A former priest has been convicted of 18 sexual offences against six children in the 1970s.

Francis McDermott, 74, of Atlantic Way, Westward Ho!, was found guilty by a jury at Aylesbury Crown Court on Tuesday.

The offences took place between 1971 and 1978 in High Wycombe and Norwich, where McDermott worked as a priest.

The 18 charges include five counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14; one count of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14; one count of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16; five counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 and six counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16.

McDermott was found guilty by a unanimous verdict on 16 of the 18 guilty counts, and by a majority on the further two.

He was acquitted of a further eight counts.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on March 14.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Catriona Cameron, of the child abuse investigation department in Aylesbury, said: "Francis McDermott was a priest in the Catholic Church held in high regard and was a trusted member of the community. He used his position to befriend children for his own sexual gratification.

"The six victims in this case bravely came forward to report the abuse they suffered more than 40 years ago. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their courage and support of this investigation.

"They have been put through the trauma of a trial adding extra distress to them, and McDermott showed no remorse.

"Thames Valley Police will always take reports of any sexual offence seriously and will investigate reports thoroughly whether these are recent or non-recent.

"I hope this is the start of a healing process for all those involved."

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "The courage of those he abused and manipulated means the catalogue of his vile crimes has now been exposed despite his twisted attempt to blame the victims.

"Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim and it's important that survivors know it is never too late to come forward and seek support."

The NSPCC Helpline is available 24/7 for adult survivors of sexual abuse to contact for support and advice on 0808 800 5000 or via help@nspcc.org.uk.

Children can contact Childline at any time of the day or night on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk