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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Boy 'abused by vicar in vicarage'
Rev David Smith
Rev Smith denies all the charges
A choir boy "feared for his life" after his parish priest sexually abused him at a vicarage, Bristol Crown Court has been told.

The Rev David Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, told the boy he loved him and took him on holiday to Malta, the jury heard.

The boy, who cannot be named, said he was terrified of being branded a liar if he exposed the abuse.

Mr Smith denies 14 charges involving seven boys aged under 16.

He faces 10 charges of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, one sexual assault and one of sexual activity with a child.

The alleged victim, now an adult, told the jury how he had joined St John's church choir when he was eight or nine and became close friends with the priest.

Concerns raised

He recounted how he had once gone to the vicarage to dog-sit for the priest and had fallen asleep on the sofa.

He said: "David had come back from a service at the church. It was quite late.

"I woke up and sort of saw David next to the sofa. I knew something wasn't right. I knew I was being touched. I knew it was wrong and couldn't say anything.

"I was terrified. I didn't know what was going to happen. If I'd said anything would David have got violent? But people knew I was there. I was terrified for my own life. He was masturbating me and I didn't know what to do.

"He stopped and he went to leave the room and said 'I'm sorry' and broke down in tears and left the room."

On a holiday in Malta, the alleged victim said he had woken one night to find Mr Smith in his bed again touching him.

'Dealt with'

He denied he had only come forward after learning his older brother had made a complaint.

The trial has previously heard how concerns had been 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", Rev Smith continued to abuse a number of young boys, it is alleged.

The alleged offences date from September 1976 to May 2005.

The trail continues

Vicar denies child sex offences
24 Apr 07 |  Somerset

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