FORMER ABBOT LAURENCE SOPER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING BOYS AT CATHOLIC SCHOOL
By Rose Gamble
December 6, 2017
'Soper abused his position as a teacher and as a priest to abuse children for his own sexual gratification'
The former Abbot of Ealing Abbey, Laurence Soper, has been convicted of abusing 10 boys at a Catholic-run school in the 1970s and 80s.
Andrew Soper, 74, was found guilty on Wednesday afternoon of 19 individual rape and sexual offences of offences after a trial at London’s Old Bailey.
Soper sexually abused 10 boys while he was a teacher at St Benedict’s School, Ealing. He would abuse them after hitting them with a cane, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
His first victim came forward in 2004, after Soper had left his role as Abbot and moved to the Benedictine headquarters in Rome. He was initially told by police there was insufficient evidence.
Soper was interviewed by appointment by Police at Heathrow airport in 2010, but he fled to Kosovo while on police bail in 2011.
He was arrested at Luton Airport in August 2016 after he was deported by the Kosovan authorities.
"Soper abused his position as a teacher and as a priest to abuse children for his own sexual gratification,” London CPS lawyer, Tetteh Turkson, said.
“He compounded this by trying to evade justice and fleeing to Kosovo in order to go into hiding.
The victims’ bravery in coming forward and giving evidence has seen him convicted of these serious offences.”
Soper will be sentenced at a later date.