The lawyer for the pedophile bishop Peter Ball resigned
A lawyer representing a convicted pedophile has been fired.
Christopher Peak, the former Legal Counsel for the Diocese of Gloucester of the Church of England, agreed to remove himself from the list of solicitors because he was representing Bishop Peter Ball, despite a conflict of interest.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) said that Mr Peak became the personal counsel of Ball, then Bishop of Gloucester, in 1992 to defend him against multiple allegations of sexual misconduct involving parishioners, some of whom were minors and vulnerable adults included.
Ball, who was also Bishop of Lewes, admitted to Mr Peak that he had committed offenses of indecent assault and gross indecency.
The SRA found that Mr Peak had “willfully or recklessly disregarded the risk of harm” by agreeing to defend Ball while also serving as registrar and legal counsel for the diocese.
Peak successfully encouraged the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to caution Ball after his arrest in 1992.
Although Ball later resigned, the church took no disciplinary action, and Ball was not included on the church’s list of ministers of concern.
Instead, Ball was allowed to conduct services within the church, including working with children.
Ball was only convicted in 2015 after new evidence emerged of his abuse of boys and young men and was sentenced to 32 months in prison.
He was released from license in 2017 and died in June 2019 at the age of 87.
One of Ball’s victims, Neil Todd, took his own life after police reopened their investigation.
The church’s report concluded in 2017 that her actions “probably led people in the church to believe Ball was essentially innocent,” though at least Peak knew he wasn’t.
Ball also used his friendships with senior establishment figures, including King Charles, to evade justice.
In 1995, the then-Prince said in a letter to Ball: “I wish I could do more. I feel so devastated by the monstrous wrongs that have been done to you and the way you have been treated.”
Between 2015 and 2018, concerns about Peak’s role were raised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse and the National Secular Society (NSS).
NSS President Keith Porteous Wood welcomed the result.
“The clear conflict of interest resulted in an unacceptable delay in Ball’s sentencing, put children at risk and increased the agony of his victims,” he said.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23249386.solicitor-paedophile-bishop-peter-ball-struck-off/?ref=rss The lawyer for the pedophile bishop Peter Ball resigned