Police: There was no 'deal' to protect Church over paedophile bishop

There was no "deal" to cover up allegations of abuse against Peter Ball, the disgraced Bishop of Gloucester, a senior detective has claimed.

Bishop Ball sentenced to 32 months in prison in October last year. He will serve half that term before he is released on licence

Wayne Murdock, was a Gloucestershire Police Detective Inspector in 1993 when Bishop Peter Ball was accused of molesting young men. He denied claims made by the Sunday Times of a deal between police and the Church of England meaning Ball was cautioned but not charged at the end of an investigation in 1993.

"I don't do deals and no deal was struck," he said this week. "This was a very misleading headline. It really upset me."

"Who are the Sunday Times suggesting did a cover up to help the Bishop? If they are suggesting it was me then I am happy to ensure you I do not do deals."

Speculation has grown as to why Ball was only cautioned and not prosecuted after it emerged many senior figures in the Church and House of Commons supported the Bishop at the time.

Ball resigned and acknowledged his guilt at the end of a police investigation in 1993. He was given a police caution and assurances were given Ball would leave the country.

However he never did so and instead moved into a cottage on Prince Charles' Highgrove estate.

Under the headline of "Police deal shielded child sex case bishop," the Sunday Times reported it had seen a police report which said charging Ball would have "devastating effect on the Church" whereas merely cautioning him would "minimise embarrassment to the Church."

"A deal was the last thing in the world I wanted - I did not want any cover up," said Murdock.

"I was shocked by the paper's headline and I regard it as mischievous. Everything that took place during the investigation was properly documented and reported to the Crown Prosecution Service."