Former officer jailed for 28 years for historical abuse

A former police officer who committed a string of sex offences and violent assaults has been jailed for 28 years.

Jun 23, 2021
By Tony Thompson
Kevin Bentley

Kevin Barry Bentley was convicted of a catalogue of historical abuse perpetrated against five women and one girl, some dating back to the 1970s.

A two-week trial at Durham Crown Court heard that the 68-year-old had attempted to use his previous employment with Durham Constabulary as a form of ‘shield’ to prevent the victims reporting his actions. He had retired from the force in 2006 and none of his offences related to his work there.

Bentley was found guilty of 24 serious sexual and physical assaults and yesterday (June 22) he was sentenced to 28 years in prison with an additional extended licence period of six years and ordered that the defendant must serve at least 18-and-a-half years in custody before he can be considered for parole.

The conviction follows a painstaking three-year investigation by Durham Constabulary which started in 2018 when one victim revealed she had been sexually assaulted.

Officers from Bishop Auckland Safeguarding Team traced a total of six victims, who all gave evidence that over a 30-year period Bentley had physically or sexually assaulted them.

Detective Constable Hannan, who was the officer in charge of the investigation, said: “Kevin Bentley repeatedly subjected his victims to horrific abuse and now faces many years in prison to reflect on the trail of damaged lives he has left behind him. This has been a long and difficult investigation and above all, our thoughts today are with those women who were strong enough to give evidence to bring their abuser to justice after all this time and hopefully begin the process of moving forward with their lives.

Detective Chief Inspector Cuthbert, head of the force’s Professional Standards Department, said: “Kevin Bentley subjected these women to a sustained campaign of abuse which spanned thirty years.

“While these offences were not related to Bentley’s role as a police officer, they do not reflect the high standards of Durham Constabulary – the standards exemplified by the diligent and dedicated officers who worked to bring him to justice”.

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