THE testimony of the victim is powerful indeed.

We are calling her Carol because, understandably, she wants to preserve her anonymity.

But Carol is clear. Between the ages of five and nine she was routinely sexually abused by Bishop George Bell.

Even though the offences took place in the 1940s she is certain of her facts. You don’t forget things like that, she says.

Bishop George Bell was a powerful man and in many ways a great man. The Bishop of Chichester, who died in 1958, was an intellectual and a friend of Gandhi.

So all the more shocking that such a man would have his reputation forever tarnished by the finding that he was a paedophile.

Since the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, revealed the findings of an investigation and payment to Carol there has been something of a backlash.

The Church has been accused of effectively hanging George Bell out to dry, of convicting him when he is no longer around to defend himself.

There have been suggestions that the Church’s decision to change the name of the conference house in Chichester that bears his name and of schools to do likewise is wrong.

That is why it is important to finally hear the voice of the victim and indeed that is why she has come forward to speak to The Argus.

She wants to tell the world that what happened, happened.

Even good men do bad things is what she says.

The Argus has long argued death should not deny some form of justice for victims.

Anyone reading Carol’s story today would be hard pressed to argue that the Church took the wrong course of action in this case nor that the history books on George Bell should not be rewritten.