As­sault charge priest trial de­layed

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - News -

A for­mer priest who taught at a High­land school will go on trial in May ac­cused of a string of bru­tal as­saults against his pupils.

Fa­ther Bene­dict Seed, 83, was due to go be­fore a jury later this month at In­ver­ness Sher­iff Court.

He is ac­cused of us­ing weapons in­clud­ing a spiked golf shoe and a hockey stick to at­tack chil­dren in his care while teach­ing at a Catholic school.

But yes­ter­day, Seed’s lawyer Clare Rus­sell told Sher­iff Mar­garet Neil­son she was not yet pre­pared for trial.

She ex­plained: “I have just to­day re­ceived an 81- page state­ment by a pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness which I will need to pe­ruse and that will take some time.

“I also wish to look at this wit­ness's men­tal health record. In ad­di­tion, there is a po­ten­tial de­fence wit­ness in Italy who will re­quire to be in­ter­viewed.”

She added that there were other pro­ce­dural is­sues which re­quired to be re­solved.

Fis­cal Rod­er­ick Urquhart did not op­pose her re­quest for an ad­journ­ment and Sher­iff Neil­son re­as­signed the trial to the jury sit­ting of May 15.

Seed is ac­cused of as­sault­ing eight boys over a 14year pe­riod at Fort Au­gus­tus Catholic School in the 1970s and 1980s.

The in­ci­dents are al­leged to have hap­pened be­tween June 1974 and July 1988.

Fa­ther Bene­dict, whose real name is Thomas Seed, of Brora in Suther­land, was a chem­istry teacher and head­mas­ter at the school.

Seed de­nied eight charges of as­sault to in­jury.

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