Fort Augustus Priest Father Benedict (Thomas Seed) TRIAL DELAYED UNTIL MAY

Published 24th Aug 2016 | Last updated 14th Jan 2017

14th Jan 2017

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https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1140638/trial-date-for-former-priest-accused-of-brutal-assaults-against-pupils-at-highland-school/ 


24 August 2016

Former priest denies vile abuse and brutally attacking boys with weapons 

A former priest who taught at a Highland school has denied a string of brutal assault charges against his pupils using weapons including a spiked golf shoe and a hockey stick.

Father Benedict Seed, 83, will go on trial next year accused of assaulting eight boys over a 14-year period at Fort Augustus Catholic School in the 1970s and 1980s.

The incidents are alleged to have happened between June 1974 and July 1988 when Father Benedict, whose real name is Thomas Seed, was a chemistry teacher and headmaster at the Roman Catholic school.

Seed, of North Brora Muir, Brora, in Sutherland, stood in the dock of Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday to confirm his name and his solicitor, Claire Russell, said that he denied all charges.

His trial was due to begin early next month, but Ms Russell and prosecutor Roderick Urquhart asked for it to be adjourned for procedural and technical reasons.

Seed will now be judged by a jury in Inverness on January 23 next year.

Miss Russell said she needed more time for further investigation and witness matters to be resolved.

Mr Urquhart joined in her motion for an adjournment, telling Sheriff Margaret Neilson: “One of our witnesses lives in Hong Kong and we want to set up a video link for evidence.

“It requires six to eight weeks to set up a link.”

Seed denied eight charges of assault to injury.

It is alleged he assaulted Sean Stone, then aged 12-13, by throwing him to the ground, striking him repeatedly on the head, shouting and screaming at him, instructing him to bend over a desk while another pupil held him down and repeatedly striking him on the body with a cane.

Seed is also accused of assaulting Clark Baxter, then aged 12-14, instructing him to remove his clothing down to his underpants and repeatedly striking him on the body with a belt, a cane and a spiked golf shoe.

Another two charges claims that Seed repeatedly struck Michael Mungavin, then aged 11, on the body with a cane; and that he dragged Paul Curran, then aged 14-15, from his bed, into his study and repeatedly struck him on his hands and wrists with a tawse.

Seed is also accused of repeatedly striking Dennis Kiwanuka, then aged 14-18, on the hands with a ruler, striking him on the buttocks over his clothing and his bare buttocks with a cane.

He is also charged with repeatedly striking Antonio Fassone, then aged 16-18, on the hands, wrists and forearms with a tawse and repeatedly struck him on the buttocks over his clothing.

Seed allegedly pulled Felix Lavery from his bed and repeatedly struck and kicked him on the head and body, and repeatedly struck him on the body and private parts with a hockey stick.

He is also accused of repeatedly kicking Mark Horn on the body, causing him to fall down a flight of stairs.

The former Brora priest was a monk teaching chemistry at the Roman Catholic School before moving to the Sutherland area when it closed in 1999.

Born in Duns, Berwickshire, he joined the monastery in 1950 and remained a member of the community there for 49 years, serving as house master and also head master there.

He completed his theological studies in Rome and was also a graduate of St Andrew’s University.

Sheriff Neilson fixed another hearing for November 22 to establish the readiness for trial. Seed had his bail continued. PRESS & JOURNAL

23 august 2016

  1. Brora’s Father Seed denies assault charges on boys aged 11-18
  2. Former priest denies assaulting pupils at Highland abbey 
  3. Ex-Fort Augustus Abbey school priest in court on child

Trial of former Fort Augustus Abbey priest adjourned 

The trial of a former priest accused of assaulting eight boys while teaching at Fort Augustus Abbey School has been adjourned until next year. Father Benedict Seed, 83, denies the charges, which include striking pupils aged between 11 and 18 with a cane and a spiked golf in the 1970s and 80s. A trial date has been fixed for 23 January for further investigations. It also allows time to arrange for one witness to give evidence via a video link from Hong Kong. Appearing at Inverness Sheriff Court under the name Thomas Seed, the former priest had his bail conditions continued. BBCNEWS


10th Sept 2015

Former Priest Appears In Court Over Assaulting Pupils

An 82 year old former priest at Fort Augustus Abbey school appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday (Thursday) on six charges of assaulting pupils to their injury there.

Father Benedict Seed appeared before Sheriff Margaret Neilson under his real name of Thomas Seed.

The former Brora priest was a monk teaching chemistry at the former Roman Catholic Boarding School on the shores of Loch Ness before moving to the Sutherland area when it closed in 1999.

Through his solicitor, John MacColl, he made no plea or declaration, was committed for further examination and released on bail.

The Crown Office refused to give further details of the charges against Seed.

There has been an on-going police investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the Abbey going back several decades.

in 2013, a TV investigation uncovered evidence of serious physical and sexual abuse at one of Scotland’s most prestigious Catholic boarding schools.

Accounts of abuse at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands and feeder school Carlekemp in East Lothian spanned 30 years.

The programme spoke to 50 former pupils about their experiences at the schools, which were run by Benedictine monks.

Many said they had nothing but good memories of the place but during the six-month investigation, investigators heard accounts from old boys of physical violence and sexual assault including rape by monks.

The Crown Office spokesman added: “Reports relating to a further eight men remain under consideration.”

Seed was one of seven siblings and he celebrated 50 years in the priesthood in 2006, having been ordained in 1956.

Born in Duns, Berwickshire, he joined the Fort Augustus monastery in 1950 and remained a member of the community there for 49 years, serving as house master and also Head Master.

He completed his theological studies in Rome and was also a graduate of St Andrew’s University.

He was well known for leading the voluntary Fire Brigade which had its base at the Abbey. His hobby was beekeeping. MFR

  1. Former Fort Augustus Abbey priest facing assault charges
  2. Priest Benedict Seed faces charges of assault at Fort

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