[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 13:30 GMT
Rape accused resigns school post
Protesting parents collect signatures
Some parents have protested outside the school
A priest facing allegations of child rape has stood down as chairman of governors at a Birmingham school.

Canon John Herve, was suspended from his duties as parish priest at St Agatha with St Barnabas in Sparkbrook, after being arrested this month.

He is currently on police bail while investigations continue into the alleged rape of a child under 16.

The city council confirmed on Saturday he has left his post on Ladypool Primary School's board of governors.

'Not imply guilt'

Parents protested outside the school and threatened to keep their children away after news of Father Herve's arrest and the jailing of a teaching assistant for unrelated child sex offences.

Mark Smith, 35, of Adams Hill, Bartley Green, was jailed for indecently assaulting a girl pupil.

Smith admitted grooming and three charges of indecent assault and was jailed for two-and-a-half-years at Birmingham Crown Court.

Birmingham City Council said Canon Herve has been advised not to attend any schools while the police investigation is carried out.

Canon Herve was appointed Honorary Canon of Birmingham Cathedral in April last year.

After his arrest and suspension from church duties, the Archdeacon of Birmingham, the Venerable Hayward Osborne, said: "I must emphasise that the suspension is a neutral act and does not imply guilt."

Protest outside rape claim school
23 Jan 06 |  West Midlands
Priest suspended over rape claim
22 Jan 06 |  West Midlands
Man, 35, groomed girl at school
17 Jan 06 |  West Midlands

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


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific