The Prince of Wales has told an inquiry he did not seek to influence a police investigation into a paedophile bishop Peter Ball.
Prince Charles said he felt “deep personal regret” for trusting Ball when initial reports of abuse emerged, years before he was jailed in 2015.
In a series of letters between Prince Charles and the Bishop, read to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), Ball spoke of a “malicious campaign” against him and “harassment” by “fraudulent” accusers.
In a letter to Ball in 1995, Prince Charles said: “I wish I could do more. I feel so desperately strong about the monstrous wrongs that have been done to you.”
In 1997, the prince wrote a letter to Ball in which he described an apparent accuser as a “ghastly man… up to his dastardly tricks again”.
A written submission from the prince was read to an inquiry in which he was “misled” and that his “heart goes out to the victims”. The prince said in the 1980s and 1990s there was “a presumption that people such as Bishops could be taken at their word and, as a result of the high office they held, were worthy of trust and confidence”.
The prince added that that the “true context and details” of complaints against Ball “did not come to my attention until the time of Mr Ball’s trial and conviction in 2015”. He also claimed he had ceased all contact with Mr Ball upon the return of his guilty verdict.
In 2015 Ball, 86, was jailed for 32 months for misconduct in public office and 15 months for indecent assault against 18 teenagers and men, to run concurrently. He was released from prison in February 2017, having served 16 months of his sentence.
The inquiry continues.
Jordans Solicitors represent a number of victims who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of church officials. Jordans Solicitors can provide expert support and legal advice in relation to the compensation for the abuse which has been suffered. We would encourage you to speak to one of our Solicitors specialising in child abuse claims to see if you are entitled to pursue a claim for civil damages