Prince Charles gives evidence for bishop’s sex abuse enquiry

Prince Charles has told the British Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that he was deceived by a former Anglican bishop who abused 18 young men.

The Inquiry, set up in 2014, is investigating whether prominent figures in the establishment attempted to interfere in the criminal justice process. Victims have accused the Church of England of covering up the bishop’s crimes which stretched over 30 years.

In a voluntarily-provided written statement to the Inquiry, Charles explained why he kept in touch with Peter Ball for more than two decades after Ball was cautioned for gross indecency in 1993.

Ball resigned after the caution, but told the Prince the caution was a result of someone with a grudge ‘persecuting’ him.

Charles’s statement says he gave Ball ‘small gifts and money as I do for many people in need.’

He explained he remained friends with Ball because he did not understand the Police caution relating to Ball’s gross indecency was an admission of guilt. He thought Ball had only been caught in an “indiscretion.”

His statement says he was in contact with Ball for more than 20 years until he was convicted in 2015 for further sexual abuse offences.

The statement, which will be formally published this week, says Charles has ‘deep personal regret’ that Ball, who was finally jailed for 32 months in October 2015, had deceived him.

Ball, who is now 86, was released in February last year after serving half his jail sentence.

He often spoke of his links with the Royal family and was invited to give communion at the Prince’s home in Highgrove.

He also spoke at the funeral for the Duchess of Cornwall’s father Bruce Shand in 2006 and lived on Duchy of Cornwall land from 1997 to 2011.

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