Abuse vicar is sacked by Church

BBC News, UK/August 16, 2007

A vicar jailed for sexually abusing six boys over a 30-year period has been removed from office.

The Reverend David Smith, 52, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in May. He had been the vicar at St John's in Clevedon, Somerset.

The Church of England said Smith will never work as a priest again - the maximum penalty it could impose.

It had been continuing to pay Smith his annual stipend since the conviction, but this has now also been stopped.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Price, said the penalties were imposed as soon as possible after the conviction.

A spokesman said: "It was not possible to take action immediately after Smith was jailed as the bishop was obliged to comply with various time limits in the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 including the allowance of further time for Smith to appeal against the bishop's penalty.

"That time limit has now expired and the penalty has been imposed."

Bishop Price added: "The legal processes we had to go through take a frustratingly long time but they have now been completed.

"We can now look to the future with hope and confidence."

During Smith's trial, it emerged that concerns had been raised with the Church of England on two occasions about him - once in 1983 and then in 2001.

Between 1983 and 1993 he was team vicar at Malvern Link in Worcestershire.

Despite the church reassuring two complainants that the matter had been "dealt with", Smith continued to abuse boys at the vicarage in Clevedon.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.