Plea hearing of Catholic priest accused of historic sex offences against boys in Leeds adjourned for a further two months

A Catholic priest charged with committing sex offences against boys dating back more than 40 years had his plea hearing at Leeds Crown Court adjourned for a second time.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:54 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:56 pm

Father Patrick Smythe is accused of four counts of indecent assault against four different boys under the age of 16 between 1978 and 1983.

The 77-year-old, a priest with the Diocese of Leeds, was due to enter pleas to the charges when he appeared before the court today (May 10).

The case was adjourned for a further two months following an application by the prosecution.

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Father Patrick Smythe, pictured outside Leeds Magistrates' Court at an earlier hearing.

A hearing was previously adjourned in February this year.

A provisional trial date has already been fixed for February 28, 2022.

The first offence is alleged to have taken place in Leeds between May 1978 and May 1981.

The second offence is alleged to have taken place in Leeds between May 1979 and May 1981.

A third offence is alleged to have been committed in Skipton between February 1982 and February 1983.

Offence number four is also alleged to have been committed in Skipton between July 1981 and July 1982.

Smythe, of Manor Square, Otley, entered not guilty pleas when he appeared before Leeds Magistrates' Court on December 16.

He was granted conditional until the next hearing on July 21.