1. ITV Report

Former Ampleforth College monk sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing three boys

Peter Turner being led out of court today. Credit: ITV News

A former monk at the Catholic boarding school Ampleforth College has been sentenced to twenty years in prison for sexually abusing three boys who were all under the age of 13.

Peter Turner, 80, from Redcar, admitted charges of indecent assault, buggery and gross indecency against three boys when he appeared at York Crown Court.

Turner, who was previously known as Father Gregory Carroll, committed the offences more than 20 years ago while working at the college and later at a parish in Workington in Cumbria.

He was due to go on trial but entered guilty pleas to 14 charges on Tuesday. Today he was sentenced to 20 months and 10 months in prison.

One of the victims of the paedophile monk said the abuse he suffered at his hands is just as likely to kill him as disease or old age.

The man, who was aged between 10 and 12 when he was sexually abused, said he had not slept through the night once in the 25 years since he was attacked.

Praised for his bravery as he read his victim impact statement in York Crown Court, he said: "Gregory Carroll, Peter Turner, whoever you are or pretend to be, to me, you a priest, a teacher, a rapist, and a paedophile."

Former monk Peter Turner, 80, arriving at York Crown Court on Tuesday. Credit: PA Images

The court heard that the first boy was aged between 10 and 12 when Turner committed indecent assault and buggery against him between September 1984 and January 1987 while he was at Ampleforth.

Turner was jailed for four years in September 2005 after he admitted offences against 10 pupils at the school between 1979 and 1987. The sentence was later reduced by 12 months.

A spokesperson for Ampleforth College said the school was "devastated that a member of the monastic community can have abused our pupils in this way."

However, it was revealed in court that Turner was still living in a house owned by the Ampleforth Abbey Trust until just a few days ago.

In a statement, Ampleforth said: "Peter Turner was renting a property that belonged to the Ampleforth Abbey Trust.

"This arrangement was made in conjunction and consultation with the local statutory authorities, including the police and safeguarding bodies. The then Abbot of Ampleforth Abbey took the decision to send him to Workington."

  • Sentencing Turner, Judge Sean Morris said the former monk had brought "evil into this world."

You have brought evil into this world when, by your calling, you should have brought hope, help and succour.

– Judge Sean Morris

Turner was sent to work in a parish in Workington in 1987 after confessing to church authorities.

His second victim was nine or 10 when he indecently assaulted him between October 1987 and December 1988. The third was aged between 10 and 12 when Turner committed gross indecency and indecent assault against him between June 1987 and June 1990 in Workington.

He was recalled from the parish and confined to the monastery at Ampleforth after the 2001 publication of the Nolan Report on the problem of clerical child abuse.

Credit: PA Images
  • Detective sergeant Graeme Bevington said Peter Turner was "clearly a very deprived individual."

Peter Turner, or Father Gregory Carroll as he was previously known when he was a monk at Ampleforth College and Abbey, is clearly a very depraved individual who targeted these vulnerable young boys for his own sexual gratification more than 30 years ago.

The passage of time did not ease the pain and anguish suffered by his victims.

I truly hope their bravery in coming forward to the police and the positive outcome secured at court, provides them with some comfort knowing that justice has been served against this vile man.

This case proves yet again that it is never too late to report non-recent sexual abuse and to achieve justice.

– Detective sergeant Graeme Bevington
  • A spokesperson for Ampleforth College said:

The abuse of children goes against everything we stand for as a school and we know that the victims are likely to suffer terribly as a consequence of these crimes. We are devastated that a member of the monastic community can have abused our pupils in this way. Under its present leadership the school has transformed its safeguarding procedures and protocols, and we offer the high standards of care to our students that is expected in a boarding school today

– Ampleforth College