Britain jails ex-bishop over hushed-up sex abuse

2015-10-07 21:30
Bible (iStock)

Bible (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - A British court sentenced a former Church of England bishop to 32 months in prison for sexual abuse of young men on Wednesday after authorities failed to prosecute him for more than two decades.

Police first found evidence against Peter Ball, now 83, in 1993 but the case was dropped after lobbying by establishment figures, including an unidentified member of Britain's royal family, prosecutors said.

On Wednesday, a judge said Ball had sexually abused young men and teenagers in the church, misusing his position since 1977 to "persuade selected individuals to commit or submit to acts of physical or sexual debasement under the guise of being part of their austere regime of devotion".

Ball pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault on 18 victims aged 17 to 25 years old, and to misconduct in public office.

The police reported receiving dozens of phone calls supporting Ball from politicians, judges and others, prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told the court.

They also received more than 2 000 letters of support, including one from a member of the royal family, Cheema said, adding that it was "impossible to say whether those letters were encouraged and it is unlikely that those who wrote were in possession of the full facts".

The Church of England said Ball's imprisonment was "a matter of deep shame and regret".

"There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systematic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades," Bishop Paul Butler said.

The church has promised to investigate its response to the allegations against Ball.

"The independent review will examine the Church of England's co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies and the extent to which it shared information in a timely manner," Butler said.

It will also examine whether the church "responded adequately to concerns and representations submitted by survivors", he said.

Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.