January 27, 2006

Ampleforth monk jailed for abusing young boys

The Times

By Andrew Norfolk

A MONK from a leading Roman Catholic family was jailed for two years yesterday after admitting 20 offences of indecent assault against 15 young boys at Ampleforth College.

Father Piers Grant-Ferris, 72, whose offences were committed more than 30 years ago, was given a prison sentence even though the court was presented with 3,500 letters and cards from his supporters.

Grant-Ferris, a Benedictine monk at Ampleforth Abbey, North Yorkshire, was a form master at Gilling Castle, the college’s prep school, when the abuse happened between 1966 and 1975. His victims, now in their forties and fifties, were pupils aged between 8 and 10 at the time.

It emerged during the police investigation that Cardinal Basil Hume was the Abbot of Ampleforth in 1975 when concerns about Grant-Ferris were first raised by the parents of one boy. He removed the monk from further contact with pupils and sent him to work at a parish in Cumbria, but decided not to report his offending to the police.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2006 08:57 AM