Ulster Pair Go On Trial Over Sex Assaults

A Fermanagh priest and a Co Antrim man are due to go on trial in Liverpool today for a catalogue of horrific child sex attacks. Billy Adams (38), a native of Newtownabbey, is accused of several rapes and a string of other offences against a 12-year-old girl. Fr Jeremiah McGrath from Roslea, will go on trial alongside Adams at Liverpool Crown Court to face four related charges.

The pair were arrested and charged back in December 2005.

In April last year, Adams pleaded guilty to raping the 12-year-old girl in Blackpool during the previous July and August.

But he denied 11 other counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault, sexual touching and child abduction – all relating to the same girl – between May and November last year.

Fr McGrath (64) is accused of three counts of facilitating child sex and one of indecent assault.

At a previous bail hearing in April last year, it was alleged that the Fermanagh priest gave Adams cash to groom the girl and to pay for accommodation in which the abuse took place.

Fr McGrath was also accused of driving the girl to see Adams, who had moved from Northern Ireland to live in Lancashire before he was arrested in 2005.

Fr McGrath, who was granted bail, denied the charges.