Church of England priests bailed in sex abuse inquiry

Canon Gordon Rideout and Father Robert Coles
Image caption Canon Gordon Rideout and Father Robert Coles were arrested separately at their homes

Two retired Church of England priests arrested in the Eastbourne area on suspicion of sexually abusing children and young men have been bailed.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 73 was held on suspicion of sexually assaulting nine young people between 1965 and 1972.

Former parish priest Robert Coles, 70, was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting three young men in West Sussex in the late 1970s and mid-1980s.

Both men have been freed on bail until next month, Sussex Police said.

Detectives in East Sussex say they are not linking the cases at this stage.

The arrests follow an investigation over the past six months by a team of specialist child protection detectives from Sussex Police.

The two men were arrested separately on Tuesday at their homes near Eastbourne.

In the 1960s, Canon Rideout was a chaplain at two Barnardo's homes in London.

He was also chaplain at Moira House Girls School in Eastbourne until 2003 and chair of governors at St Mary's special school in Bexhill and Bishop Bell school in Eastbourne.

He conducted services at All Saints Church, Eastbourne until 2010.

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