A former boss of a Richmond care home has appeared in court charged with child sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

John Stingemore, 71, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, along with 66-year-old Father Anthony McSweeney.

Mr Stingemore, who managed Grafton Close care home, was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, two of taking indecent images of a child and one of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery.

Mr McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, is charged with three counts of indecent assault, one of taking indecent images of a child, three of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

Zahid Hussain, prosecuting, told the court some of the charges related to seven alleged victims, who were all between nine and 15 when the alleged offences took place in the 70s and 80s.

Mr Hussain told the court while Stingemore was the boss of a care home, Mr McSweeney was a local priest and the pair knew each other from scouts.

Mr Stingemore, represented by Efstathios Divaris, is on conditional bail until his next appearance.

He must not contact Mr McSweeney or have unsupervised access to children under 16.

Mr McSweeney, represented by Simon Nicholls, must not contact Mr Stingemore, have unsupervised access to children under 16 or access the internet.

Mr Nicholls told the court Mr McSweeney had indicated a not guilty plea to the charges relating to alleged offences in the 70s and 80s.

District judge Emma Arbuthnot committed the pair to Southwark Crown Court, where they will appear on September 18.