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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Clergy sex-crime review completed
Bishop of Manchester, Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch
Bishop McCullough: Appointed lawyer to study the records
An investigation into 777 members of clergy in the diocese of Manchester has found no record of abuse allegations.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, appointed a lawyer to make sure none of the files contained child protection issues.

The review came after former vicar David Smith was jailed for abusing six children over a 30-year period.

The Church of England was criticised because it had told complainants their concerns about Smith "were dealt with".

Allegations had been made to the Church of England on two occasions about the vicar, firstly in 1983 and again in 2001.

Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, North Somerset, was jailed for five-and-a-half-years in May.

'Covered up'

It was the second abuse scandal to hit the church, after former choirmaster Peter Halliday, 61, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for sexually abusing boys in Hampshire in the late 1980s, amid claims the church had "covered up" his crimes.

Bishop McCulloch's review took three months and a spokesman for him said: "All clergy files have now been reviewed and we are now confident they contain no outstanding child protection issues concerning our clergy."

The process involved the review of a total of 777 records, which covered 195 retired clergy, about 570 active staff and 11 Church Army members.

The Diocese of Manchester is the Church of England in Bolton, Bury, Leigh, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Rossendale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford.

Calls for clergy sex-crime review
16 May 07 |  Manchester
Church 'acts to protect children'
05 May 07 |  Somerset
Vicar jailed for child sex abuse
03 May 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Archbishop's 'sorrow' over abuse
28 Apr 07 |  Hampshire

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