Former catholic priest, Patrick Holmes leaves the Perth Magistrates Court
Former catholic priest, Patrick Holmes leaves the Perth Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to six child sex offences dating back to 1969. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

A former Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to six allegations he molested two girls while serving at two separate Perth churches in the late 1960s and early 1980s.

Father Patrick Holmes, 79, admitted the charges of indecent assault at his first appearance at Perth Magistrate's Court.

The charges were only revealed by police on Monday.

He will be sent for a sentencing hearing at District Court in June.

Police said the first allegation stems from his time as a priest at the Catholic Holy Name Church in Carlisle in 1969, when he assaulted a girl who was six to seven years of age.

Police said the incidents occurred in the presbytery.

It is then alleged Holmes indecently assaulted a girl, aged about 12, at St Aloysius Church in Shenton Park in 1980.

The incident allegedly occurred when she visited the presbytery after school.

Following the court hearing, Catholic Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe offered an apology to the victims for Fr Holmes’ abuse.

“The crimes committed by Fr Holmes will have had a devastating effect on his victims, their families and their friends,” Archbishop Holmes said.

“I want to express my own dismay at Fr Holmes’ betrayal of these women’s trust in him when they were young girls and, because he was working as a priest in our Archdiocese at the time, I also want to offer my own sincere apology.”

The West Australian

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