Forensic testing closes Sidmouth church to festival goers

SIDMOUTH Methodist Church is still cordoned off this lunchtime as a police forensic team searches for evidence following an alleged sexual assault nearby on a young woman early this morning.

SIDMOUTH Methodist Church is still cordoned off this lunchtime as a police forensic team searches for evidence following an alleged sexual assault nearby on a young woman early this morning.

Twelve FolkWeek events at the church and its two halls today, were moved to other venues, such as Kennaway House. They ranged from dance, singing and concertina workshops to a family concert.

Only one evening event has had to be cancelled at the church hall said one of the festival organisers Richard Brecknock. This is Contra Dance, due to start at 7.30pm.

Minister, the Reverend Brian Hadfield, said: "I had a call from the festival stewards this morning telling me there was no damage to the church but there had been a major incident in the small hours."


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The church hall entrance is in Church Lane, currently closed to the public, as is a side door to the church.

"I went by with the dog at 8.30am and there were police outside then," he said.

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A woman of 20, found in Church Lane, has been taken to hospital with groin and wrist injuries.

The church will re-open tomorrow (Wednesday). Bad weather has delayed forensic evidence gathering this morning.

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