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Letters would have helped bishop abuse probe: officer

By Isabel Togh

Letters withheld by an former Archbishop of Canterbury "could have made a difference" to the investigation into disgraced bishop Peter Ball, a former senior police officer has said.

Wayne Murdock, senior investigating officer into sexual abuse allegations against Ball in 1992 and 1993, said he expected Archbishop George Carey to provide information handed over by victims.

Lord Carey, who gave evidence to the enquiry on Tuesday, resigned as honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Oxford after an inquiry found he delayed a "proper investigation" into Ball's crimes for two decades by failing to pass the information to police.

Mr Murdock, who was a Gloucestershire Police officer for 37 years, told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse yesterday: "Those letters should have been handed over and they could have made a difference.

"They knew what was going on. My expectation would have been that if you've got anything, you hand it over.

"From the Church, you don't expect information to be withheld.

"You know, that's really common sense."

Ball resigned in 1993 following a police caution and was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for sexually abusing 18 males over 30 years. He was released on licence in February 2017.

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