Thursday, 10 August 2017

Soper pleads not guilty

There's been a plea and case management hearing. Soper has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of sexual assault against boys aged under 16. His trial at the Old Bailey will start on October 2.


  1. Could I ask whether he is still in custody?

  2. Dear Jonathan,
    I have only recently found your blog and have been absolutely delighted to see your efforts to bring the awful tale of past abuse at St. Benedict's out into the open. Your on-going efforts to try and ensure that such abuse does not happen again at St. Benedict's does you great credit. I would hate to guess how many hours you have spent on these issues but many thousands comes to mind.
    As an OP(69) I am glad to say that I experienced nothing but good care and guidance into adulthood from all staff, lay and monastic.
    Sadly I was abused as a child at the hands of a close family member and my busy time at school helped me overcome the problems and hang-ups this caused. I have thus been horrified by the picture that unfolded as I read through your complete blog from 2009. Am I correct in listing all those mentioned in one way or another in abuse, as follows:

    Fr David Pearce OSB
    Fr Laurence Soper OSB
    Fr Gregory Chillman OSB
    Fr Anthony Gee OSB
    Fr Gerard Hayes OSB
    Fr Stanislaus Hayes OSB
    Fr Kevin Horsey OSB
    Mr John Maestri
    Mr James Piper
    Mr Stephen Skelton
    Mr Peter Allott

    7 priests and 4 lay staff. Many of the monks were members of the community at the same time which makes one suspicious that there was collusion and perhaps a 'ring' in the heart of the community and school. I do not know of the arrangements a Benedictine Community makes for the sacrament of Confession but would not 'confessors' without breaching the privacy of the confessional have raised this matter within the Community? With so many flawed priests in the Community at Ealing did other monks/novices leave the Community in disgust? Speculation of course.

    Carry on your tireless work and may God bless you.

    1. I had to delay publishing your comment until now, lest anything in it might prejudice the trial. But Soper has now been convicted. The list of names is about right except that it is Stanislaus Hobbs, not Hayes.

  3. Is there any news of Soper's trial I understand that there may be reporting restictions