Thursday, 9 July 2015
Former County Durham Archdeacon in court as part of re-opened Medomsley abuse inquiry
Former County Durham Archdeacon George Granville Gibson denies eight allegations of historic abuse after he was arrested as part of Operation Seabrook
Former Darlington and Aycliffe church minister George Granville Gibson, 79 leaves Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court charged with a number of historical sexual offences
archdeacon is the first person to appear in court as part of one of the UK’s biggest investigations into historic sex abuse.
George Granville Gibson, a former Archdeacon of Auckland, has denied eight counts of sexual assaults against two men dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.
During his appearance before
Durham Crown Court
on Wednesday it emerged one of the charges relates to an alleged indecent assault during a visit to the Medomsley Detension Centre.
Four of the alleged sexual assault charges relate to a man aged 16 or over in Newton Aycliffe and Consett between 1977 and 1978.
Four further counts relate to alleged indecent assault on a second victim, in Newton Aycliffe between October 1979 and October 1983.
The 79-year-old, of West Crescent, in Darlington, was arrested as part of Operation Seabrook in April 2014 and charged in May this year.
Gibson denied all charges when he appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on June 17.
During a hearing at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday he spoke only to confirm his name.
Anthony Dunne, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was sent to this crown court, he is suspected of sexual offences against two complainants.
“I understand that the matters will be completely denied.”
Gibson’s defence counsel, Eric Watson, did not offer any further information during the hearing.
Gibson is due to stand trial in Durham Crown Court on January 11th next year, and he will next appear in Durham Crown Court on October 5. He was released on bail.
Operation Seabrook was reopened in 2013 and has seen Durham Police interview 1,180 former inmates of Meadomsley who have claimed they were abused while detained at the centre.
Detectives have interviewed 16 former members of staff and arrested two, who have since been released on bail.
The huge number of victims
makes the Medomsley inquiry the biggest of its kind in the UK.