Durham School chaplain held over sex offence claim

The chaplain of Durham School has been arrested on suspicion of a historical sexual offence.

Reverend Philip John Bentham, 58 , from Bishop Auckland, was arrested and later bailed pending further inquiries.

The offence is alleged to have happened in the Merseyside force area. Police have not released information about the date the allegation relates to.

Durham School said he had been suspended while the investigation was ongoing. He was arrested on Friday.

The school said in a statement: "The allegation does not refer to any incident at Durham School, nor during this member of staff's employment at the school, nor does it refer to any current or former pupils of the school.

"The school takes very seriously any allegations in respect of abuse and is providing assistance to the authorities as and when it is requested."

A Durham Police spokesman said: "We can confirm a 58-year-old man from Bishop Auckland was arrested on suspicion of a historical sexual assault.

"After being interviewed the man was released on police bail until 15 August."

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