Child sex vicar still gets pay

PUBLISHED: 16:44 11 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:17 24 May 2010

A DISGRACED Clevedon vicar has been paid his salary while behind bars and remains in office despite being convicted of child sex offences

A DISGRACED Clevedon vicar has been paid his salary while behind bars and remains in office despite being convicted of child sex offences.David Smith was imprisoned in May for five and a half years after being found guilty of sexually abusing boys over a 30-year period.But the 52-year-old is still technically vicar of the Clevedon parish and is still entitled to his stipend. The salary, reported to be in the region of £20,000, will be paid to Smith until he is removed from his post.The Bath and Wells Diocese says it is doing its utmost to resolve the situation but explained the process of removing Smith from his position was a long one because of the legal problems involved.Rev John Andrews, the spokesman for the Bath and Wells Diocese, said: "We have to follow the law and implement it as expeditiously as we can. We are anxious that the whole matter should be resolved as soon as possible so that the ongoing pastoral care of the parish can be settled, because until Mr Smith is removed there is no vacancy and we can't replace him."In the meantime the parish is being looked after superbly by the Rev Victor Barley, working with retired clergy in the parish."Between them they are taking the parish forward and helping to heal the wounds."It is understood that Smith should be replaced soon after his right to appeal against the decision to remove him expires, expected to be any day soon.

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