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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 18:52 GMT
Affair vicar has 'mark of Cain'
Extract from the Bible
Mr King had failed to maintain the expected standards
A vicar has been banned from office for four years after having an affair with a married mother of four children.

Rev David King, 54, of Egton, North Yorks, also married, was found to have had an "improper, intimate and physical relationship" with the woman.

However, a Church of England tribunal at Leeds Crown Court accepted the 2004 relationship was not sexual.

Mr King's lawyer John Lodge said his client would carry "the mark of Cain" on him.

The court heard the woman's son found a birthday card the vicar had sent his mother, featuring a naked man.

In the same month the affair started the woman left her husband.

The tribunal's decision makes unhappy reading for parishioners
Bishop of Whitby

He blamed the vicar for the breakdown of the marriage and complained to the Church of England.

The tribunal accepted that even though the woman was not a parishioner, the vicar was wrong to have become involved in a relationship with her.

Chairman Geoffrey Tattersall QC, accepted the relationship was not sexual, but said: "your relationship... was plainly wrong and wholly inconsistent with your holy orders.

"It was destructive of the trust placed in you."

John Lodge, defending Mr King, said being suspended as a vicar would be a stain upon his record.

"It will be like the mark of Cain. He carries it with him as well as the responsibility to change his ways."

The Bishop of Whitby, the Right Reverend Robert Ladds, said: "The Church of England expects the highest standards from its clergy in their professional and personal lives.

"The tribunal's decision makes unhappy reading for parishioners, for those directly affected by Mr King's conduct and for Mr King himself."

Vicar faces hearing over 'affair'
03 Oct 07 |  North Yorkshire

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