THE victim of disgraced bishop George Bell should have got nearly three times the payout she received from the church, a leading solicitor has said.

David Greenwood, who has acted for the victims of bishop Peter Ball, said given the length of the abuse and deep psychological damage done, he would have asked the church for around £40,000.

However, the victim's lawyer, said the lack of police investigation and that Bell is dead, made the claim "very difficult in law."

The victim of the former head of the Church in Sussex spoke to The Argus earlier this week and told how Bell, who died in 1958, sat her on his lap and abused her.

As well as paying her £15,000, the Church also issued her an apology and on Wednesday Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, issued a statement fiercely defending the victim.

However, Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens has continued to speak for the preservation of Bell’s legacy.

He told The Argus the victim’s testimony will not reinforce the case against Bell and said additional detail does not make an accusation more proven.

He said: “My view is that an allegation is still an allegation until it is proven beyond reasonable doubt in front of an impartial and independent jury, and that detail doesn’t make it any more proven.

“The real consequence of your interview is not a reinforcement of the case against George Bell, but an opportunity for his defenders to examine the case against him in far greater detail and to request more disclosure by the Church.

“There have already been too many prejudicial removals of names, hidings of portraits and qualifying of monuments, and far too many prejudicial media accounts.”

The victim told The Argus Bell abused her for four years from the age of five.

She said she contacted Lambeth Palace while Lord Rowan Williams was the Archbishop of Canterbury, but got no response.

Lord Williams: “I never used or even possessed a personal email at Lambeth Palace, so all communication in or out would have been logged through the office, and Lambeth has today confirmed for me that there is no trace of any email or letter.”

After she contacted the Church again in 2013, her allegation was looked into and she received an apology and £15,000.

Mr Greenwood said: “I would have asked for more, for around £40,000.

“It sounds like she was indecently assaulted for four years and she’s been deeply psychologically affected."

Tracey Emmott, the victim’s solicitor, explained the length of time that had passed, the death of the accused and the Limitations Act - which requires victims of childhood abuse report the crime by the age of 21 - all mitigated against a higher payout.

She added: “You can break your leg and have a loss of earnings claim and get more compensation than that for psychological injuries caused by child abuse.

“It’s completely wrong, but that’s the law.”