A Priest Administered Sadistic Beatings
To Boys at a London School
An abbot who fled to Kosovo to escape justice has been convicted of abusing 10 boys at an elite Catholic school in London in the 1970s and 1980s. Andrew Soper, 74, formerly known as Father Laurence Soper, pleaded not guilty of 19 charges of rape and other sexual offences at the Old Bailey. Soper sexually abused pupils while he was a master at St Benedict’s school in Ealing. He abused them after administering punishments with a cane.
The first victim contacted police in 2004 after Soper left his role as abbot of Ealing Abbey and moved to the Benedictine order’s headquarters in Rome. The former pupil was told originally by the Police that there was insufficient evidence to achieve a conviction. Soper fled to Kosovo while on police bail, but was arrested in 2016 after being from Kosovo.
A senior Crown Prosecution lawyer involved in the case, said: “Soper used his position as a teacher to abuse children for his own sexual gratification. A statement by the school authorities said: “St Benedict’s school is deeply concerned for the suffering of the victims of Soper and apologised sincerely for their past errors. They acknowledged that the fact that these matters took place a long time ago did not mitigate the pain and injustice endured by the boys and that the school now supervised their pupils in accordance with strict child safety guidelines.
The QC leading the case for the prosecution, told the court that victims were subjected to sadistic beatings by Soper for a series of minor errors that led to a caning and sexual assault which were entirely inappropriate and clearly demonstrated a sexual motive. In later years many of his victims have experienced flashbacks and nightmares. Soper denied caning the boys. The judge remanded Soper in custody and he was convicted later of two counts of buggery, two counts of indecency with a child and 15 counts of indecent assault. The offence was subsequently changed from buggery to rape.
(The Comboni Survivors Blog, “Comboni Missionaries – A Childhood in their Hands” –
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