Our Director and Solicitor David Greenwood has recently had his second book published. The book “Basically Innocent?” focuses on Child Abuse in the church and in particular the scandal and subsequent cover-up involving the former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball.
David is a nationally-recognised specialist in Child Abuse compensation claims, and in particular claims against institutions such as the church. He has helped a number of clients who suffered abuse within the church and has pledged all proceeds from the book to to the clergy abuse survivors support group, MACSAS.
Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment at The Old Bailey on the 7th October 2015 for two offences of indecent assault and an offence of misconduct in Public Office which involved offending against 13 different individuals. Allegations had been made against him by a total of 32 individuals. These allegations relate to his use of power for his own sexual gratification.
The story of Peter Ball’s offending does not only concern the appalling offences and their effect on the young men whose trust he so callously betrayed, it is the story of the establishment in Britain at work in modern times. It is the story of how the establishment minimised the nature of Ball’s offending, tried to reduce the consequences for him and the Church, and how it silenced and harassed those who tried to complain against him.
Peter Ball was able to call upon the willing assistance of ‘the establishment’. It included the heir to the throne, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a senior member of the Judiciary to name only the most prominent. In combination they provided Ball with: a) money and accommodation b) legal advice c) his own private detective to undermine the credibility of complainants d) emotional support e) references f) approaches to the police and the prosecution authorities on his behalf and g) direct help over a lengthy period from Archbishop George Carey in an effort to stop charges being laid against him and then his reintroduction into public ministry. This concerted effort to avoid charges and then to reintroduce Ball to public life was impressive but this stands in stark contrast to the way in which survivors of Ball’s abuse were treated. A young ordinand (now Reverend Graham Sawyer) has endured a lifetime of harassment from Ball’s supporter within the Church.
The Bishop of Chichester, Bishop Eric Kemp, paid for and sanctioned the use of a private detective, Brian Tyler, to undermine the police investigation, to undermine the credibility of complainants. It soon became apparent to Brian Tyler however that Ball’s offending was prolific and that survivors of his abuse were genuine. At this point Tyler used all his charm to try to persuade Gloucestershire Police to offer Peter Ball a caution rather than to prosecute him.
Prince Charles and George Carey now claim that they were in some way duped by Peter Ball. They claim that they were largely in the dark about his activities. Whether or not this is the case it appears from their reaction in the case of Peter Ball that as members of the establishment they were entitled, even duty bound, to weigh in on behalf of their establishment friend accused of serious offences. In doing so they went far beyond the normal obligations of friendship.
This book will uncover, with direct evidence from the main protagonists, the sequence of events, who knew what and when.
David has also contributed to a two-part BBC documentary about the case of Peter Ball, which airs on BBC2 at 9pm on 13th and 14th January 2020.