Former Ealing Abbot Skips Bail

Cleric wanted for question over child abuse allegations at St. Benedict's


Inquiry Into Child Protection at St Benedict's

Ealing Abbey Priest Jailed

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A former abbott of Ealing Abbey who is wanted for questioning over allegations of child abuse at St Benedict's school has skipped bail and is believed to have gone into hiding in Italy.

Father Laurence Soper, taught at the Roman Catholic Independent school from 1972 to 1984.

Former pupils came forward last year with allegations after another teacher at the school, Fr David Pearce was jailed in 2009 for child abuse offences stretching back 30 years.

There is no suggestion the two cases are linked.

The Times newspaper published information on a series of internal inquires into allegations of historic abuse at the school

A spokesman for the Abbey told the newspaper: 'We have heard nothing from him and all efforts to make contact have been without success.

'He was trusted by the police in England to return as and when required. He has betrayed that trust.'

The Headteacher of St Benedict's Christopher Cleugh has written to parents of children currently at the school informing them of these latest developments.

He said the much awaited Carlilse Report - which has looked into historical child care issues at the school - is due to be published at the end of the month.

14th October 2011

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