Case closed as paedophile priest dies
A paedophile priest awaiting sentence for sexually abusing a brother and sister has died, a court has been told.
Cases against 71-year-old Joseph Steele were listed for mention at Belfast Crown Court yesterday.
But Recorder, Judge David McFarland, said he understood the priest had died, so the case cannot go any further.
Judge McFarland listed the case to be heard again today so that it can be officially closed once the death certificate has been produced.
The wheelchair-using paedophile had been living in Dublin while awaiting sentence, having pleaded guilty to a total of 10 sex offences.
Steele, with an address at Kimmage Manor, Crumlin, Dublin, admitted five counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency, committed against the male child on dates between January 1967 and January 1971 and a further three counts of indecently assaulting his female victim on dates between August 1979 and July 1983.
It is understood the pensioner died at the weekend from cancer.