Former Ampleforth College monk Peter Turner admits sexual abuse of three boys in the 1980s and '90s

A former monk who worked at a prestigious North Yorkshire boarding school has admitted sexually abusing three young boys in the 1980s and '90s.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:31 pm

Eighty-year-old Peter Turner, formerly of Ampleforth College and previously known as Father Gregory Carroll, was due to face trial on 23 contested charges on Monday but ultimately admitted 14 counts of sexual abuse - including indecent assault, gross indecency and buggery - at the last minute.

The clergyman, from Redcar, entered his guilty pleas at an adjourned hearing at York Crown Court on Tuesday.

He admitted 11 of the 14 allegations of sexual assault, two counts of buggery and indecency with a child. The three denied matters will lie on file.

Peter Turner, previously known as Father Gregory Carroll, pictured in 2005.

The court heard that Turner sexually abused the pre-teen boys during the 1980s and early '90s, when he was in his 40s.

One of the victims - none of whom can be named for legal reasons - was a pupil at Ampleforth College when he was abused by the clergyman between 1984 and 1987.

Turner was turfed out of Ampleforth College - the fee-paying private Catholic school whose alumni include writer Rupert Everett, novelist and film director Julian Fellowes and actor James Norton - in 1987 after confessing to church authorities that he had had sexual contact with the pupil.

He was sent to work in a parish in Workington, Cumbria, where he abused the two other victims between 1987 and 1990.

Turner was recalled from Workington and confined to the monastery at Ampleforth after the 2001 publication of the Nolan Report on clerical child abuse.

In September 2005 - before the latest victims came forward - he was jailed for four years after he admitted offences against 10 other pupils at the school between 1979 and 1987. The sentence was later reduced by 12 months.

Prosecutor Tom Storey said the latest Ampleforth victim could not recount how many times he had been abused by Turner.

He said Turner was an “offender of particular concern” and that although the prosecution would allow the three denied matters to lie on file, “we don’t accept these (alleged offences) never occurred”.

Defence barrister Nicola Gatto said Turner had been “required to leave” Ampleforth College in 1987.

She said the sexual abuse stopped when Turner was recalled from Workington and that he had been "dormant" for about 18 years.

Turner, who wore a blue anorak over a navy jumper and blue shirt, remained inscrutable throughout the hearing.

Judge Sean Morris remanded him in custody ahead of what is expected to be a very lengthy sentence tomorrow.