Retired bishop and fellow former Brighton priest due in court today

Posted On 14 Jan 2015 at 11:55 am

A retired bishop who began his career in Brighton is due before an Old Bailey judge on child sex abuse charges this morning (Wednesday 14 January).

The former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, 82, is due to appear at the Central Criminal Court in London – known as the Old Bailey – by video link from Taunton Magistrate’s Court.

Bishop Peter Ball

Bishop Peter Ball

Ball, of Langport, Somerset, is accused of indecently assaulting a 12 or 13-year-old boy.

He also faces charges of misconduct in public office and indecently assaulting a 19 or 20-year-old man.

The misconduct charge accuses Ball of misusing his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification.

The charge of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 dates from 1984 or 1985 and a man over 16 from 1990 or 1991 while he was Bishop of Lewes.

Ball, who began his career as a curate in Rottingdean in the 1950s, was Bishop of Lewes from 1977 to 1992. He became Bishop of Gloucester in 1992.

He is in the dock alongside another former Brighton priest, Vickery House, the former vicar of St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton, who faces eight charges of indecent assault.

House, 69, 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 by Sussex Police in November 2012.

The case against Ball and House was listed for mention this morning before Mr Justice Sweeney. The 62-year-old judge, Sir Nigel Sweeney, took part in the trial after the IRA bombing of the Grand hotel in 1984.

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