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Former church treasurer arrested

PUBLISHED: 12:44 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

A FORMER church treasurer has been arrested on suspicion of false accounting relating to alleged financial irregularities spanning several years.

Diocesan officials at Monks Eleigh, near Hadleigh, have been helping Suffolk police investigate the financial affairs of St Peter's Church.

A FORMER church treasurer has been arrested on suspicion of false accounting relating to alleged financial irregularities spanning several years.

Diocesan officials at Monks Eleigh, near Hadleigh, have been helping Suffolk police investigate the financial affairs of St Peter's Church. Former treasurer Peter Bentley, 65, has now been arrested and bailed on suspicion of false accounting.

Mr Bentley, who was suspended from his role as church treasurer by the parochial church council in September, must report back to Felixstowe police station on March 20.

A police spokesman said: "We can confirm that on Wednesday, December 12, we arrested a 65-year-old man from the Hadleigh area on suspicion of false accounting.

"The arrest results from an allegation relating to financial irregularities at a church in south Suffolk. The man has now been released on police bail pending further inquiries."

The inquiries are understood to relate to the financial affairs of the church going back several years, during the period that Mr Bentley was treasurer.

Before his arrest Mr Bentley said: "I was informed by the parochial church council in September I had been suspended from my job and asked to hand over the books."

Monks Eleigh is in the Lavenham deanery, and is part of a benefice that also includes Brent Eleigh, Milden, Chelsworth and Kettlebaston.

Rector, the Rev David House, moved to the parish from Ipswich 18 months ago.

Every Sunday a family service for the entire benefice is held at the church, with congregations having reached a healthy level since Mr House began introducing a more modern approach to services.

Situated near the top of Monks Eleigh's picturesque village green, the church is a landmark in the Brett Valley.


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