A former Catholic monk, who was based in London, has been arrested in Kosovo on charges of child sexual abuse. Lawrence Soper was arrested in 2010 and released on bail, but absconded in 2011. The BBC reported that he was believed to be in Rome and a European arrest warrant was issued in his name in 2012.
Now, Insadjeri, a local newspaper in Kosovo, has reported that Soper, now 72, was arrested on 11 May near his home. The newspaper reported he had been living in the town of Peja, under the name Andrew Soper.
London’s Metropolitan Police has said that it “is aware of an arrest and is currently in liaison with the relevant authorities”.
A senior police official in Kosovo’s capital Pristina spoke to BBC and said that the extradition process to return him to the UK is underway.
Speaking to the Press Association, a foreign office spokesperson said, “Our embassy is providing assistance following the arrest of a British national in Peja, Kosovo, on Wednesday 11 May.”
Soper was elected abbot – the head of a monastery’s monks – of Ealing Abbey, West London, in 1992. Previously, he had taught at the nearby St Benedict’s school between 1972 -1984. The school was founded by the abbey and Benedictine monks from the abbey formed part of its teaching staff.