Birmingham priest cleared of assault allegation

 A Birmingham parish priest has been cleared of an indecent assault allegation made against him by a 15 year-old boy. Fr Richard Dinnis, parish priest St Catherine's Church, Bristol Street, Birmingham, was questioned by police after the allegation was published in the Sunday Mercury on 20 October. After an investigation, police decided that no charges would be brought against him. However, police are still looking into a second complaint made against him by an 18-year-old student. At Sunday Masses in his parish this weekend, Fr Dinnis, was due to read out a statement saying he was 'distressed' by the allegations. He said: "On Friday, 25 October, I was interviewed by the West Midlands Police. They informed me that the allegation against me published in the Sunday Mercury newspaper on 20 October has been found to be without foundation. "This has been a distressing and stressful time for me. "With the encouragement of the Archbishop I have decided to take some time away from the parish. "I am grateful for the expressions of support and prayer that I have received and please continue to pray for me as I will for you." A spokesman from West Midlands police said: "The allegations made in the Sunday Mercury have been investigated and there are no criminal offences disclosed." The spokesman confirmed that the second complaint was under investigation.

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