Retired County Durham vicar accused of historical sex offences

George Granville Gibson
Image caption,
George Granville Gibson denies all charges

A retired Church Of England archdeacon has appeared in court charged with historical sex offences.

George Granville Gibson, who was a vicar in County Durham and became an archdeacon in Auckland in the early 1990s, is accused of six counts of indecent assault against two men.

The first set of offences is alleged to have happened between 1976 and 1979, the second between 1990 and 1992.

The 85-year-old, who is on trial at Durham Crown Court, denies all charges.

Lee Fish, prosecuting, told the jury "to many he was a highly respected figure but beneath the veneer of respectability he used his status within the church" to commit offences.

The first victim was 17 to 18 at the time and was indecently assaulted while he was "involved with the same church", the court heard.

Three charges relate to an alleged separate incident involving a man who was in his early twenties at the time.

Mr Fish said the defendant initially appeared to be "caring, providing reassurance and support", but then indecently assaulted the man in a bedroom.

The jury was told Mr Gibson was previously convicted of sexual offences against young men in 2016 and 2019, with those offences taking place in the 1970s and 1980s.

The case continues.

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