Judge to rule on ex-bishop health

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Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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The health of an elderly ex-bishop will determine whether he can go on trial for alleged sex crimes dating back nearly 40 years, a court heard.

Peter Ball, 83, is accused of sexually assaulting boys and young men around the time he was Bishop of Lewes in the 1970s and 80s.

A 10-week trial is provisionally set to start in the first week of October at a venue yet to be decided, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Justice Sweeney also confirmed another senior judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, had been allocated to hear the case.

He told the court that it would be up to the trial judge to hear argument on whether Ball, of Aller, near Langport in Somerset, is well enough to stand trial.

Ball was charged last year with misconduct in public office between October 1977 and December 1992; indecent assault on a boy then aged between 12 and 13 in 1978 and the same offence against a man aged 19 to 20 between 1980 and 1982.

He is also charged with indecent assault on a man over 16 between 1990 and 1991 in Berwick, East Sussex, and on a boy under 16 between 1984 and 1985, in Litlington.

Cambridge-educated Ball was Bishop of Lewes between 1977 and 1992 and Bishop of Gloucester from 1992 until 1993.

Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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