Prince Charles was loyal friend to bishop who sexually abused boys as young as 12, regrets being 'deceived'
It was reported that Bishop Peter Ball had used his friendship with Prince Charles to 'further his campaign to return to unrestricted ministry'.
For around 15 years former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, abused many young boys many of whom were just 12 years old.
The bishop was sentenced to prison for two years and eight months for crimes, which had occurred between 1977 and 1992, and also in 2015. Ball had become the most senior Church of England figure to face a child sex charge. Additional charges were permitted to lie on file and Ball was released from prison in 2017 after he served half of his sentence, Mirror reports.
Ball had also admitted to an act of gross indecency with a 19-year-old and was given a police caution. Despite this, Prince Charles remained a supporter of him. The Prince of Wales was part of a group of supporters, which was inclusive of a lord chief justice, cabinet ministers and several public school headmasters. All of these people had campaigned on the behalf of Ball.
Prince Charles had even given Ball a place to stay after he had resigned from the church and had moved into the Manor Lodge in Somerset which was located on the Cornwall estate. Prince Charles' friendship with Ball was dubbed 'misguided' by a child sex abuse inquiry last year.
It was reported that Ball had used his friendship with Prince Charles to "further his campaign to return to unrestricted ministry". Two decades post Ball's original police caution, Charles had maintained a regular correspondence with him, an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse heard.
The inquiry was critical of Charles for speaking to the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, about Ball. "His actions, and those of his staff, could have been interpreted as expressions of support for Peter Ball and, given the Prince of Wales’ future role within the Church of England, had the potential to influence the actions of the Church," the inquiry report said.
Later on, Charles admitted that he regretted being "deceived" by Ball.