Trial date set for Catholic priest Father Patrick Smythe accused of historic sex offences against boys in Leeds
A Catholic priest charged with committing sex offences against boys dating back more than 40 years has made his first appearance before a Crown court.
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 appeared before Leeds Crown Court earlier today for a plea and trial preparation.
Smythe was due to enter pleas but the charges were not put to him and the case was adjourned for four weeks.
A provisional trial date was fixed for February 28, 2022.
Smythe, a priest with the Diocese of Leeds, appeared in court for the brief hearing and spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address.
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.Judge Geoffrey Marson QC granted Smythe bail until February 22 when the plea hearing is expected to take place.