Laurence Soper

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Metropolitan Police

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Laurence Soper was jailed for 18 years for abusing boys at St Benedict’s

A group of paedophile priests behaved “like the mafia”, abusing dozens of young boys at a west London school over a 50 year period, a report says.

St Benedict’s School, Ealing, was described as a “grim and beastly place” by the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

A culture of cover-up and denial of sexual abuse operated at Ealing Abbey, which ran the school, the report found.

To date five priests have been jailed for abusing children at the school.

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Five priests have been jailed for abusing children at St Benedict’s

The IICSA received 18 more allegations against 8 monks and staff, but the true scale of the abuse is “likely to be much higher”, the report found.

Children suffered severe corporal punishment which was often used as a means to initiate sexual abuse or for sexual gratification.

The IICSA report highlighted failings by school leadership, police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and child protection teams.

The report, the inquiry’s tenth, has been published as part of its investigation of abuse within the Roman Catholic church.

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