February 2020

Former monk who abused boys at Ampleforth College is jailed for 20 years

A former monk at a Catholic boarding school who continued to abuse young boys after confessing to having sexual contact with a pupil has been jailed for more than 20 years.

Peter Turner, 80, sexually abused two boys after he was forced to leave Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, and sent away to work in a parish in Workington, Cumbria.

He was sentenced to 20 years 10 months at York Crown Court on Wednesday after admitting to a string of sexual offences committed more than 30 years ago against three boys aged between nine and 12.

Turner, who was previously known as Father Gregory Carroll, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 11 counts of indecent assault, two counts of buggery and one count of gross indecency with a child.

He served another jail sentence in 2005 after he admitted offences against 10 pupils at Ampleforth between 1979 and 1987.

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, said: “You have brought evil into this world when, by your calling, you should have brought hope, help and succour.”

Pauline McCullagh from the CPS said: “Turner committed a truly sickening breach of trust, sexually abusing young boys who innocently placed their trust in him as a monk and priest.

“He blighted their childhoods, in pursuit of his own depraved sexual gratification.  His victims have shown tremendous strength and bravery in coming forward and supporting the investigation and prosecution. Thanks to them, the true scale of his criminality is becoming clear.

“Our thoughts remain with them as they have been throughout.”

January 2006

Sex abuse priest’s jail term cut by a year

A priest jailed for sexually abusing young boys at Ampleforth College has had his four-year prison sentence reduced by 12 months.

Three judges at the Court of Appeal in London allowed an appeal against sentence by 66-year-old Father Gregory Carroll, ruling that the term originally imposed was “manifestly excessive”.

September 2005

A Catholic priest who taught at the prestigious Ampleforth public school in North Yorkshire has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing boys.

Gregory Carroll, 66, abused 10 youngsters over an eight-year period at the school in the early 1990s.

Jailing Carroll Judge Paul Hoffman said the offences were part of a grooming process involving the young pupils.

York Crown Court heard Carroll, who pleaded guilty to 14 indecent assaults, was revolted by what he had done.

The priest confessed to the headteacher at Ampleforth that he had sexual contact with a boy in 1987. He was suspended and moved to a parish in Cumbria.

But 12 years later he returned to the school and admitted his abuse had been more widespread.

The court heard the school called in psychologist Dr Elizabeth Mann to carry out a risk assessment, but it was never completed because papers held by the abbey about Carroll’s history of sexual abuse were withheld from Dr Mann.

Judge Hoffman told Carroll it was perhaps ironic that the refusal to hand over papers in order to protect him had resulted in Dr Mann referring the case to the authorities.

‘Weird experience’

Prosecutor Jeremy Goss QC said some of the victims had been left distressed and confused by what had happened to them.

One had been chased around a room by Carroll after being abused and described it as “a weird experience”.

Defending, Nicola Gatto said Carroll did not have his first sexual experience until the age of 34. He was, she said, “naive and unworldly”.

“He has expressed his revulsion towards his behaviour and has described it as grotesque,” she said.

Judge Hoffman ordered Carroll to sign the sex offenders’ register on his release and banned him from working with children for life.

After the sentencing Father Cuthbert Madden, Abbot of Ampleforth, apologised to the victims.

He said: “Father Gregory has been reflecting on the offences he has admitted.

“While they took place more than 20 years ago, he regrets deeply the hurt he caused to the young men involved and to their families.

“His fall from the high standards expected of a man committed to a life of service to God is in no way diminished by the interval of two or three decades.

“As a community we continue to pray for and to care for our brother but our first concerns now are for the victims of his abuse of trust, who were boys in our care at the time.