paul Cullen

A former priest who spent more than two decades on the run in Spain will today be sentenced for sexually assaulting seven children.

Francis Paul Cullen, 85, was extradited to the UK last year to face charge of indecent assault and other sexual offences after being traced to Tenerife.

Dublin-born Cullen, who was located with the help of the Catholic Church’s safeguarding board, pleaded guilty last month to 21 charges relating to offences committed between 1957 and 1991.

The crimes against children aged between six and 16 took place while Cullen was a priest in Mackworth and Buxton, both Derbyshire, and Hyson Green, Nottingham.

Cullen, who has been warned that he faces a “very substantial” term in custody, will be sentenced at Derby Crown Court.

The clergyman fled to Tenerife in 1991 while facing charges of sexual assault brought by Nottinghamshire Police.