A Catholic monk wanted over child sex abuse allegations has been arrested in Kosovo after five years on the run. He has now been apprehended in Pec, Kosovo after a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012, report The Guardian, transmete the National Information Agency “Presheva Jonë”.
- Laurence Soper disappeared after alleged sex offences at Ealing Abbey
- He was questioned by police in 2010 but he skipped bail and vanished
- Has been caught in Pec, Kosovo after European Arrest Warrant was issued
Laurence Soper, the former abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Ealing Abbey in west London, failed to respond to bail in March 2011 and was thought to have been in Rome when a European arrest warrant was put out for him months later. He had been arrested and released on police bail the previous year.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are aware of an arrest and are currently in liaison with the relevant authorities.”
News of the arrest was delivered on Saturday by the Albeu news agency, which said that the priest, who was known in Kosovo as Andrew Soper, was arrested on Thursday in the street where he lived, in the town of Peja .
Neighbours told a reporter that Soper, 72, had lived in the town for some years, did not have a job and had said he was writing a book.
A damning review by Lord Carlile QC into decades of paedophile activity at St Benedict’s school, a Catholic school attached to the abbey, published in 2011, listed 21 abuse cases starting in 1970. Soper was named as one of five clergy wanted for questioning in relation to paedophile activity involving pupils. Soper taught at the school between 1972 and 1984. He was abbot from 1991 to 2000.
The inquiry at the school was prompted after a former headteacher, Father David Pearce, was convicted of abusing five boys. He was jailed for eight years in 2009 for the abuse over 36 years. Four of the victims were under 14.
Ten days ago a former deputy head of the school was jailed for 33 months at Blackfriars crown court for possession of child sex images and class A drugs. Peter Allott, 37, spent his weekends at chemsex child porn parties with paedophiles he had met online.
He admitted possessing MDMA, a class A drug, which was found in a raid of his home – a property tied to the school – and was charged with possessing nearly 700 illegal images and videos, most of which were found on the hard drive of his computer at the school.