A FORMER Bishop who was jailed for sexually abusing young men in Chichester has died at the age of 87.
Peter Ball was jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing 18 young men over three decades. The clergyman was part of a sexual abuse scandal across the Diocese of Chichester with 18 members of the clergy convicted of offences during a 50-year period.
An Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said Ball was ‘able to sexually abuse vulnerable teenagers and young men for decades’.
Following his death, Bishop Peter Hancock, the Church of England's lead safeguarding bishop, said: ‘We have been made aware of the death of Peter Ball and our prayers and thoughts are with everyone affected by this news.’
The Church of England confirmed Ball's death and offered ‘prayers and thoughts for everyone affected’.
Church leaders also confirmed they will be offering support to his family as with anyone who is bereaved in the Church.
Ball, of Langport in Somerset, was Bishop of Lewes between 1977 and 1992 and Bishop of Gloucester from 1992 until he resigned the following year.
He was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 for offences against 18 teenagers and men over three decades. Ball was released in February 2017 having served half of his sentence.
Ball had previously enjoyed close ties to Prince Charles.
Following news of his death a spokesman for the prince said it ‘remains a matter of deep regret’ that the Prince of Wales and others were ‘deceived’ by the clergyman.