Assault charge priest trial delayed
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.