Former Catholic priest admits 27 charges of historic child abuse

Philip Temple admitted child abuse.Metropolitan Police

A former Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to 27 charges of sexual assault against children.

Philip Temple, 66, committed the offences during the 1970s in London while he was working in south London care homes and a church in north London.

He admitted seven of the offences at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday and had previously admitted 20 similar charges.

He adso admitted perjury, having lied on oath in the 1990s when he was acquitted of abuse charges after an allegation made by a teenage boy.

Temple was suspended from his role as a social worker in children's homes in 1977 and left the profession. He became a monk at a monastery in Cockfosters and abused two altar boys there. He was ordained a priest in 1987.

After being acquitted in the trial during which he perjured himself he is believed to have served in France and Italy. He was arrested in 2015 and admitted the historical abuse.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church in England and Wales told the BBC that the Church was limited in the measures it could take because Temple was answerable to the head of his order in Italy and was not under its direct jurisdiction.

Raymond Stephenson, a member of the Shirley Oaks Survivors' Association, formed by victims at one of the Lambeth Council care homes where he worked, said: "If Temple had been caught at Shirley Oaks he would not have been able to abuse anyone else."