Ipswich: Copleston High School teacher Stephen Benson appears in court over child sex offence charges

A TEACHER has appeared in court after being charged with 23 sexual offences against children.

Stephen Benson - who has been a PE teacher at Copleston High School, Ipswich, for more than two decades - was at Ipswich Crown Court this morning.

He has been charged with two counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of sexual assault, nine counts of rape and ten counts of indecent assault. The charges relate to incidents against three female victims who were aged under 18 at the time of the offences, which happened between 1989 and 2010.

Benson listened in the dock as Judge John Holt confirmed the date of his next hearing.

The 50-year-old will return to Ipswich Crown Court on September 28, when he is set to enter a plea over the charges.

He was released on unconditional bail.

Copleston High School principal Shaun Common said Benson was suspended as soon as the charges came to light.

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