A FORMER Catholic priest has appeared in court to face four charges of indecently assaulting two teenagers more than 20 years ago.

Brian Rutledge, 68, stood in the dock at Southampton magistrates during a ten-minute hearing while the charges were read out.

All of the allegations against Rutledge, of Waldergrove Close, Woolston, who used to work in the city, relate to the 1970 and 1980s.

He faces one charge one charge of indecent assault between March 1979 and March 1980, one charge of indecent assault on a boy under 16 between September 1986 and September 1987 and a final charge of indecent assault between March 1981 and March 1982.

He also has been charged with another serious sexual offence.

Rutledge was granted bail on the condition that he not contact any prosecution witnesses, his passport remains with the police and that he does not go within 100m of any school in Southampton.

The case was adjourned for a further hearing at Southampton Crown Court on October 25.