Priest Suspended over Rape Claim

BBC News [United Kingdom]
January 22, 2006

Canon John Herve, parish priest at St Agatha with St Barnabas in Sparkbrook, was arrested by police earlier this month and is currently on police bail.

He is alleged to have raped and indecently assaulted a child under 16.

The board of governors at Ladypool School will meet this week to decide whether to remove him from his post.

A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council's education authority told BBC News: "Father John Herve is currently the chair of governors at Ladypool School, however, he has been advised not to visit the school.

"The local education authority has no powers to remove or suspend the chair of governors. That can only be done by the governing body of the school. They are due to meet this week."

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

The Archdeacon of Birmingham, the Venerable Hayward Osborne, said: "On Friday, 13 January, Father John Herve was suspended from his duties following allegations made against him.

"The Diocese of Birmingham is co-operating with the police, and is following the appropriate protocols which have led to this suspension.

"I must emphasise that the suspension is a neutral act and does not imply guilt."

West Midlands Police said in a statement: "A man in his 50s had been arrested on suspicion of rape and gross indecency with a child under the age of 16.

"He was arrested in Highgate, Birmingham, and has been released on police bail pending further inquiries."

A former army chaplain, Canon Herve has served tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus, and was awarded the UN medal in 1979.


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