Granville Gibson a former vicar aged 80 has been convicted of two counts of indecent assault at the Durham Crown Court.
Gibson an ex- clergyman abused two men aged 18 and 20 whilst he was the vicar at St Claire’s Church in Newton Aycliffe in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
The Court heard evidence that Gibson , who later became an Archdeacon, was guilty of, “sinister and deliberate sex abuse and gross breach of trust.” The two men he assaulted had been working on church property. The jury took six hours to reach the guilty verdict.
The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler confirmed that a review would be conducted by the Diocesan Safeguarding Management Group. He offered an apology to all victims, “We offer an unreserved apology to all survivors and those affected by this news. We commend the bravery of these who brought these allegations forward, acknowledging how difficult and distressing this would have been. We are profoundly sorry for the abuse perpetrated by Mr Gibson and remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the wellbeing of children, young people and adults who look to us for respect and care.”
Gibson will be sentenced at a later date