Jurors urged not to take “broad brush” approach in case of accused ex-churchman

Northern Echo

Bruce Unwin, Chief Reporter (Durham)

A JURY was urged not to take the modern “broad brush” view that every accuser must be believed when it deliberates in the case of a former senior clergyman accused of historic abuse.

Defence counsel Andrew Stubbs was addressing the juryon the sixth day of the Durham Crown Court trial of the ex-Archdeacon of Auckland, Granville Gibson.

The 80-year-old now retired Anglican cleric, from Darlington, denies six counts of indecent assault and one further serious sexual offence.

All the allegations relate to his days as minister at St Clare’s Church, in Newton Aycliffe, in the late 1970s and early eighties.

They were said to have been committed on a teenage member of congregation, an 18-year-old community service worker and a fledgling churchman, in his mid-20s.

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