– Metropolitan Police statement
Officers from Operation Fernbridge this morning, Wednesday 6th February, arrested two men on suspicion of sexual offences.
The men are (a) aged 66 from Norfolk, and (b) aged 70 from East Sussex.They have now been bailed pending further inquires to a date in April.
Reverend Tony McSweeney, who is a priest of the Diocese of East Anglia, is one of two men who have been arrested over allegations of historical child abuse at the Elm guest house.
Father David Bagstaff, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of East Anglia, said: “The safeguarding of children and vulnerable people is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church and the Diocese is co-operating fully with the police in this investigation.”
Two men have been arrested by detectives investigating allegations of historic child abuse.
Detectives are investigating claims that boys were taken from a care home and abused at a nearby guest house in London.
Two men were arrested over allegations of child abuse in the 1980's at the Elm Guest House and nearby Grafton Close Children’s Home in London.
The police are investigating allegations that boys were taken from the home and abused at the guest house.
Mary Moss, a former youth protection worker who was in contact with the boys at the time, told ITV News she was certain child abuse happened at the guest house.
Director of the NSPCC helpline Peter Watt said:
– Peter Watt
We are assisting the police on Operation Fernbridge and are asking anyone with information to come forward.
We will assist the police in gathering evidence and supporting those who come forward.
It's important we recognise the massive impact abuse has on children and young people, often well into their adult life.
- The NSPCC's 24-hour helpline, which is staffed by trained counsellors, is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via text message to 88858.
John Stingemore, former deputy head of the Grafton Close children's home, is believed to be one of the men arrested by police investigating alleged child abuse at Elm Guest House.
A spokesman for Richmond Council, which ran the care home, said:
Richmond Council considers the safeguarding of all children and young people as an utmost priority and we take any allegations of abuse very seriously.
As such we are offering our full support and co-operation to the police during their investigation.
As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
Police have confirmed that the Elm Guest House allegations were investigated following information passed to Tom Watson MP.
They added that other matters raised by the politician are still under assessment.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the two men arrested as part of Operation Fernbridge on suspicion of sexual offences are currently in police custody.
– Metropolitan Police statement
The men are (a) aged 66 from Norfolk, and (b) aged 70 from East Sussex.
Both are in police custody at this time.
Commander Peter Spindler, head of the MPS Specialist Crime Investigations, said:
– Commander Peter Spindler
This is a complex multi-agency investigation supported by the NSPCC, CEOP and Richmond Social Services involving non recent allegations of sexual assault against children.
It is vital that anyone who has been affected by or has information about activity in the early 1980s at the Elm Guest House, or the Grafton Close care home, in Barnes speaks to the NSPCC on their Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or their local police.
Ex-youth worker Mary Moss, who worked with boys who have alleged abuse, told ITV News that she believes a 1980s Elm Guest House abuse investigation was shut down due to the prominent names involved.