A CATHOLIC priest has denied he committed offences of child abuse against two schoolboys in Bury.

John McCollough (61) appeared at Bolton Crown Court on Monday to plead not guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency with two children, both aged under 16, between 1987 and 1993.

The offences are alleged to have taken place while McCollough was an Anglican rector at Christ the King with Holy Trinity Church in Spring Street, Bury.

McCollough, who now lives in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, later converted to Catholicism and is a priest at St Vincent's Church in Dagenham.

He was released on bail to stand trial at Bolton Crown Court on August 20.