A CHAPLAIN from a leading independent school has been arrested on suspicion of historic sexual assault.

Durham Police today confirmed a 58-year-old man from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, had been arrested regarding an historic offence alleged to have happened in the Merseyside Police area.

The man understood to be the Reverend Philip Bentham, who was appointed chaplain to the 600-year-old Durham School last September.

Loading article content

He was previously chaplain to Bethany School, in Goudhurst, Kent.

Rev Bentham was arrested on Friday, May 23, interviewed and released on police bail until mid-August.

Durham School was recently rocked by the disappearance of its deputy headteacher Mark Bushnell, whose body was later discovered on an east Durham beach.

Its headmaster Martin George is soon to leave to become head of Epson College Malaysia and will be succeeded in September by Kieran McLaughlin, currently deputy head (academic) at the world-renowned Rugby School.

There are no known links between Rev Bentham’s arrest and either of these developments.