Sunday, 11 October 2015

Peter Ball is sentenced to 32 months

"The partner of a man who killed himself after being abused by a Church of England bishop is calling for the decision not to prosecute him 22 years ago to be investigated by the Goddard inquiry into institutional child sex abuse."

There may already be an answer:

"A senior judge, MPs and a member of the royal family intervened to stop former bishop Peter Ball being prosecuted for historic sex abuses, the Old Bailey court heard on Wednesday as Ball was jailed for his crimes. "

"Ball, the former bishop of Lewes, East Sussex, was jailed for 32 months after admitting sexually abusing 18 young men between 1977 and 1992. He will serve half the term before being released on license."

"The judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, said he had taken account of the harm Ball had caused to his victims but also considered testimony of many who wrote in support of his character."

"When he was first accused by a victim in 1992, Ball was supported by prominent public figures and given a caution instead of facing prosecution."

"The police report that accompanied the papers sent to the CPS in 1993 after the police had done their work stated they had received telephone calls supportive of Ball `from many dozens of people including MPs, former public school headmasters, JPs and even a lord chief justice,` Bobbie Cheema QC said for the prosecution."

"Cheema said members of the Queen’s family and cabinet ministers had also sent letters of support."

Do the dozens of people who supplied a character reference for Peter Ball have a public school background ?

"As more and more ex boarding school pupils come forward, it appears momentum is gathering, and the number of complainants could reach into the hundreds. The past 12 months have been a turning point; there had been scandals before, but it's the concentration, number and coverage of allegations that have caught attention. At Slater and Gordon, child abuse solicitor Liz Dux says she has seen `a huge increase in claims against schools, the vast majority of which are independent`."

"If enough civil claims are brought, schools could suffer major financial losses, whether or not they are insured. .."

"Nine schools that have experienced either the conviction of former teachers for sex offences, or are currently embroiled in criminal investigations were contacted by Newsweek for comment. None of the proposed areas of questioning would have required detail about the ongoing criminal cases, yet all but one St Benedict's in Ealing either refused to be interviewed or failed to respond despite repeated requests. They were Caldicott in Buckinghamshire; King's, Rochester in Kent; Wellington College, Berkshire; Beeston Hall, Norfolk; St Paul's and Colet Court, west London; Downside, Somerset; and Ashdown House, Sussex."

"Crisis management advice is generally to be open and honest in response to enquiries, so this refusal to engage may offer some insight into the mindset of schools grappling with the dilemma of how to deal with a rapidly escalating scandal. Schools' reluctance to comment is all the more surprising because to date, it seems that parents have not been put off. At St Benedict's, the roll has been on the up for the past eight years and, overall, there are about 1,700 more children boarding in the UK this year compared to last."

" `My view is that the various abuse convictions and scandals have done absolutely no harm to schools in terms of their waiting lists," says Tom Buchanan, media consultant to a number of independent schools. "I can't think of any school I've advised that has had a drop in numbers. This speaks to a generalised acceptance of there being a risk that goes with the territory. And of course parents always think it won't happen to their child.` "

Or maybe they`ve already been damaged by the same system and don`t know any better.

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