Robert Mendick, chief reporter Ebba Brunnstrom
30 JULY 2016
A disgraced bishop jailed for a string of sex offences has been given public funding for a legal team at the Government’s child sex abuse inquiry, The Telegraph can disclose.
The decision to pay for lawyers, costing taxpayers up to £200 an hour, to defend the reputation of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Gloucester and of Lewes, has outraged his victims.
Ball is the first convicted sex offender to be granted taxpayer funds, setting a precedent that could pave the way for dozens of paedophiles to get the same deal.
He received the legal funding because he “may be subject to explicit criticism by the inquiry”.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, the largest in British legal history, will run into the next decade at a potential cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.
Ball, 84, was sentenced last October to 32 months in jail after pleading guilty to indecent assault and misconduct in a public office over the grooming of young men for sex. He has been called a “sadistic sexual predator”. One of his victims later committed suicide.
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