London

Ex-priest Laurence Soper denies sexually abusing boys

Laurence Soper Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Laurence Soper pleaded not guilty to 18 charges, including indecent assault, indecency with a child, and buggery

An ex-Roman Catholic priest has denied sexually abusing 10 boys at a west London school in the 1970s and 80s.

Laurence Soper, 73, is charged with 18 counts of sexual assault against boys aged under 16, at St Benedict's School in Ealing, where he taught.

The former Abbott of Ealing Abbey appeared before the Old Bailey via video link and spoke only to confirm his name and deny the charges.

He is due to go on trial at the same court on 2 October.

None of the alleged victims, one of whom was aged under 14 at the time, can be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Soper is accused of committing indecent assault, indecency with a child, and serious sexual assault between 1972 and 1983.

In court he was addressed as Andrew Charles Kingston Soper - with Laurence being the name he took when he was ordained as a priest.

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