Tees

Granville Gibson: Ex-vicar guilty of 1970s indecent assault

George Granville Gibson entering court ahead of a a previous day's hearing
Image caption Granville Gibson was previously jailed in 2016

A former archdeacon has been found guilty of a sexual assault on a teenager in the 1970s.

Granville Gibson had denied indecently assaulting the youth while he was a vicar at St Clare's Church in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

But at Teesside Crown Court, the 83-year-old, of Wesley Park, Darlington, was convicted of two charges and jailed for 10 months.

He was cleared of a third indecent assault charge.

Giving evidence, the victim told the court Gibson had assaulted him in a vicarage when he was in his late teens.

He said he had been asked to do a job for the vicar when the assault took place, which left him feeling "awful".

Gibson told police he would not have behaved in a way that would have brought the church into disrepute.

Speaking after the verdict, victim Steve Ebdon, who has waived his right to anonymity, described Gibson as "disgusting".

Image caption Steve Ebdon said he felt like a "weight has fallen from my shoulders" after the verdict

Mr Ebdon said: "The thing I'm not happy about is the sentence, 10 months for that is not a lot, but ... at least he's going to prison.

"I now feel like a weight has fallen from my shoulders and I can get on with my life."

In 2016 Gibson was jailed for 12 months for two counts of indecent assault.

Durham Crown Court heard he was guilty of "sinister and deliberate" sexual abuse in the 1970s and 80s.

The prosecutors in that trial said he had used his position in the church as a "veneer of respectability" to abuse young men in his care or employment.

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