Retired County Durham vicar, 86, jailed for historic indecent assault

A retired vicar has been jailed for carrying out historic indecent assaults dating back to the 1970s.

George Granville Gibson was the vicar of a church in Newton Aycliffe in the 1970s when he indecently assaulted a teenager. Gibson, who is now 86, was convicted of two indecent assaults after being found guilty by a jury and was put behind bars.

Durham Crown Court heard Gibson was a “revered parish priest” at the time of the offenses and was “responsible for promoting Christian values” in the area. But despite his respectable personality, Gibson left his victim struggling with mental health issues and feelings of humiliation.

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Judge James Adkin said Gibson was the leader of a religious group and committed the offenses during rehearsals for a pantomime and then later at a house party after the show aired. The judge said Gibson was “looking for” a young man and indecently assaulting him “in the company of others” by rubbing against his body and “appeared to enjoy” their presence.

The court heard the tort victim was “humiliated and embarrassed” and that Gibson’s behavior “caused significant problems in her marriage”. He also had to undergo counseling due to “serious psychological harm”.

In defence, the court was told that Gibson, of Worsley Park, Darlington, was in “remission from ill health” and that there had been delays in the police investigation. He was described in court as an “elderly, ailing man”.

Sentencing Gibson, Judge Adkin said: “You were the priest, revered and entirely trusted to promote Christian values ​​in the community. Sex offenders in positions of authority need to know that they will be sent to jail if they abuse children in the community.”

Gibson was jailed for 21 months and will be on the sex offender registry for 10 years.

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The article is in French

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