A PRIEST accused of abusing young boys in Bury has been cleared of all charges.

John McCollough was found "not guilty" this afternoon (Friday Feb 29) at Bolton Crown Court of 11 indecent assaults and one act of gross indecency against a child.

The jury of seven men and five women was out from 10.30am to 3.45pm today, and returned not guilty verdicts.

Mr McCollough told the Bury Times: "I am extremely relieved. At the end of the film US Marshal, Wesley Snipes was asked the same question "how do you feel?", and his response was "righteous"."

Mr McCollough had been accused of performing sex acts with young boys while he was an Anglican rector at Christ of King with Holy Trinity Church in Spring Street, Bury, during the late 1980s and early 1990s. He denied the charges throughout.