Peter Ball (Anglican) Investigation
23rd to 27th July 2018
23rd July 2018
Counsel to the Inquiry, Fiona Scolding QC explained the questions to be asked over the next few week. They are :-
- Why had Peter Ball (PB) escaped detection as an abuser before 1992 ?
- How did the church allow his scheme to run without supervision ?
- Why did he receive a caution rather than being prosecuted ?
- His lawyer was also the diocesan registrar – was there not a conflict ?
- Was it wrong for the diocese of Chichester to have employed Brian Tyler the private investigator ?
- Were the police put under undue pressure by prominent people ?
- Why could a Bishop have been free from any sanction from the church until 2016 ?
- Why was PB allowed back into public ministry and schools ?
- Why didn’t Lambeth Palace pass on letters it had received making similar complaints to Neil Todd to the police ?
- Was an internal church investigation in 1992/3 adequate ?
- Why did the CPS accept guilty pleas to lesser charges in 2015 ? Why was there no trial ?
- Would the church do the same again today ?
- What steps do the church, police and society need to take to prevent this happening again ?
- Is “grooming” widespread in the church ?
PB became Bishop of Gloucester in 1992. He had been suffragan Bishop of Lewes from the 1970s. In the 1960s he set up the community of the glorious ascension. He spoke at public schools and set up his “give a year to god” scheme in 1980.Boys heard about it through schools and joined. Vickery House (another abuser) supervised the “schemers”. Most were just over 18 years old. Some were sent there from school, one was under 16 when he went.
PB agreed to plead to misconduct in a public office in 2015 on the basis that he had used his public office to obtain sexual gratification, had convinced the schemer that their chances in the church would be greater if he engaged in naked touching and used the scheme to assist his offending behaviour. The abuse included naked touching, naked prayer, inciting a boy to masturbate in a counselling session, naked kneeling at a baptism, suggesting flinging off underpants as a sign boys would be free in religion, asking boys to massage him in the groin area, ejaculating in their presence, spanking and flagellation of boys. Indecent assaults included beating with a sexual motive. There were 32 allegations in total. 13 were under 18. 2 had still been in school.
PB ‘s offending was brought to light by Neil Todd, a schemer who was with PB at Gloucester. He complained of beatings and indecent assaults to the housekeeper and gardener, Mr and Mrs Moss who took Neil away on holiday to France with them in September 1992. On their return Neil was in a state of anguish and the Moss’s went to see the former Bishop of Gloucester, John Yates who had become the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff Bishop. He told them “What do you expect me to do ?”
Neil eventually left Gloucester and went t work in a parish in Brixton where another former schemer looked after him but after Neil had tried to kill himself his parents stepped in and informed the police.
Here began a sorry tale…
These were turbulent times for the Anglican church. The ordination of women threatened to split the church. Charles and Di were splitting and then this…
At the same time as Neil Todd was speaking to the police about his abuse others were making complaints about PB’s behaviour. 4 letters were sent to Lambeth palace and were seen and responded to by George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury. John Yates advised Carey he would have to investigate the allegations in the letters and that PB may have to resign. Despite this advice Carey did not pass the letters to the police and sent a message to all parishes in Gloucester that they should pray that the case is resolved in PB’s favour. There was no mention of Neil Todd or the other complainants. Carey actually wrote to the Chief Constable of Gloucester police to say this type of behaviour is not in PB’s character.
Letters were written by the great and the good supporting PB and denying that he could have committed crime. These included letters from a Court of appeal judge and heads of public schools.
The church set about recruiting a private investigator to discredit the complainants. In fact this investigator uncovered more evidence of PB’s misdeeds and set about trying to minimise the damage by trying to persuade the police to caution rather than charge Ball.
- After PB was cautioned how did the church treat him ?
- PB was not put on the Archbishop’s list
- PB complained he was forced to resign
- By Jan 1995 Carey allowed him limited permission to officiate
- PB was allowed to have more and more church engagements
- In Jan 1996 Carey allowed PB to do confirmations and preaching at schools
- PB tried to convince Charles Windsor and others of his innocence
- PB asked for and was given money
- A 2000 review of the case suggested PB had been treated very leniently but despite recommendations to cut ties with PB, Carey and Rowan Williams simply told PB not to do confirmations in schools.
- In 2008 his case was reviewed and an assessment by a psychologist was recommended. This took place in 2010. It showed PB had a lack of insight into offending, that he was highly manipulative and had a sexual interest on post-pubescent boys.
Eventually Phil Johnson complained about PB and a review of files was recommended. Kate Wood had gathered files together and they were passed to the police in 2012 sparking Sussex police to open Operation Dunhill leading to the convictions of PB and Vickery House.
At this point the opening statement from Core Participants represented by Switalskis was read. Here it is :-
OPENING PETER BALL
ON BEHALF OF SWITALSKIS,
REPRESENTING AN-10 and GRAHAM SAWYER
- The story of Peter Ball is the story of the Establishment at work in modern times. It is the story of how the Establishment a) minimised the nature of Peter Ball’s misdeeds b) tried to minimise the consequences for him and the Church c) silenced and harassed those who tried to complain.
- The Church of England is the Established Church of England. It is the mother church of an ever greater International Anglican Communion. The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The 26 must senior bishops sit as Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords. The Supreme Governor formally appoints high-ranking members of the church, including bishops, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is in turn advised by church leaders. It is an institution that is directly plugged-in at the heart of our Constitution. It is innately powerful by design.
- Peter Ball was able to call upon the willing assistance of the Establishment. It included the heir to the Throne, the Archbishop and a senior member of the judiciary, to name only the most prominent. In combination they provided Peter Ball with:
- Money and accommodation;
- Legal advice
- His own private detective to undermine the credibility of complainants;
- Emotional support;
- Approaches to the police and prosecuting authorities on his behalf;
- And, in the case, of AB Carey a lengthy witness statement in 2014 to try and stop further charges being tried [MPS002746_001].
- The alacrity and extent of their response to one of their own in trouble was impressive. It is a horrible contrast to the way Peter Ball’s victims were treated. You will hear this afternoon from the Reverend Graham Sawyer and the lifetime of harassment he experienced from within the Church for daring to complain about Peter Ball and others. When AB Carey was presented with demands (after PB’s caution) for an apology and steps to taken to ensure PB was never entrusted with responsibility for young men in the future, his response in his own handwriting was a) ‘I want to speak to a Senior Policeman about Peter’ and ‘We resist such demands’. [ACE003298_193]. It was Bishop Kemp who paid for and sanctioned the use of Brian Tyler to try to undermine the police investigation. The Archbishop knew about this.
- These Establishment helpers claim they were duped by Peter Ball. You will have to consider whether that is credible – given what they must have known or could easily have found out about Peter Ball. Prince Charles has many advisers. He only had to ask what a ‘caution’ meant. So does the Archbishop of Canterbury. Lambeth Palace had even the benefit of a Private Detective reporting from Peter Ball’s own mouth exactly what Peter Ball had done [BBC000004_001]. We know that other letters suggesting further abuse by PC were not passed to police in 1992/3. They were suppressed. A Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal knows the significance of a ‘caution’.
- But even if you accepted their claim – that they did not know what Peter Ball had done, that they were ‘largely in the dark’ or that they thought Peter Ball was ‘basically innocent’ – what these helpers were prepared to do was to lean against, add their weight against, the criminal process. They assume, even today – it is part of the mitigation they advance – that as members of the Establishment they are entitled, even duty-bound, to weigh-in on behalf of their Establishment friends accused of serious crimes – even when they are not sure (on their case) what’s been alleged. In doing so, they went far beyond the normal obligations of friendship.
- An important part of this Investigation will be for you to determine whether, in fact, the influence that was brought to bear upon the prosecuting authorities in 1992/1993 altered the way Peter Ball was treated. We believe it did. Consciously or unconsciously the weight of influence brought to bear meant Peter Ball received the lowest possible sanction in 1992, when, without his Establishment friends, he would have faced the prison sentence he eventually got. At the very least, as DI Murdock put it, ‘…had the Church provided us with all the information held on Bishop Peter Ball back in 1992/3 then it might have been possible for us to have identified more victims and therefore present more charges and evidence to the CPS and DPP for consideration.”[GSP000012_087-7].
- How could this have come about?
- Teaching, practice and theology
- PB committed his particular style of abuse – nakedness, flagellation, mutual masturbation – as if it were the practice of St Francis. He must have known that was nonsense. But his authority and religious aura gulled his victims. No one challenged this until the first police investigation.
- Religion creates its own permissive atmosphere for abuse and biddable victims. The young and vulnerable are particularly susceptible to confidence tricks of this sort.
- Hierarchical structure and concentrations of power
- Each of the 42 bishops in CofE is largely unaccountable in his or her own diocese. Only in 2016 was there a mechanism put in place under the Church Disciplinary Measures to suspend or remove a bishop in office (s.24(2) CDM 2003). Even then, such penalty has to be confirmed by the Queen by Order in Council.
- DI Murdock was told by Lambeth Palace at the time of his investigations that ‘there was nothing the Church could do to remove Peter Ball from office’ [GSP000012_048 para 253].
- Teaching, practice and theology
- The consequence of that was that Peter Ball was allowed to use his resignation as a bargaining chip to secure a lighter penalty. It was only something he could offer.
- Culture & traditions
- The story of Peter Ball reveals a culture of deference towards senior clergy:
- A reluctance to believe that a ‘saintly’ figure could have committed these types of offences.
- A reluctance to trust to the secular authorities to handle the matter.
- A willingness to forgive and reintegrate PB, no matter, what PB had done.
- It also reveals confusion about the Church’s attitude towards homosexuality in its ranks:
- DI Murdock makes clear that one of the factors that influenced his view of the public interest in bringing a prosecution was the risk that some Church witnesses would be exposed as homosexuals in court that ‘would have seen their roles within the Church effectively finished’. [GSP000012_048 para 265] and ‘I believe that the issue of homosexuality had a detrimental effect in encouraging witnesses and potential complainants within the Church to come forward.’ [GSP00012_048 para 348].
- The story of Peter Ball reveals a culture of deference towards senior clergy:
- All these are matters that support the measures we have advocated at the Benedictine hearings namely:
- The creation of a ‘failure to report’ offence;
- The creation of a ‘failure to protect’ offence;
- The extension of ‘position of trust’ offences;
- The creation of a statutory body with powers to police and enforce basic standards of child protection.
DAVID GREENWOOD, SWITALSKIS
22nd JULY 2018
Opening remarks of Core Participants represented by Slater and Gordon followed which were :-
- Bishops became accomplices in the attempted cover up of PB’s crimes
- Carey was the most culpable as he deliberately concealed the 4 letters
- Others such as Police, CPS and members of the establishment have some explaining to do
- There is then a complaint about Charles Windsor having submitted a letter rather than a statement. It is questioned whether Charles Windsor has been less than frank about his contacts with PB after 1993.
At this point Fiona Scolding QC (counsel to the Inquiry) explained there had been lengthy discussions with Charles Windsor’s lawyers about the format of his submission. His lawyers, Harbottle and Lewis tried to object to providing a statement due to personal privacy reasons, data protection, confidentiality and human rights but she insisted he would be treated the same as anyone else. A section 21 request was withdrawn when a statement with a statement of truth was provided.
Neil Giffin QC for the Archbishop’s council said the church is sorry and ashamed. Safeguarding has changed. The NSSG has accepted all 11 recommendations and has begun to implement them but can’t be complacent.
Mr Bourne, Lord Carey’s lawyer, acknowledged that he had made serious mistakes and was too easily persuaded that PB was a man of integrity. He accepts the letters should have been shared with the police but notes there was only one further allegation in them (this is a disputed fact). He makes the point that there is a difference between a concealment or cover up and an error of judgement.
Mr Brown for the CPS explained the legalities of what was possible in terms of charges at the time. He confirms that in the present day PB would have been charged without question. He goes on to laud the CPS for using the offence of misconduct in public office.
Mr Boyle for Gloucester police explained Gloucester the police investigation was thorough. 60 witness statements were take. A 600 page report was prepared.
A117 gave evidence as a complainant. He was a good looking tanned young man with dark hair and designer stubble wearing a open necked white shirt and a dark blazer. He spoke in a soft but clear voice.
A117 was a schemer in the late 1980s. He explained how he was duped by PB into taking cold showers and being watched by Ball under the pretext of the Franciscan way being to lose one’s ego and pride. This became naked touching and eventually flagellation on the buttocks with a long wooden clothes brush as punishments for having masturbated.
A10 was a smart man in his late 40s wearing a suit.
A10 explained PB wanted to have discussions about sex and tried to persuade him to have sex. He felt PB was very manipulative. A10 was one of those who had written to Carey. PB had talked to him about having dinner with the Queen, Charles and the Queen Mum. He described PB as part Rasputin and part Tartouffe.
Graham Sawyer gave evidence standing, wearing a white shirt and tie. He was a smart man in his 50s with a clear received pronunciation accent.
He explained PB had the reputation of being a living saint. Graham met with PB a few times as after school he wasted to become ordained. He didn’t want to join his scheme in the early 1980s but was initially sponsored by PB for ordination. During their meetings PB insisted that Graham take his clothes off and on 3 or 4 occasions PB did this. On the last occasion Graham resisted and felt he had to withdraw from the ordination path as PB told him he would no longer sponsor him.
Graham went to Durham University and did jobs but in 1984 felt the calling again and applied for ordination and found that there was a black mark against his name. He was told this by a chaplain at Durham he knew had enquired for him. Graham had to qualify as a deacon in New Zealand. He met Rowan Williams in Sydney in 2000 who asked him to come to be a priest in Monmouthshire where he was then the Bishop.
There he suffered a series of harassments from senior clergy relating to his complaints about Peter Ball. He described the way in which Bishops close ranks as the “purple circle”. He said one retired Bishop in Newcastle Australia described it as an ecclesiastical protection racket. His main complaints are against Bishop Dominic Walker and Archdeacon Ken Sharp. The pressure was so much he returned to Australia. Graham was one of those included in the misfeasance charge against PB.
Graham Sawyer’s recommendations are :-
- Take away the church’s ability to receive the first complaints as it tends to try to quash them at source.
- Ensure Mandatory Reporting is imposed from outside
- Ensure probity and transparency
- The church can’t police itself
- Need a system completely independent of the church to receive reports
- Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser system cannot work as they are all different and all beholden to the Bishop.
- All these new protocols are good but people let them down
- We need a completely independent organisation
- The Australian brought in independence almost immediately after the Commission reported – why can’t the UK Anglican church ?
- The church is an easy place for paedophiles to operate.
24th July 2018
George Carey (Former Archbishop of Canterbury) – speaks clearly, wearing a Bishop’s purple shirt and dog collar. Short grey hair and dark-rimmed spectacles.
He was frustrated he couldn’t get rid of PB at the time according to ecclesiastical procedures as PB was a Bishop.
George Carey (GC) believes in the holiness and integrity of life and that clergy must maintain the highest moral standards. “I told my ordination students : you must not go back on your ordination vows”
He went on to say he’s dealt with an ordinand who was cautioned in 1985 and the police had told him the procedure then.
He believes the vast majority of clergy men and women are honourable.
Child protection was not at the forefront on its issues in 1992/3. We didn’t understand people can have an evil and negative effect.
I couldn’t believe a Bishop could do this. I actually believed him for quite a time.
We thought that because it wasn’t penetrative sex it was the lowest of the low and the police gave him a caution which was the lowest penalty.
GC maintained not a lot was known about child protection in 1992.
The first time I met PB was when I confronted him in December 1992.
There was discussion on how it was that PB was selected for the post in Gloucester. Sir Robin Catford had pushed him forward to John Major against the vote in the Canonical appointments Commission. Ball had been number 2.
It emerged that Mr and Mrs Moss had been to see John Yates to tell him about PB and Neil Todd but GC said he hadn’t told him. GC agreed it was a big thing – “he should have told me”.
Then Ball was arrested on 12th Dec. GC saw them merely as allegations at that stage. He has a pastoral meeting on 15th Dec with PB and his twin brother, Michael in Lambeth. PB was indignant and protested his innocence. After the meeting GC wrote PB a letter which GC describes as “sickly” saying “The matter does not diminish my admiration for you and my determination to keep you on the episcopal bench”. (This appears to be blind support ?).
The four letters.
When questioned about the four letters he didn’t pass to the police he said “It wasn’t in our mindset to pass them to the police”.
There was discussion about a particularly strong letter mentioning cover up. It transpired that GC was replying to the 4 letters when John Yates was meeting with DI Murdoch in the next room at Lambeth (unbeknown to GC).
There was a letter from a mother upset at homosexual advances to her son. Another boy had been asked to masturbate in a school counselling session in front of PB.
Asked “why didn’t you give the letters to the police?” GC replied “The police never asked for them”. Fiona Scolding replied that the police didn’t know they existed so couldn’t ask for them. GC said “We had no awareness that we should pass them to the police”
GC admitted that the internal investigation was “not up to much” and “fizzled out”.
GC said “This is very embarrassing we were fobbing people off. We delayed”
GC then explained that his personal letter to all Gloucester parishes to “pray that PB’s name will be cleared” was a very rare thing to send round but said “I couldn’t assume Peter was guilty”. For me there was still an open mind on his innocence. GC apologised that he had shown little concern for the victims.
Asked why he didn’t put PB on the list GC replied “I decided he was sick and has resigned. What damage can he do ?”
“There is such a thing as grace, renewal and restitution”
I later recognised how manipulative he was.
In a meeting of 29th Jan 1993 the letters were passed to PB’s legal team but not to the police.
GC admitted Eric Kemp (Bishop of Chichester) paid for it. Lambeth knew of the report. Tyler briefed Yates. GC :”I saw it as someone else (Kemp) handling it”.
GC’s letter to Chief Constable of Gloucester
This letter states (among other things) “The testimony of the many young men he has helped over the years – and the list must run into the hundreds – is such that if guilty of unprofessional behaviour it is quite unrepresentative of his lifestyle”.
(This suggests Carey has no appreciation of his own office – ie an Archbishop should not be writing this type of special pleading to a police officer as he is bound to be putting pressure on him. The letter states on its face it is not trying to put pressure on him but in fact it was by its existence calculated to exert pressure).
GC says “I felt it was the honourable thing to do”.
I gave him £12,500 from our funds. Some for legal fees some for a holiday.
PB’s return to ministry
GC didn’t put him on the Archbishop’s list as he wanted him back into ministry as he has such gifts. John Yates and Colin Fletcher had urged him to put his foot down. Fletcher described PB ar status driven, money driven and manipulative.
GC allowed a gradual return to ministry eventually declaring to all Bishops that he should be treated like any other retired Bishop.
GC even stated in a 1998 letter that PB was “basically innocent”. GC felt that PB had lost such a lot he needed to help him.
GC admitted he gave a statement for PB’s defence urging the judge not to put him on trial as he’d already been punished.
Ivor Frank (panel member) reminded him that despite GC stating he believed in his innocence he has stated in a memo that he had appreciated what he had done and was “horrified” This casts some doubt of GC’s truthfulness when he said in his evidence he wanted to keep an open mind (and indeed urged others to pray for his acquittal).
Andrew Purkiss , a press adviser at Lambeth gave evidence of his involvement.
Former Det Supt Wayne Murdoch (WM) of Gloucester police, a man in his 60s with grey hair, a grey moustache, dark jacket and tie gave evidence.
When he was assigned the case in December 1992 he wanted to get to Neil Todd quickly as he thought there would be “some reaction” and he felt well placed to resist outside influence.
Neil Todd (NT) just wanted PB to admit what he’d done was wrong, removed from office and that no-one else would go through what he had endured.
Mr Murcoch interviewed Mr and Mrs Moss and the Gloucester chaplain, Rev Eldridge. Then he had reasonable grounds to arrest PB.
Mr Murdoch related his association (through being taught by) Brother Ken Penfold. He had taught WM at the technical college. Ken was a brother of the glorious ascension. WM said he used this knowledge to get PB talking during interview (to avoid a no comment interview).
He recalls there were 3 tapes used in the interviews under caution. Tape 1 was a denial. Tape 2 was PB agreeing to a lot of nudity and tape 3 contained admissions that he had beaten NT and agreed he had sent him a letter and talked about genital and non genital love. He mentioned ejaculation as being caused by some medical condition.
Did the letters from worthies had any influence on him ?
Letters from the head of Lancing college and Lord Lloyd were read out.
WM only commented “If those people knew what I knew they wouldn’t have written them letters”.
WM recalls a phone call in which he said “I know the DPP. I would like to influence her but I won’t”.
Dealings with John Yates at Lambeth palace
He had a meeting in December at Lambeth palace. With John Yates. “I asked for everything they had”
“Yates didn’t tell me they had files on people. I would have expected them to volunteer anything they held on a Bishop to the detriment.”
To the suggestion the church say he should have asked he replied “That’s a strange way of looking at things especially an Archbishop of Canterbury”.
A memo written by Yates of the meeting records part of the advice or options for the case given by WM was “CPS may not prosecute – non in public interest but Peter’s resignation may be a bargaining counter” WM agreed this is only one possible outcome and he may have said that (here WM seems to have predicted the future ?).
What if WM had been given the letters ?
WM says it may have made a difference to the outcome “but we should have been the judge of that not the Archbishop”.
There was an exchange around WM’s feeling that the church’s hostility to homosexuality internally may have put some people off giving evidence (gay clergy feeling it would damage their careers if they came forward. There are echoes of Graham Sawyer’s situation here).
WM found out Michael Ball had been interfering with witnesses and was behind a lot of the letters. WM cautioned PB’s solicitor to tell him Michael was very close to being arrested for perverting the course of justice.
Tyler was also getting to people before the police could speak to them. He likewise was close to perverting the course of justice.
Bishop Eric Kemp
It appears Bishop Eric Kemp participated in an attempt to derail the investigation. He had a meeting with WM which was being covertly tape recorded and in which he had arranged to pull back the curtains for Tyler to burst in and confront WM if he had said anything which could affect the evidence.
Sup’t John Horan was the son of the Bishop of Tewkesbury but had no contact with WM other than to tell him his dealings with PB.
WM commented :-
- I didn’t know Tyler
- I didn’t say I’d give him statements
- Tyler is making himself out to have done a wonderful job
- I am angry with what Tyler has said and done
- Tyler tried to dissuade witnesses from giving evidence
- Tyler embellished that took place for his own financial gain
WM re-states that all he agreed to do at the meeting at the Crest Hotel in January 1993 with PB’s legal team and Tyler was to pass on the offer to accept a caution to the DPP.
WM’s 600 page report
He set out only options for charge, not caution. Misconduct in a public office was not on the radar back then. WM wanted charges not a caution.
He personally delivered the 600 page report t the DPP office and there was a later meeting not attended by the DPP (she was in New Zealand).
There is no note of this meeting and the recommendation for a caution emerged. WM says it fitted with NT’s wishes so he ran with that. He rand NT and he was content.
Ivor Frank (panel member) expressed concern that he had mentioned in his report that a consideration in the decision making process on public interest was whether many schemers would have felt duped if Ball was charged – that they would feel their study was groundless. The writer was left with the feeling that WM had a soft spot for the church, didn’t want to do it any damage and that held him back from being more robust in pushing for charges.
Det Sup’t Carwyn Hughes (CU)– a man in his 50s – a smartly dressed precise man.
Head of Sussex police Op Dunhill
Op Dunhill started on 25.07.12. He brought Kate Wood in to help his team. 7 more schemers came forward and 4 more after conviction of PB. NT died in August 2012 and that set the tone for the inquiry. Gemma Wadsworth was an ISVA who helped complainants.
CU was not influenced by the fact a staff officer for Charles Windsor asked whether there were any embarrassing things in letters between PB and CW.
He found the Gloucester file to be in good order. He was unconvinced by Tyler. There was some criticism that the caution had not been properly offered or administered as little evidence of admissions.
He had to grapple with whether there had been some immunity given to PB. This caused delay and some loss of confidence from complainants.
Eventually misconduct in public office and a basis of plea was agreed. Phil Johnson was very unhappy that his offence had not been charged. The other potential charge was unhappy but accepting. 3 more complainants came forward but not in public interest as pre-dated 1992. One was an offence of indecent assault in 1995 when PB took a 15 year old to play squash. He didn’t want to pursue it so no action.
He had also recommended no action against Carey in his dealings with PB.
A statement of Ian Beer (head of Lancing College) was read. He had supported PB in a long letter but realised on his conviction that he had been wrong to do so.
Gregor McGill (DPP’s office) – a smart man in his 50s. Wearing a suit, shaved head and dark rimmed spectacles
The case was dealt with centrally to demonstrate independence from local influences.
It was common to receive letters from MPs. There is nothing to suggest the letters had any influence on decision makers. 1,284 letters and media interest were irrelevant to the decision making.
A document (note of a telephone conversation with DI Wayne Murdoch) CPS000792_0348 showed that Ball could get a possible caution if he resigns.
In Mr McGill’s opinion the fact someone has to resign makes the case more serious as it demonstrates the seriousness. This means it was out of the caution category of offenses.
A CPS briefing note CPS000792_0351 was referred to which showed the caution was given because :-
1)Trial likely to be strongly contested
2) Prosecution witnesses were fragile
3) Offending at low end of the scale
4) Main objective for Neil Todd was Ball’s resignation
5) Acceptance of caution would be the end of Ball’s career. He’s indicated he’ll resign if gets a caution.
Fiona Scolding QC then took Mr McGill through the Home office guidance on cautions in place at the time and demonstrated with Mr McGill that none of the prerequisites were established. Mr McGill said “I don’t think the caution was administered in accordance with Home Office guidelines”. There was a lack of an unequivocal admission and no specifics of the acts Ball was cautioned for.
2012-15 Operation Dunhill
He agreed the delay in a decision on charge was unacceptable. The CPS file had been submitted in 2013 and a decision on charge was only made in late 2014.
He extolled the virtues of Alison Levitt QC who had considered all aspects carefully and suggested the misconduct in public office offence which caught most of his offending.
PB argued :-
- He was too ill to stand trial
- The post of a Bishop was not a public office
- He had been given immunity from further prosecution
These abuse of process arguments took 12 months to be finalised.
A process than took place whereby Ball’s barrister spoke to the CPS barrister to try to work out a basis of plea.
It was recorded that once this agreement was reached (that he would plead guilty if the indecent assaults against Phil Johnson and Graham Sawyer were to lie on file Phil Johnson complained that he had not been consulted beforehand and had been handed a fait accompli. (CPS002280).
Mr McGill agreed position of trust offences could be expanded from the present position to encompass more abusers such as clergy but this would have to be done by parliament.
Malcolm Evans (Panel member) asked whether Bishops of other denominations could be public officers. Mr McGill replied he thought they could if they carried out public duties such as baptisms and weddings. It’s all about the role someone carries out.
Andrew Nunn (Lambeth palace staff) Man in his 50s with a suit and tie. Bald with dark rimmed spectacled.
He had spent 25 years working at Lambeth palace. He knew a lot about the PB affair and had always thought George Carey had ignored advice to cut ties with Ball. He spoke of Ball’s manipulative behaviour in taking Carey’s promises to restore him in vain.
Mr Nunn stated that Carey still said he believed Ball was innocent even after his caution. There were a series of enlightening notes at INQ000616 where Nunn criticises Carey and Carey takes a swipe back at his critics.
Anthony Lloyd (AL) (Formerly Law Lord – Lord Lloyd of Berwick) – A man in his 80s. Thick white hair. Round rimmed specs. Alert and with a cut glass accent.
Had been a barrister, High Court judge, Court of Appeal judge and Law Lord 1992-1998
Peter Ball (PB) was his nearest neighbour at Berwick, East Sussex. He though Ball had remarkable preaching skills. “We became good friends and still are”.
“I became aware of press reports of sexual activity with Neil Todd a 17 year old. Because of his age I didn’t think it was a serious offence although it was a great shock to me”.
AL recalled the telephone conversation he had with DI Wayne Murdoch and admitted he probably did say he knew the DPP and wanted to influence her but wouldn’t. He said he just wanted to find out what was going on.
He denied other people could have perceived he was trying to interfere with the investigation (AL appeared to have little insight into what others thought of him and his position although admitted he referred to himself as a Law Lord to his correspondents when in oral evidence he said he just wanted to find out what was happening). Was there a lack of insight or did AL know what he was doing throughout ?
He then wrote to the chief constable of Gloucester, Mr Pacey on Court of Appeal headed paper OHY000096_070. AL denied trying to influence the investigation.
“I wrote a similar letter to the DPP letting her know how highly I regarded him” (PB).
He wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury. There was a reference to the two of them having met at an all male “establishment” dining club called “Nobody’s Friends” This was half Bishops and half establishment figures (according to the Daily Mail quoted by Fiona Scolding QC). The letter was at ACE000877_001.
AL recalls in the summer of 1994 he was in favour of finding PB something to do and had a friend who was the patron of a Parish (he got to decide who would be the vicar) and wanted to get PB appointed. This plan didn’t materialise principally due to advice from George Carey (his memo is at ACE000877_001)
Throught out his evidence displayed a staggering lack of insight – he appears to be entirely ignoring any concerns for the safety of children or understanding of the seriousness of PB’s offending. He also has no perception of the weight his position as a court of appeal judge and law lord carried.
AL went on in 2009 to complain bitterly on PB’s behalf that he was being required to undergo a psychological assessment. AL described this as cruel and that PB should have had more of an explanation. At WWS000071_023 Lord Lloyd is recorded as having made a threat that some powerful people will be very upset. AL doesn’t recall having said that.
Interestingly a letter he writes at ACE001491 is written on notepaper of the House of Lords judicial appeal committee. At that stage he was not on the committee (having left in 1998). Was he authorised to use that paper ? Should the police investigate whether he has tried to deceive by this (possibly unauthorised) use of official paper ?
When the psychological assessment was carried out he described it as “meaningless”. In his oral evidence to IICSA he agreed he would withdraw that remark with apologies.
He wrote a letter to Kier Starmer CPS001584_001 “to try to get him to make a decision”.
Letter from Charles Windsor (read by Fiona Scolding QC)
Essentially Charles Windsor (CW) became good friends with PB. CW didn’t find out what the “indiscretion” was that had caused him to resign from being the Bishop of Gloucester and maintained a fairly close relationship with PB throughout the 1990s and 2000s until 2015 when PB was convicted.
CW gave him gifts of money and caused the Duchy of Cornwall (his own private trust) to buy a house for him and rent it to him and his brother.
A series of letters between the two of them were read out in which PB essentially characterises himself as a victim of his accusers and people in high places. Charles agrees with him and supports him.
Kate Wood former police inspector and currently safeguarding consultant – in her 40s, blonde hair, dark rimmed specs, clear speech and pink jacket.
Kate Wood (KW) worked on and off at Lambeth Palace between 2008 and 2016. It was a bit like going back in time – physically imposing.
She makes the point that the church has in the past had a woefully low headcount on safeguarding posts.
The Mellows review pointed out a remarkable difference between the treatment of Ball and the treatment of other clergy in similar positions.
The Ball file past cases review entry was referred to ACE003069.
KW eventually got some Chichester files from Shirley Hosgood and was shocked and angry that she hadn’t had them before or that there hadn’t been brought to light before – a correspondence file contained the Tyler report. She makes the point that the Tyler report has to be taken with a pinch of salt but its existence was shocking to her. ACE005779.
From that point she passed the papers to the police and wirked with them on Op Dunhill
She recalls having spoken to Neil Todd ACE001870 and had no concerns about his demeanour.
Ivor Frank (panel member) asks a question about document ACE006861 – this was a suspicion by Andrew Nunn that Carey had either destroyed or taken some documents out of the file at some stage.
Moira Gibb (author of the Gibb report on the conduct of George Carey). In her 50s. Brown hair, Dark rimmed glasses. Beige dress. Clear confident speaker.
She wanted in her report to set out for the public what had gone wrong.
She believed Carey was partial. “There was a degree of personal compassion for Ball not matched by an understanding of the nature and consequences of Ball’s abusive conduct”.
She characterised Carey’s behaviour as positive action rather than omission in not passing the letters to the police.
Switalskis oral submissions were then delivered. They are reproduced here :
CLOSING PETER BALL
ON BEHALF OF SWITALSKIS,
REPRESENTING AN-117 and GRAHAM SAWYER
- Our submissions are in two parts:
- On the facts;
- On the recommendations that follow from those facts.
- There is a big lie at the heart of this case. The big lie is that PB’s most prominent supporters, starting with Archbishop George Carey, believed Peter Ball was ‘basically innocent’. GC is the man who micro-managed from the day of Ball’s arrest on 14/12/92 what can only be described as Peter Ball’s defence team.
- GC’s attitude:
- There was no conception at any time that the Church should provide voluntary assistance to the police in their inquiries. No conception that they should pass on information that pointed towards PB’s guilt, as well as information that pointed away from PB’s guilt. George Carey’s attitude then – and now – was ‘if the police don’t ask for these letters more fool them. It’s their job to prove it and if they can’t, good’. We must assume that he personally prayed that the police investigation would clear PB’s name. And that he did so, even when he possessed powerful evidence suggesting that PB’s crimes were not isolated to just Neil Todd.
- The letters were not provided to the police. But they were provided to Peter Ball’s defence team. The only inference you can draw from that is that the Church wanted to help Peter Ball but not the police.
- If you needed further evidence that the Church was completely one-sided, you have the evidence of Mr Murdock and the farcical attempt to compromise him by covert tape recordings when he visited Bishop Kemp.
- Carey did not believe Peter Ball was basically innocent. No reasonable person could have believed that after receiving the letters from the other complainants.The evidence against Peter Ball only got stronger after that.
- Meeting with Ball brothers 15/12/92. If you read Carey’s statement (para 45 WWS000143_010) you would think that no admissions had been made: ‘both he and his brother protested his innocence’. If you read Carey’s statement to the police in 2014 [MPS002746_002], there were significant admissions from Peter Ball. “He accepted he had had a close relationship with Neil Todd but he denied he had touched him sexually in any non-consual way”. Which of course suggests he had touched him in a sexual way. GC knew then breach of trust of sexual nature with vulnerable adolescent.
- The letters he received from other complainants, vague as they were, were obviously, powerful support for Neil Todd’s central allegation. Either there was a conspiracy against Peter Ball – who was widely regarded as a saint – or they were telling the truth.
- ABC knew this. That is the true reason why:
- they were not passed to the police;
- Lambeth Palace made no attempt to contact these witnesses directly.
- These letters were, however, passed to Peter Ball’s defence team, in case they could assist him in proving his only realistic defence of a conspiracy against him.
- There are two significant documents missing from the Lambeth Palace file on Peter Ball.
- The first is any record of the meeting Carey had with the Ball brothers on 15/12/92. It seems inconceivable that this meeting, attended by Frank Robson, was not minuted in any way. Or, if it was not minuted, that was deliberate. The reason no record is available is because it probably contained significant admissions by Peter Ball.
- The second is the absence of Tyler’s report. That report was expressly stated to be written solely for the attention of Bishop Kemp and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It set out the truth about Peter Ball.
“I am quite convinced he has been living a dual life, not only as a pseudo-religious, but also in his interpretations of sexual morality. Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion he had been involved in abusing not only his Office but very many young men who passed through his care.”
That was a conclusion he had reached having contacted many of the complainants and having had significant admissions direct from Peter Ball including “I did have an emission.” It stated exactly the nature of what Peter Ball had done.
- Bishop Kemp certainly knew it. If ABC had wanted to know the truth, he could have had the truth from Bishop Kemp. ABC knew there was a private investigator on the case (para 77 WWS000143_015). At the very least ABC needed to know why one of his Bishops was accepting a caution for gross indecency. In all probability, he was told by one form of communication or another. But the record, like that of the meeting on 15/12/92 has been carefully expunged from the file.
- The reality is that ABC did not care what Ball had done. He only hoped and prayed that ‘the investigation will clear his name and that he will be restored to his great work of Christian ministry’, as he enjoined the Diocese of Gloucester to do in the New Year 1993 [ACE000255].
- The reality is that when they weighed what they knew PB had done against PB’s status as a Bishop, his undoubted talents, and the Church’s reputation, it didn’t count for very much. It is a charge we level at George Carey, Lord Lloyd and Prince of Wales.
- It was, of course, a mistake that the terms of the caution were not properly recorded. For all DI Murdock’’s hard work, the police seemed to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It was a mistake that was ruthlessly exploited by Peter Ball to protest his ‘basic innocence’. It was a mistake ruthlessly exploited by George Carey to promote Peter Ball’s return to the ministry. Carey repeatedly misrepresented the gravity of what Peter Ball had done whenever he could. I know Mr O’Donnell will list the examples we have heard. So I will not repeat them.
- We do not know if ‘after the police caution…and my resignation [George Carey] made a ‘solemn promise’” to Peter Ball that the Church would not take any further action against me, ‘because I had been punished enough’ [ACE003088], 22/9/09. But certainly, Carey’s actions in office were consistent with a such a promise.
- The internal inquiry against Peter Ball was quietly dropped.
- Ball was not placed on the Lambeth list as he clearly should have been.
- GC took steps, only a few years after the caution, to gradually introduce Peter Ball to public ministry.
- He misrepresented the gravity of what Peter Ball had done whenever he could.
- Recommendation to House of Bishops in 1997 that Peter Ball be offered ministry, [ACE003298_122]
- He provided a statement to the police in 2014 to try to stop the trial of further charges against him.
- ABC wanted to return to the status ante quo – as if what Peter Ball had done had never happened. He did all this against, on occasion, strong advice from inside and outside of the Church. He did all this knowing that Peter Ball was almost certainly guilty of serious wrongdoing against many young men. He, in the words of Andrew Nunn, did try to ‘sweep it under the carpet’. If ABC thought by doing so, he would protect the reputation of the Church, it was a gross misjudgment.
- The tactics deployed by the Church were at the very edge of lawfulness. We heard how:
- Bishop Kemp attempted to compromise DI Murdock in a covertly recorded meeting.
- several Bishops telephoned Ros Hunt to ask her to tell the young men who had written complaints to the Archbishop not to speak to the police or the press.
- Michael Ball, Bishop of Truro, had been contacting witnesses and trying to influence them.
- We would encourage police to review whether any of these matters, in particular the actions of the Bishops who contacted Ros Hunt, disclose offences of perverting the course of justice.
- It is hard to know what practical effect Establishment support for Peter Ball had on the decision for a caution. Of its nature, its effects are pernicious, subtle, hard to trace and unaccountable.
- Certainly, it was calculated to have practical effect. Lady Renton accepted that the reason her husband wrote to the DPP on House of Commons papers was in the knowledge that it would be taken more seriously. In other words, it was not the merits of what the letter contained but the status of its author that was intended to influence the recipient. Similarly, a Court of Appeal Judge could have no proper reason calling the investigative officer apart from simply making it known that Peter Ball had powerful friends. Again, that was calculated to influence by sheer reason of the status of the caller. The aim was simply to get PB treated more lightly than otherwise.
- We do accept that the biggest difficulty facing the prosecution was the fragility of the complainants and the potential harm to them from a trial. The decision to caution was at the bottom end of the reasonable range of options for dealing with Peter Ball. We suspect that ultimately that proved the most politically expedient way of dealing with it. What is inexplicable is the complete failure to record the terms of the caution and record a clear admission from Peter Ball.
- Where Peter Ball’s establishment supporters certainly did have effect was in fortifiying George Carey in his intended aim of minimising Peter Ball’s wrong-doing and returning him to ministry. That would have been a much more difficult task if Peter Ball had not had powerful support from the senior figures in our society including the Prince of Wales, who was, apparently inviting Peter Ball to give him communion at his own house after the caution in 1993.
- This is properly described as an Establishment cover up. It succeeded by delaying the time when Peter Ball faced the full consequences of his wrong-doing. In doing so it greatly increased the suffering of his many victims.Position of Trust offences
- Everybody condemns what Peter Ball did. The great irony is that if he committed those offences today, it would be more difficult to prosecute. The charge of gross indecency has gone. The age of consent for homosexuals has been harmonised with the rest of the population. The current position of trust offences are only expressly framed to protect a limited class of person: school pupils and those in hospital. It is not obvious it would capture Peter Ball running his own Schemers. It is not satisfactory that these offences were – and would now – have to be shoehorned into an offence of misconduct in public office. That depends on the accident of whether the offender occupies a public office. The extension of POT need careful drafting. But it must be framed to capture people in a position like Peter Ball. It might be broadened to include the case where the offender has an established personal relationship with the victim in connection with the provision of religious, sporting, musical or other instruction to the victim.
- Mandatory reporting
- A new law should require professionals who work with children in ‘Regulated Activities’ to inform the LADO (‘Local Authority Designated Officer’) or, in appropriate circumstances, children’s services, where the professional knows, suspects, or has reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting child abuse or sexual abuse by those in a position of trust. Failure to inform would be a criminal offence. Presently this is only guidance which is all too frequently ignored.
- Strong laws should lead cultural change. In the absence of law those staff who do report presently are, by default, whistle-blowers with very little protection. You have heard what happened Graham Sawyer. Without strong laws any institution – no matter how benign its culture – is vulnerable to a powerful person within that organisation acting without integrity.Statutory body
- The creation of a new independent statutory body to enforce basic standards of safeguarding, and to receive and deal with complaints of CSA in all institutions which are responsible for the care of children.
- 5.This new statutory body would police and enforce minimum national standards of child-safeguarding. This body would have similar powers to the Health & Safety Executive. The Health & Safety Executive operates for the safety of workers. Children are an even more vulnerable group. The absence of a powerful statutory body dedicated to their protection is a serious defect.
- The new independent statutory body will:
- Establish a register of relevant Institutions that look after children.
- It will be an offence to look after children without being on the register.
- To be on the register institutions have to introduce a corporate structure.
- Registered institutions will be forced to adhere to minimum safeguarding regulations.
- The body will have the power to prosecute regulated organisations for breaches of these regulations (similar to prosecutions by the Health & Safety Executive). Fines will be imposed.
- All complaints are to be passed to the independent body by a receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.
- The body will gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties. It will have the power to compel disclosure of material.
- It will liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the police and social services. It would ensure the police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescales. It will have the power to compel the police to investigate and refer cases to the CPS.
- It will provide coordinated support to victims, particularly those required to give evidence.
- The body will investigate the complaint using the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof. There will be no statute of limitations. It will have the power to make an award of compensation, similar to the CICA. It will decide the support to be offered to the complainant. A scheme will be established to provide adequate compensation for victims of child sex abuse which takes into account the effect on quality of life and a series of relevant factors (as opposed to the rigid CICA system).
- Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution towards legal costs will be awarded.
- The cost of the body’s work, support, reparations and legal costs are to be paid from a levy on the institutions with those found culpable paying the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.
- It will provide to Government regular reports on its progress and, inter alia, the extent to which its activity is promoting the UK’s obligations under the UN convention on the Rights of the Child.
- A review of the powers of the Charity Commission to change that status when serious child safeguarding concerns are revealed should be initiated. We were disturbed to learn that ABC was using discretionary funds at his disposal to provide significant financial support to PB.
- The story of Peter Ball makes clear that even one individual in a position of power can undermine any amount of safeguarding, policy and cultural change within an institution. There was on such individual – George Carey – but he was handsomely supported by others.
- What this reveals is that the bonds of loyalty to the institution and its senior members is too great to allow them to the right thing. We cannot trust they will. What is required is independent oversight and criminal sanctions of the sort we have proposed.DAVID GREENWOOD, SWITALSKISClosing submissions were made on behalf of Slater and Gordon, the Archbishop’s council, George Carey and the CPSAlexis Jay (Chair) explained the panel would produce a report in the first quarter of 2019 dealing with Chichester and Peter Ball.27th July 2018
- David Greenwood
- Fiona Scolding QC closed by thanking all who have contributed. She explained there have been 53,000 pages of evidence to read, 118 statements and 14 live witnesses.
- 27h JULY 2018
- WILLIAM CHAPMAN