Death of former Ampleforth School head, Fr Leo Chamberlain

A former headmaster accused of trying to “control” a sex abuse investigation at a Roman Catholic boarding school in North Yorkshire, has died at the age of 79.

Fr Leo Chamberlain

Father Leo Chamberlain was a Benedictine monk who was in charge at Ampleforth College for 11 years from 1993, having previously been a senior master there.

Two years ago, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, chaired by Prof Alexis Jay, heard that Fr Chamberlain had tried “to control the investigation” into allegations concerning Ampleforth.

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He acknowledged having spoken to the parents of an alleged victim but said there had been “no skulduggery” and that he had “made no obstruction” to police.

A former detective had claimed that officers had been “excluded” from inquiries in 1995 and 2002 into incidents at Ampeforth.

The school said Fr Chamberlain, who retired as head in 2003 at 63, died in the monastery hospital there after a period of ill-health. Last year he had celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.