Catholic cleric arrested over historical child abuse claims after five-year manhunt

A Catholic cleric accused of historical sex offences at a London school has been arrested in Kosovo after a five-year manhunt.

Father Laurence Soper was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant over allegations of child abuse dating back to when he taught at St Benedict's School, a private independent Catholic school which is part of Ealing Abbey in west London.

Soper, in his mid-70s, was arrested in September 2010 on suspicion of historical sexual assault after a man, then in his 40s, made an allegation relating to his time at the school.

Soper failed to answer bail in London in March 2011, sparking an international search.

After more than five years evading officials, he was arrested in Kosovo on Wednesday.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We are aware of the arrest and we are liaising with the relevant authorities."

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