Bishop to face further sex abuse charges in Hove court

Posted On 15 Jul 2014 at 2:14 pm

A retired bishop is to face two more sex abuse charges when he appears by video link at Hove Crown Court.

Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes, is expected to have the charges added to three existing ones on Thursday (17 July).

Ball, 82, of Langport, Somerset, has been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

He appeared at Hove Crown Court by video link from Taunton Magistrates’ Court in May.

He was accused of misconduct in a public office, indecently assaulting a 12 or 13-year-old boy and indecently a 19 or 20-year-old man.

The misconduct charge faced by Ball, of Langport, Somerset, accuses him of misusing his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification.

He now faces another charge of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in 1984 or 1985 and a man over 16 in 1990 or 1991.

Ball, who began his career as a curate in Rottingdean in the 1950s, is accused of indecently assaulting the two victims in East Sussex before he became Bishop of Gloucester in 1992.

The decision to add the extra charges was made by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after an investigation by Sussex Police detectives.

The investigation arose from information passed to the police by the Church of England.

Ball is expected to stand trial in November alongside Vickery House, the former vicar of St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton, who faces eight charges of indecent assault.

House, 68, of Brighton Road, Handcross, is accused of abusing a boy of 15 and five men ranging in age from 17 to 34 over a 16-year period before he retired.

House, who has also officiated at the Church of the Annunciation, in Washington Street, Hanover, was arrested in November 2012.

The pair are due for a plea and case management hearing on Friday 1 August and their trial is scheduled to open on Monday 3 November.

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