A CHURCH leader has still not been charged, three years after he was arrested for an indecent assault - and councillors say it is time to end the investigation.

The Rev Canon David Tudor, from Canvey, has been suspended from his church role following his arrest in April 2019. The offence is alleged to have taken place in the 1980s.

Mr Tudor has been Rector of St Nicholas Church since 2006.

Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independents, said: “He is well respected on the island and I believe nobody should have to put up with this for so long as he has done.

“It’s ridiculous, they need to either charge him or clear him of it. When he came here, the church was struggling. He had it packed out to the rafters each week and now the same community is losing out.

“Lots of people are very upset and want to see him leading the services and church community as they remember and love.

“Nobody who has seen him lead services or events is unimpressed by what he does.”

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Mr Blackwell added: “His parishioners really miss David and I think it’s really unfair for them to keep him under investigation for this length of time.”

In 2008, Mr Tudor was appointed area Dean of Hadleigh, covering a patch from Canvey through Castle Point to Leigh, Westcliff and St Laurence’s parish in Eastwood.

Mr Tudor was convicted of having sex with young girls in 1988 but then he had the convictions overturned on appeal and was freed from jail.

In a separate case Mr Tudor admitted having sex with a girl but insisted she was 16.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: “The investigating officer is still conducting enquiries.”

At the time of Mr Tudor’s arrest, the suspension by the Bishop of Chelmsford was described as a neutral act while the police investigation continues.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Chelmsford said: “David Tudor remains suspended from his role as Team Rector of the Parish of Canvey Island as he is the subject of an ongoing police investigation. We are unable to comment further at this stage. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this case.”

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