Former priest sentenced for sex offences
Michael Higginbottom has today been sentenced to 17 years in prison for sexual offences committed against a teenage boy in the 1970s, when Higginbottom, a former Catholic priest, taught at St. Joseph's College in Up Holland, Lancashire.
Claire Hilton from the CPS said:
"Thank you to the victim in this case who showed great courage in coming forward to report the offences committed by Michael Higginbottom and giving evidence at his trial. His courage has enabled the CPS to bring Michael Higginbottom to justice for his crimes.
"Michael Higginbottom abused the significant position of trust he held as a teacher and guardian of the pupils in his care as well as a priest and representative of the Catholic Church. His actions have had a devastating impact on the victim from his school days and into his adult life.
"This case very clearly demonstrates that no matter how long ago sexual abuse was committed, time is not a barrier, and victims can see justice done even after several years have passed. The CPS will always take these cases very seriously and ensure that victims receive as much support as possible to help them give evidence at court."
Claire Hilton is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the North West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit.