Church insurer Ecclesiastical pays damages after leaking abuse victim’s name

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Ecclesiastical, the British church insurance company, has agreed to pay a child sexual abuse survivor £30,000 after it identified him by name on its website. 

On 7 July 2022 the trade publication Insurance Business UK reported Ecclesiastical agreed to pay damages plus costs and apologize to the abuse activist known as “Gilo”. 

In 2015 Gilo received a settlement £35,000 payment and apology from Ecclesiastial for abuse he had suffered at the hands of the Rev. Canon Garth Moore, a prominent authority on ecclesiastical law and chancellor of the dioceses of Southwark, Durham and Gloucester. Gilo was 16 years old at the time of the abuse and an occasional server at St Mary Abchurch in the City of London, where Moore served as vicar. Moore died in 1990.

In 2016 the Church of England published the Elliot Review into abuse committed by the “Rev. A” (Moore) against “Survivor B” (Gilo). Ecclesiastical and Gilo disagreed over the contents and import of the report, and in October 2017 Ecclesiastical published a letter on its website that identified Gilo (in fourteen different places) by name. 

The letter remained on the internet for three days, before it was redacted. Gilo sued for damages and this week Ecclesiastical agreed to settle the case. On Twitter Gilo thanked his lawyers for the “’precedent-setting’ settlement” but also for  “gaining an agreement on mediation with [Ecclesiastical]  in relation to their dissembling around the Elliott Review.”

 “It is disturbing that a three-day data breach which we think was likely to be accidental has had almost as much value as the abuse settlement with an impact lasting decades,” Gilo told Insurance Business UK.

Gilo welcomed the mediation around the Elliott Review. “It’s good that Ecclesiastical Insurance is finally coming to mediation over their repeated public dissembling around the review into my case,” Gilo told Insurance Business UK.

Ian Elliott, the review’s author, said that Ecclesiastical had made “damaging and untrue” statements regarding the accuracy of his assessments.

“I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and welcome the agreement to reach a mediated settlement with Ecclesiastical Insurance regarding the dissembling that has marked their response to the review that I undertook of a historic abuse case for the Church of England,” Mr. Elliott said.