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Solihull priest arrested over child sex allegations

A MIDLAND priest and school governor has been arrested by police investigating historic child sex allegations.

A SOLIHULL priest and school governor has been arrested by police investigating historic child sex allegations.

Father Ted Simpson, based at Olton Friary in Solihull, was arrested on January 25 on suspicion of sexual activity with a minor.

West Midlands Police said he was currently on bail while inquiries continued.

Staff at the church seemed unaware of the police investigation. One said: "He has not retired yet, but he may do. I should leave things alone for the moment."

The 83-year-old has close links with Olton voluntary-aided catholic primary school, Our Lady of Compassion.

Its website said: "We are most fortunate to have the wise counsel and constant support of Father Ted Simpson who regularly comes in to say mass and is a long-standing member of the governing body."

Olton Friary was built by Franciscan Friars in 1929.

The church was badly damaged by a fire in July, 1970, but re-opened 15 months later.

The friars left in January 1981, and the Sacred Heart Fathers and Brothers of Betharram took over the running of the parish, with Father Simpson as parish priest.

A secretary at the Friary yesterday refused to allow a reporter to speak to Father Simpson and referred all calls to a press officer.

A spokesman for the catholic church in Birmingham confirmed Father Simpson had been spoken to by police, but refused to go into detail.

Peter Jennings, press secretary to the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: "Father Ted Simpson of Olton Friary was interviewed by the police during January 2013. We have nothing further to say about this matter at the present time."

A West Midlands Police spokesman confirmed: "On January 25, an 83-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child.

"He is currently on police bail while inquiries continue."

 

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