Vicar appears in court on child sex charges

PUBLISHED: 14:52 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:36 24 May 2010

A CLEVEDON vicar has appeared in court charged with a string of sexual offences against children dating back 30 years. Father David Smith, aged 51, of St John's Church, faces 15 allegations relating to alleged incident which took place between 1976 and 20

A CLEVEDON vicar has appeared in court charged with a string of sexual offences against children dating back 30 years.Father David Smith, aged 51, of St John's Church, faces 15 allegations relating to alleged incident which took place between 1976 and 2005.Appearing at North Somerset Magistrates' Court in St George's on Thursday, Father Smith was bailed to reappear at the court on August 31 so his case could be committed to Bristol Crown Court.His bail conditions include not contacting any of the seven complainants.Father Smith, who has been vicar at St John's since 1993, has been charged with seven counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14, two counts of gross indecency with a boy under the age of 16 and two counts of indecent assault with a boy under the age of 16.He has also been charged with inciting a boy under the age of 16 to commit an act of gross indecency, assaulting a boy under the age of 13 by touching, being an offender aged 18 or over engaging in non-penetrative sexual activity with a boy aged 13-15 and sexually grooming a boy under the age of 16.Father Smith has been suspended from duty and will remain so until the outcome of the case.

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