Former monk at Catholic boarding school jailed for 20 years for abusing pupils

12 February 2020, 18:04

Peter Turner, 80, pled guilty to 14 charges
Peter Turner, 80, pled guilty to 14 charges. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A former monk at a Catholic boarding school who continued abusing young boys after confessing to previous sexual contact with a pupil has been jailed for more than 20 years.

80-year-old Peter Turner sexually abused two boys Workington, Cumbria, after he was forced to leave Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

He was sentenced to 20 years 10 months at York Crown Court on Wednesday after admitting to a string of sexual offences committed more than 30 years ago against three boys aged between nine and 12.

Turner, who was previously known as Father Gregory Carroll, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 11 counts of indecent assault, two counts of buggery and one count of gross indecency with a child.

He served another jail sentence in 2005 after he admitted offences against 10 pupils at Ampleforth between 1979 and 1987.

Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire
Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire. Picture: PA

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, said: "You have brought evil into this world when, by your calling, you should have brought hope, help and succour."

The judge told Turner: "You were a priest at Ampleforth boarding school."

He continued: "It's a religious school and, no doubt, because of that, that's a comfort to parents because they will be thinking that they are entrusting the care of their child to men of God, instead, in your case it was to a man of evil."

The court heard emotional victim impact statements from the three men in which they spoke about the effect Turner's abuse has had on their lives.

Judge Morris said: "All of them have talked about their shame. They have nothing to be ashamed of, they carry no guilt.

"I hope this helps, in some way, to put them at peace."

Turner admitted committing indecent assault and buggery against a boy at Ampleforth between September 1984 and January 1987, when the boy was aged between 10 and 12.

Tom Storey, prosecuting, told the court that Turner abused the boy "comprehensively" in a number of areas of Ampleforth, including a hermitage and during car journeys.

He showed the boy pornography, made him perform sex acts on him and himself, touched him sexually and committed buggery.

Mr Storey said Turner told the boy it was their secret and gave him sweets and alcohol and taught him how to drive a car in the school grounds.

He said: "He described being completely dominated by the defendant and completely at his mercy, unable of saying anything and did not know who to seek help from."

Judge Morris told Turner: "You abused your position as teacher and priest to sexually abuse (the boy) repeatedly, callously and with devastating effects on his life."

He added: "You have ruined his life and will continue to do so."

Turner was removed from Ampleforth in 1987 and sent to work in a parish in Workington after he told the headmaster about having sexual contact with a pupil.

While in Cumbria, he went on to abuse two more boys.

Judge Morris said: "Told of your leanings by yourself, the authorities at Ampleforth School decided they had better take you away from there...concerned it might continue, might get reported to parents."

He continued: "And so you were shunted off to a parish in a completely different part of the country, a completely different type of place, Workington.

"And then you started again."