[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Boy was 'centre of vicar's life'
Rev David Smith
The Reverend David Smith denies all the charges
A vicar accused of abusing young boys told a teenager he was the "centre of his life" in a series of emotional letters, Bristol Crown Court heard.

The Rev David Smith, 52, vicar for St John's, Clevedon, wrote to the boy when he ignored his calls, the jury heard.

"Obviously the centre of your world has moved from a middle-aged vicar to a 19-year-old nubile girl," one read.

Mr Smith of St John's Road, Clevedon, denies 14 charges involving the boys between 1976 and 2005.

'Ground to a halt'

In another letter sent to the 18-year-old, and read out to the court, Mr Smith said: "I hope your new friends will show you the same love or generosity as I did, but I would not count on it. We seem to have ground to a halt."

The trial had previously heard how concerns were raised with the Church of England on two occasions about the vicar, first in the early 1980s and again in 2001.

Despite reassuring two complainants that the matter had been "dealt with", Mr Smith continued to abuse a number of young boys, it is alleged.

Mr Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, denies 14 charges allegedly committed against seven boys aged under 16 between 1976 and 2005.

The trial continues.

Boy 'prayed after vicar's abuse'
26 Apr 07 |  Somerset
Boy 'abused by vicar in vicarage'
25 Apr 07 |  Somerset
Vicar denies child sex offences
24 Apr 07 |  Somerset

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific