An evangelical Christian accused of grooming and sadistically abusing young men to make them “become holy” was a clever, charming and delightful man, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.
John Smyth, a former leader at Iwerne holiday camp for teenage boys, where the Right Rev Justin Welby worked as a dormitory officer in the late 1970s, is accused of violently assaulting young men with a cane in his garden shed.
Last night the archbishop apologised unreservedly to survivors after Channel 4 News revealed that allegations of physical abuse had been handled badly.
It has emerged that the Iwerne Trust was made aware of the allegations in 1982 and a report was carried out. The trust did not alert the police, however. The Church of England said that it first became aware of the accusations in 2013 and the police had been notified.
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