news

Former Catholic priest wanted over alleged sex abuse in Ealing arrested in Kosovo

Laurence Soper was being hunted over sex offences allegedly carried out when he was a teacher at St Benedict's School

Lawrence Soper was arrested in Kosovo

A former Catholic priest in Ealing wanted over child sex abuse allegations has been arrested in Kosovo, local police sources have said.

Laurence Soper was being hunted over sex offences allegedly carried out when he was a teacher at St Benedict's School in Ealing. The school was attended by actor Andy Serkis and comedian Julian Clary.

The then 68-year-old was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of historical sexual assault after a man in his 40s claimed he had been the victim of sexual assault at the school, where Mr Soper taught in the seventies and eighties.

He was bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011. The Metropolitan Police obtained a European Arrest Warrant in September 2012.

Police said at the time that they believed Mr Soper had been living in Italy.

Police in Kosovo’s capital Pristina confirmed local reports that he had been arrested in Pec, in the west of the country, last Thursday (May 12).

A senior official, speaking anonymously, said that the extradition process was under way to return him to the UK.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The Metropolitan Police is aware of an arrest and is currently in liaison with the relevant authorities."

Kosovo’s Insajderi newspaper said Mr Soper had been living under the name Andrew, and had lived in Pec for several years.

View full mobile page