Gregory Peter Carroll 2006 Jan 13 Court of Appeal

This is most relevant to child sexual abuse, Gregory Peter Carroll, Ampleforth College, Gilling Castle School, Workington Parish of Roman Catholic Church


Some court reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance –  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redaction” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.  Common mistakes in reprinting here are that quotation marks are sometimes not correct, replaced by odd symbols.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This particular post has not been redacted

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[2006] EWCA Crim 100   No: 2005/05389/A9

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL, Royal Courts of Justice,The Strand,London ,WC2A 2LL

Friday, 13 January 2006

Lord Justice Latham

Regina v.Gregory Peter Carroll

Computer Aided Transcription by Smith Bernal, 190 Fleet Street, London EC4 Telephone 020–7421 4040 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

MISS N GATTO appeared on behalf of THE APPELLANT

JUDGMENT (As Approved by the Court)

Friday, 13 January 2006

LORD JUSTICE LATHAM: I will ask the Recorder of London to give the judgment of the court.


1. On 28 July 2005, at the Crown Court at York, before the Recorder of York (His Honour Judge Hoffman), the appellant, Gregory Peter Carroll, pleaded guilty to four offences of indecent assaults committed on three identified boys under the age of 14, the subject of counts 2, 6, 7 and 9, three linked offences of indecency with a child relating to two of those boys, the subject of counts 1, 5 an 8, and offences of indecent assault on seven unidentified males alleged to be under the age of 15, the subjects of counts 11 to 17. Sentence was adjourned to obtain a pre-sentence report, a psychiatric report and various references. On 23 September 2005, the appellant was sentenced to a total of four years’ imprisonment made up of concurrent sentences of 18 months’ imprisonment on the offences of indecency with a child and four years’ imprisonment on the offences of indecent assault . Having been convicted of an offences listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the appellant was required to comply with the provisions of Part 2 of the Act indefinitely and was disqualified from working with children. He appeals against sentence by leave of the singlejudge.

2. The appellant came before the court in these circumstances. He was ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church in July 1969. He became a teacher at Ampleforth College either at Redcar Farm, the outward bound centre run by the college, where he was warden in 1973, or at the College’s prep school, Gilling Castle School, where he taught for two years, and thereafter at the College itself. These offences were committed against pupils at the College.

3. In 1987, because of an admission that the appellant had volunteered to the headmaster of enjoying sexual contact with a boy (which he maintained then was an isolated incident), he was suspended by the College authorities from his duties at the school and removed to parish work in Workington. There he remained until 2002 before returning to the Abbey.

4. In the meantime, during 1999 he revealed to the headmaster of Ampleforth, to whom he had first confessed his predilections, that the incident in 1987 had not been, as he had first maintained, an isolated one but that there had been others and that he had been too afraid to say so at the time. In consequence the College required a risk assessment to be carried out. The doctor concerned reported to the Abbott in November 2001. However, as a result of the Nolan Report a detailed psychological assessment was undertaken by a chartered psychologist specialising in assessment and therapy with priests and monks. Her sessions with the appellant began in March 2003 and continued until June of that year. The appellant co-operated fully in those sessions, disclosing his thoughts and actions in all matters,including sexual matters. However, and unfortunately, that assessment was never completed because the relationship between the Abbott and the psychologist broke down. The Abbott was not prepared to release papers to the psychologist relating to the appellant’s history of sexual abuse disclosed thus far. In consequence the psychologist’s commission was cancelled.

 5. The sequel was this. Faced with the information she had already obtained, and being unable to complete her assessment, the psychologist felt professionally compelled to report the appellant’s abuse of boys as reported to her to North York Social Services Department. That speedily led to a police investigation. In the course of that investigation three men came forward as a result of questionnaires being sent to former pupils at the College, which revealed that as boys they had been sexually abused by the appellant, that they were willing to be identified, and that they were prepared to give evidence.

6. The first, a man now aged 39, told the police that when he was 13 he was sexually abused by the appellant. The circumstances were these. He was not doing very well in his studies and so a one-to-one meeting with the appellant was arranged. At that meeting the appellant asked the boy whether he was masturbating yet, encouraged him to demonstrate what he did, took hold of the boy’s wrist, lifted his own clothing and placed the boy’s hand on his erect penis. He then encouraged the boy to masturbate him and simultaneously masturbated the boy. That became the subject of the allegations in counts 1 and 2. This victim described a further occasion shortly afterwards when he was sexually abused by the appellant in similar circumstances, instigating mutual masturbation when they were working together on the school’s farm. On this occasion the witness described the appellant ejaculating. That gave rise to counts 5 and 6 in the indictment. There was another time when he described how the appellant had taken hold of his wrist. The victim had said, “No”, and walked away. He described these experiences as leaving him feeling uncomfortable. He knew that what had happened was wrong. It affected his studies to a limited degree. He described overall being left by these experiences as distrustful of authority.

7. The second victim prepared to come forward described being aged 8 or 9 when abused by the appellant. His parents taught at the school. Although the boy did not start attending the school until he was 10, because of his parents’ connection with the College he was allowed to go on the school’s summer camp which was organised by the appellant. Now a man of 32, he described one night at that camp of finding the appellant entering his tent wearing only his underpants, asking the boy to remove his pyjama top and lie on his bare chest, saying that they would share body heat. The body did that. He lay on the appellant’s bare chest for two or three minutes, an experience which he described to the police as leaving him feeling confused and uncomfortable and extremely wary of the appellant to whom, by reason of his parents’ contact with the school, he was in constant proximity thereafter.

8. The third victim who came forward was aged 13 when he described being sexually abused by the appellant. He had been detained by him in a room at the school. There the appellant had taken hold of the boy’s hand, placed it inside his trousers on his penis, at the same time placing his own hand inside the boy’s trousers on his penis. That gave rise to counts 8 and 9.

9. There were other boys whom the appellant had sexually abused because in his session with the psychologist the appellant had admitted sexually abusing at least ten boys aged be tween 11 and 14. The sexual activity began with touching and progressed to mutual fondling, masturbation and lying together naked. Occasionally the appellant ejaculated in the course of these sessions and some occasions involved two boys. The offending spanned a period of eight years. Counts 11 to 17 in the indictment represented the seven different anonymous victims. The prosecution’s case was based on the appellant’s own admissions.

10. He was arrested in February 2005. When interviewed he declined to comment.

11. When he came to pass sentence Judge Hoffman described the appellant as being a 66 year old man of positive good character, who had grossly abused his position of trust both

as a priest and as a teacher. As an intelligent and mature man, his systematic course of conduct involved corruption of these boys for his own sexual gratification. In doing so, he had deliberately suppressed his conscience, the teachings of the church and his obligations as a custodian and a teacher of these children. It was clear, said the judge, that the appellant had been engaged in sexual grooming and that his activities were habitual. They disclosed acts of buggery or attempted buggery, from which he did not resile, and those activities carried on for eleven years.

Although no force was used, his actions must have had significant consequences for his victims. Although it had happened many years ago, and the judge recognised that the

appellant felt bitter about what he saw as a breach of confidentiality by the psychologist following his candour in his sessions with her, she plainly believed that he was a continuing risk and in taking the actions that she had, she had acted responsibly and properly in disclosing the appellant’s revelations to the authorities. The judge indicated that account was taken of the fact that the offences would not have come to light without the appellant’s revelations, that he had subsequently been subjected to examination by several psychologists, which must have been an ordeal for him, that there had been no complaint since he had been moved to Workington, that he had helped many people, that there were many positive sides to his character and that he had shown undoubted remorse. The judge assessed him as probably being of low risk of re-offending. However, custody was inevitable. There were no exceptional circumstances to justify suspension of the sentence. The sentence, the judge stated, would be significantly below what

otherwise would have been passed in view of the “significantly mitigating factors”.

12. On the appellant’s behalf it is said that the sentence was manifestly excessive; that insufficient account was taken of the matters advanced in mitigation and his guilty pleas;

and that the judge adopted too high a starting point and sentenced the appellant on the basis of allegations which did not form part of the Crown’s case, thereby giving an inappropriate level of emphasis to matters set out in one of the reports.

13. Those grounds give rise to two factors. First of all, there is a reference which arises from an exchange between the judge and prosecuting counsel in the course of the Crown’s opening. The judge interrupted Mr Goss QC, as he related the facts, to ask whether he had seen the defence bundle. Mr Goss said that he had not. The judge pointed out that there was a report in the defence bundle from a Dr Pratt (a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist who had been instructed by the appellant’s solicitors). The judge continued: and in the penultimate paragraph at page 9 it says:

‘The defendant adamantly denied any penetration but admitted there were times when he thought about it and indeed there were times when they tried it. When I enquired further he said trying it meant them on him and he on them, but this was not comfortable and therefore not pursued.'” Mr Goss replied that that had been the first time that that had been disclosed to anyone. He added that it was certainly not within any of the information to those investigating it from the prosecution. He then continued his opening. That was a reference which surfaced again, as the court has indicated, in the course of the judge’s sentencing remarks.

14. The second head of complaint is that, the judge having concluded that the total sentence of four years imprisonment was appropriate and also made it clear that that sentence was significantly below that which would otherwise have been passed, the question of what was the starting point was never answered. The sentencing judge didnot indicated what that was. Nor did he indicate what reduction he was making that permitted that comment to be made. In consequence the defence argues that the sentence of four years’ imprisonment, which was passed following the pleas of guilty with apparently a significant but undisclosed reduction, permits the inference that the judge had in mind a starting point for a sentence after trial in the region of six to eight years and that, it is submitted by counsel to us, is manifestly excessive for the offences with which the appellant was charged by the prosecution and to which he pleaded guilty.

15. Considering those matters with care, this court concludes that the reference in the sentencing remarks to matters disclosed in the defence medical report was unfortunate. It is capable of leaving the appellant with the feeling that, if not being sentenced for matters which did not form part of the prosecution case against him, and not founding counts in the indictment, it was certainly an aspect of his behaviour (and one which it is worthy of note he had volunteered) which formed part of the sentencing process. Secondly, the court is concerned that the total sentence of four years’ imprisonment, which has left the appellant as a long-term prisoner in his first experience of prison, was drawn from a starting point that was too high for the criminality actually disclosed in the appellant’s behaviour towards these boys, bad as it was, and disclosing, as it undoubtedly did, a double breach of trust.

16. The court addresses those concerns by concluding that the total sentence of four years’ imprisonment was manifestly excessive, quashing the sentences of four years’ imprisonment imposed on the counts of indecent assault and substituting in their place sentences of three years’ imprisonment. To that extent and for those reasons this appeal is allowed.

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]


[1] Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog

[2] Index of Court Appeals EWCA on this blog

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathyfoxblog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Church abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gregory Peter Carroll 2006 Jan 13 Court of Appeal

  1. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court & Court of Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathy fox blog

  2. Reblogged this on Buried News and commented:
    Once again excellent research on a subject that many turned a blind eye to over the years, especially men of the cloth who allowed the abuse to continue and moved priests to different Parishes to avoid scandals to the Church. If anyone wants to understand the decline of the Catholic Churches one needs to go no further and see how the Gospel of Christ has been buried under one sexual scandal after another.

  3. Pingback: Christ’s Hospital School – three former members of staff arrested for sex abuse against 9 pupils at the school. Some students from CH sent to convicted paedophile Bishop Peter Ball | goodnessandharmony

  4. Ampleforth College, St. Benedict’s sister school in Yorkshire, has been served with an Enforcement Notice by the Department for Education, banning it from accepting any new pupils. #Ampleforth #ampleforthcollege

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.