A PERVERTED Catholic priest who admitted to his abbot that he had sexually abused a child was sent to a church in Workington where he committed another child sex offence.

Peter Turner, 80, who was formerly known as Father Gregory Carroll, worked as a priest in St Michael’s RC Church in Workington in 1987 after he confessed previous child abuse to the then abbot of Ampleforth Abbey in York, the city’s crown court heard.

He admitted 14 offences committed against three boys aged between nine and 12 years old.

In 2003 he was jailed for three years for 17 offences against 10 pupils committed between 1973 and 1987. The youngest victim was eight.

Today it can be revealed for the first time that his abuse of boys continued after he was suspended from the Abbey and sent to continue his priesthood in the Catholic Church Road church in Workington.

Turner, now of Redcar, showed no emotion as he admitted 11 indecent assaults, two serious sexual offences and one charge of gross indecency with a boy.

Six of the offences were committed in Ampleforth, and the rest while he was in Cumbria. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced today.

One of the three victims was in court to hear his pleas. Another is expected to attend when he is sentenced tomorrow.

His barrister Nicola Gatto said: “His offences ceased once he was recalled from the parish back to the abbey. Essentially he has been dormant for about 18 years.”

She accepted that the nature and seriousness of his offences means the Parole Board will decide when he is released and he will have extra supervision after what she called the “inevitable” jail term.

Turner was ordained in 1969 and was a teacher at the school then run by the Benedictine Abbey in the Hambleton Hills in North Yorkshire. The abbot suspended him in 1987 after he admitted a sexual incident with a boy. He was sent to Workington.

He this week admitted four indecent assaults and two serious sexual offences against a boy at Ampleforth before moving to Cumbria, as well as the offences admitted in 2003. The boy was aged 10 to 12 years old at the time. He admitted six indecent assaults on a boy aged nine or ten in the first 18 months of his stay in Workington; and gross indecency and indecent assault between 1987 and 1990 against a second boy.

The News & Star has requested a comment on this case from church officials at Ampleforth Abbey in York but none has yet been forthcoming. We asked:


* Who was the Abbot involved?

* Is he still working in the church?

* What lessons have been learned?

* What safeguards are now in place to stop this happening again?