British former Catholic priest arrested in Kosovo over child abuse allegations

Former priest Laurence Soper has been arrested in Kosovo.Metropolitan Police

A British former Roman Catholic priest has been arrested in Kosovo over child sex abuse allegations.

Laurence Soper allegedly committed the offences at St Benedict's School in Ealing, where he was a teacher in the 1970s and 1980s.

After teaching at the school he became abbot of Ealing Abbey.

Soper was arrested in 2010 when a man in his 40s came forward with an allegation of sexual assault at the school, which was also attended by actor Andy Serkis and comedian Julian Clary. He was bailed but did not return to a London police station in March 2011. A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012.

After evading police for five years he was arrested in Peja, in the west of Kosovo. Now in his mid-70s, Soper had lived in the country under the name of 'Andrew'. An official told the BBC an extradition process was under way.

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

A Foreign Office spokesman told the Press Association: "Our embassy is providing assistance following the arrest of a British national in Peja, Kosovo, on Wednesday 11 May."

Kosovo saw fierce fighting in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Its independence has not been recognised by Serbia and it still suffers from high unemployment and low income.