Tees

Granville Gibson: Vicar 'disgusted' by sex assault allegations

George Granville Gibson
Image caption Granville Gibson denies three counts of indecent assault

A former archdeacon on trial for indecent assault has described the allegations as "disgusting".

Granville Gibson is accused of assaulting a youth while a vicar at St Clare's in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, in the 1970s.

The 83-year-old is also charged with indecently assaulting a junior clergyman in the 1980s while at the Church of England's General Synod.

He denies three counts of indecent assault at Teesside Crown Court.

The trial had heard the two men came forward following media coverage of a case in 2016, when Mr Gibson, from Darlington, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault.

Mr Gibson said he "respected that jury", but described those verdicts as wrong.

"I maintain my innocence," he said.

'Toilet seat'

Jurors had previously heard evidence from a man who said he was in his late teens when he was was indecently assaulted by Mr Gibson while painting a bathroom at the vicarage.

But Mr Gibson said there was an innocent reason for him being in close proximity.

"I stood on the toilet seat and showed him how it should be done in the area that he was painting," he said.

Referring to the second complainant, who alleged he kissed him without warning on the lips, Mr Gibson said: "I'm accusing him of having a distorted memory."

When interviewed by police, Mr Gibson said: "I wouldn't have done anything to bring the church into disrepute."

The trial continues.

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