July 2019

Granville Gibson: Ex-vicar guilty of 1970s indecent assault

A former archdeacon has been found guilty of a sexual assault on a teenager in the 1970s.

Granville Gibson had denied indecently assaulting the youth while he was a vicar at St Clare’s Church in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

But at Teesside Crown Court, the 83-year-old, of Wesley Park, Darlington, was convicted of two charges and jailed for 10 months.

He was cleared of a third indecent assault charge.

Giving evidence, the victim told the court Gibson had assaulted him in a vicarage when he was in his late teens.

He said he had been asked to do a job for the vicar when the assault took place, which left him feeling “awful”.

Gibson told police he would not have behaved in a way that would have brought the church into disrepute.

Speaking after the verdict, victim Steve Ebdon, who has waived his right to anonymity, described Gibson as “disgusting”.

Mr Ebdon said: “The thing I’m not happy about is the sentence, 10 months for that is not a lot, but … at least he’s going to prison.

“I now feel like a weight has fallen from my shoulders and I can get on with my life.”

In 2016 Gibson was jailed for 12 months for two counts of indecent assault.

Durham Crown Court heard he was guilty of “sinister and deliberate” sexual abuse in the 1970s and 80s.

The prosecutors in that trial said he had used his position in the church as a “veneer of respectability” to abuse young men in his care or employment.

November 2016

Retired clergyman jailed for historic sex abuse

George Granville Gibson

A VICTIM whose claims of abuse at the hands of a former clergyman were dismissed for years has spoken of his relief after his attacker was finally jailed.

Peter Ridley, who has waived his right to anonymity, was speaking after the once highly-respected, now retired cleric, from Darlington, began a 12-month prison sentence, as he was led down to the cells at Durham Crown Court.

80 year old Granville Gibson, the former Archdeacon of Auckland, was convicted on two counts of indecent assault n young males in early August, on the ninth day of his trial at the court.