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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Boy 'prayed after vicar's abuse'
Rev David Smith
Rev Smith denies all the charges
A boy told a jury he prayed for the "strength and courage" to expose the Somerset priest who had allegedly sexually abused him.

The 13-year-old told Bristol Crown Court the Rev David Smith had taken advantage of him after he joined the choir at St John's in Clevedon.

He said the vicar had kissed him and abused him after inviting him to the vicarage for roast dinners.

Mr Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, denies 14 charges.

The charges involve seven boys aged under 16 and relate to alleged incidents between 1976 and 2005.

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.

'Dad figure'

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

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

The boy told the jury he became friends with Mr Smith after the vicar discovered he wanted to be a priest.

After one lunch, the boy said Mr Smith had hugged him before the pair sat down to watch TV.

The boy then described how he was indecently assaulted.

The vicar took advantage of him on three further occasions, it is alleged.

"He told me stupid things like he loved me and tried to kiss me on the lips," the boy had told police.

The trial continues.

Boy 'abused by vicar in vicarage'
25 Apr 07 |  Somerset
Vicar denies child sex offences
24 Apr 07 |  Somerset

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