Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Former US priest extradited to UK

A former California priest, James Robinson, appeared in a British court Saturday after being extradited from the US, charged with sexually abusing young boys.

Father James Robinson, 71, appeared in court a day after after he flew into Heathrow Airport following extradition from the United States.

Robinson spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during a two-minute hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

The clergyman, who was not asked to enter a plea, is alleged to have abused young boys in Walsall, Birmingham, Coventry and parts of Wales between 1959 and 1983.

He has been ordered to appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on November 3.

There was no application for bail on behalf of Robinson, who faces a total of 22 charges, including 12 of indecent assault and three of gross indecency.

The clergyman, whose full name is Richard John James Robinson, is known to have worked in the Birmingham and Coventry areas of the West Midlands.

He moved to California in the mid-1980s.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham said it was "fully committed to the safety and protection of children and vulnerable individuals".

He said comprehensive safeguarding policies and procedures were now in place.

"The Archdiocese of Birmingham has co-operated fully with the police in all aspects of this case and will continue to co-operate with the police and other agencies as necessary," he added.

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