Former archdeacon jailed again for indecent assault

Granville Gibson, a former Archdeacon, deliberately touched a teenager Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A former senior clergyman has been sentenced to 10 months in prison after being found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting a young man in the 1970s.

Granville Gibson, who is now 83, was previously Archdeacon of Auckland, a deputy to the Bishop of Durham.

Gibson was found to have deliberately touched a teenager in a sexual manner when he was a vicar in Newton Aycliffe around 40 years ago.

It happened inside the vicarage where Gibson lived, next to St Clare’s Church.

Steve Ebdon, who was 17 or 18 when Gibson assaulted him, has waved his right to anonymity.

He told ITV Tyne Tees he was "dissapoiinted" by the 10 month sentence, calling Gibson "an animal."

In a statement, the Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said:

Gibson indecently assaulted the young man inside the vicarage next to St Clare's Church

During the trial at Teesside Crown Court, the prosecution said that Gibson had been a “revered” figure within the Church of England, who had “abused his position of trust.”

Gibson said he had held a sexual interest in men “from time to time”, but denied touching the young man, saying it would have been “disgusting” behaviour.

The jury found him not guilty of a third count of indecent assault, on a different young man.

He was previously jailed for 12 months in 2016, after being convicted of two counts of indecent assault against young men.

Steve Ebdon, Gibson's latest victim, said that he had told the police about the assault on the day that it happened, but Gibson was never prosecuted.

He came forward again after seeing reports of the 2016 trial.

Last year, the man was paid £5,000 compensation by church insurers.

In a statement released today, the Diocese of Durham said: