Victim of Peter Ball sex abuse calls on police to investigate Lord Carey over alleged 'cover up'

Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball. One of his victims has called on police to investigate Lord Carey over an alleged 'cover up'

A victim of sexual abuse in 1980s by the former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball has raised the prospect of police investigating the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey after new documents suggested that Lambeth Palace knew about abuse allegations.

The documents, unearthed by the Mail on Sunday, show that Lambeth Palace received six letters after Ball was cautioned in 1992 revealing that he encouraged victims to pray naked, perform sex acts in front of him and share his bed.

Graham Sawyer told The Argus in Brighton and Hove Albion: "I hope the police are looking into the possibility of opening an investigation regarding Lord Carey as to whether he might be guilty of misconduct in a public office."

Lord Carey, who was Archbishop between 1992 and 2002, has denied any cover-up. At the weekend he told the Mail on Sunday he could not comment further because the current Archbishop, Justin Welby, had ordered another investigation by the Church, and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, led by Judge Lowell Goddard, was also examining the case.

Lambeth Palace officials reviewing the letters in 2009 noted that had such evidence as provided by the letters been given to detectives in 1993, Ball may have been convicted of serious sexual offences as opposed to merely being cautioned.

Instead, the letters were kept by Lambeth Palace until they were shared with police in 2012.

Ball, who was promoted to Bishop of Gloucester in 1992, was originally arrested for allegedly molesting a novice monk, Neil Todd, who went on to commit suicide in 2012.

In October last year, Ball, now 84, was sentenced to 32 months in jail after pleading guilty to misconduct in public office and indecent assaults on a total of 18 young men between 1977 and 1992.

At the time of Ball's trial last year Lord Carey denied the accusation that his correspondence with the Crown Prosecution Service at the time of Ball's 1992 caution amounted to attempts at a cover up.

The newly revealed documents also suggest that Ball associated with other sex offenders in the clergy, that he was investigated in 2008 for being part of a suspected paedophile ring, and that he assisted other priests accused of sex abuse.

One accusation says that in 1978 he failed to take appropriate action against a priest who abused a child and went on to abuse others.

Letter from then-Archbishop George Carey supporting Peter BallCPS

The documents, which include details of reviews into Ball's conduct, also allege that in 1985 Ball allowed a priest who had abused a 14-year-old boy stay in Ball's home after the man's release from prison, and that in 2009 he tried to persuade a teenage boy to apologise to a priest who had allegedly abused him.