Prince Charles aide asked police if anything could embarrass him during inquiry

Sep 25, 2019 xlrpdwto

The Inquiry is due to hear read evidence on Friday from the Prince of Wales Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball Calling the contact “highly unusual” on account of the prince’s status, he said it prompted him to consider whether the prince could be a witness in the inquiry.  He is expected to say in his statement that he did not know the caution involved an admission of guilt. On Wednesday morning the inquiry heard from Wayne Murdock, formerly of Gloucestershire Police, who had presided over the earlier inquiry, which ended with the caution. Mr Murdock said that he believed the outcome of his investigation could have been different had then-Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey handed over letters sent to Lambeth Palace by victims and their families.  He insisted that Prince Charles was not treated differently from “the man on the street”, and that while he would have been notified if there was any relevant information, this would also have been the case for a member of the public.”If there was evidence in the investigation that was of relevance to the person on the street, they would also be a potential witness,” he said, adding that he felt “no pressure” and did not feel the investigation had been influenced as a result of the contact.The inquiry also heard that pre-charge publicity around Bishop Ball encouraged 12 victims to come forward to police.The Inquiry is due to hear read evidence on Friday from the Prince of Wales, who maintained contact with the bishop after Ball was cautioned in 1993 for gross indecency.  An aide to the Prince of Wales contacted police in 2013 to ask about “embarrassing” material it may have collected during an investigation into a paedophile bishop, the independent child sex abuse inquiry has heard. A member of the Prince’s staff contacted the chief constable of Sussex Police to ask whether information gathered during its investigation into Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester, could “be embarassing to Prince Charles or the monarchy in general”. Ball, now 86, was convicted in 2015 of misconduct in public office after admitting the sexual abuse of 18 young men. According to the evidence of Detective Chief Inspector Carwyn Hughes, who worked on the investigation, the disgraced bishop had a “long-lasting friendship” with the Prince of Wales and the pair had exchanged several letters.The contact was made after Peter Ball’s brother Michael Ball sent a letter to the Prince.On Wednesday the officer told the inquiry he examined the police’s records to see if they had collected any material which could “damage the reputation of Prince Charles”, and did not find any.  The Inquiry is due to hear read evidence on Friday from the Prince of WalesCredit:ITV Former Bishop of Lewes Peter BallCredit:John Stillwell/PA “He knew we were carrying out an investigation, and for some reason he withheld them,” he said. On Tuesday Lord Carey admitted that the letters should have been handed over, but added that he had “assumed the police were investigating this thoroughly”. The inquiry continues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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