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London child abuse investigation: well-known Norfolk Catholic priest arrested

London child abuse investigation: well-known Norfolk Catholic priest arrested

THE Diocese of East Anglia has issued a statement confirming that:

The Rev Tony McSweeney, a priest of the Diocese of East Anglia, is currently assisting police with their inquiries into historical allegations of the sexual abuse of children.

According to this report, McSweeney, 66, from St George’s Church in Norwich, and another man aged 70 from East Sussex, were arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of sexual offences linked to the former Elm Guest House and the now closed Grafton Close children’s home in Barnes, south west London.

The second man was identified by the Daily Mail as a former deputy head of Grafton Close, John Stingemore, 70.

The Mail also published a photo of Peter Hatton-Bornshin, who reportedly suffered appalling sexual abuse while in the care of social services in the early 1980s.

Tormented by his experience at the council-run Grafton Close Children’s Home in West London, Peter took his own life in 1994 at the age of 28.

Peter Hatton-Bornshin, pictured aged 12

Peter Hatton-Bornshin, pictured aged 12

Detectives are probing claims the guest house was used by people to abuse boys from the home. The arrests were made as part of Scotland Yard’s Operation Fernbridge, launched after concerns were raised in Parliament by Labour MP Tom Watson.

Speaking in Parliament in October last year, Mr Watson said a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained “clear intelligence” of a sex abuse gang.

The Rev Tony McSweeney

The Rev Tony McSweeney

After McSweeny’s arrest, Fr 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.

McSweeney was appointed a director at Notre Dame High School in Norwich in April last year. He has been a priest for almost 28 years, celebrating his silver anniversary in February 2009 with a service in Norwich.

He trained at St John’s seminary near Guildford and is the priest of St George’s Catholic Church on Sprowston Road in the north of the city.

He was also appointed as club chaplain at Norwich City FC in 2003 by Delia Smith, who, coincidentally, spoke out against “militant atheists” last year.

Commander Peter Spindler from the Metropolitan Police said:

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.

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.

The BBC reported that both men have been released on bail pending further inquiries until April.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn & Pete H

24 Responses to “London child abuse investigation: well-known Norfolk Catholic priest arrested”

  1. barriejohn says:

    But apologists for this vile organization are always rewarded:

    http://hiltonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2013/02/dame-ann-widdecombe-now-wheres-the-peerage.html

    Following in the footsteps of Sir Jimmy Savile?

  2. Daz says:

    The safeguarding of children and vulnerable people the Catholic Church is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church and the diocese is co-operating fully with the police in this investigation

    Fixed that for him.

  3. Jung says:

    so true Daz.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Daz: A bit unfair to label the whole outfit over the actions of one bad apple, don’t you think?

  5. Gindy51 says:

    ONE BAD APPLE, what rock have you been hiding under, barriejohn? More and more stories of horrific practices by the RCC are spewing out daily. Just take a gander at the documents released to the LA Times recently that got a cardinal fired from his positions (he is still a cardinal). The crap that went on in Ireland with the laundries up until 1996, and the disgusting abuses and cover ups the European countries… this is a widespread, systematic infection and this disgusting organization needs to be plowed under and the ground sown with salt. Watch the HBO special Mea Maxima Culpa, if you need any more information. This goes all the way to the top of the organization.
    Not one of these men believe a single word of their own doctrine because if they did, like JPI, they’d have rooted this vile pile of things out long ago.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Ahem…irony, @Gindy51!

  7. Daz says:

    Barriejohn

    Ah, I remember Irony. It’s a nice little village just outside Cumbernauld. I spent a week there once. It’s twinned with Sär Chasm in Iceland…

    Gindy51

    Still an’ all, twas a nice and accurate rant, even if targeted badly. Well said.

  8. remigius says:

    barriejohn. It’s easy to see why Gindy51 was confused. First you post a link about Anne Widdecombe getting damed for defending the Catholic church, then you post a comment defending the Catholic church.

    A lot of us thought you were after a papal knighthood.

  9. barriejohn says:

    The Order of the Farter, I should think, Remigius!

  10. barriejohn says:

    The Order of the Farter I should think, Remigius!

  11. Ian says:

    Papal (k)night hood? Is that the same as a condom?

  12. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Speaking in Parliament in October last year, Mr Watson said a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained “clear intelligence” of a sex abuse gang.

    So, there was evidence back in 1992 of a “sex gang”. So why the fuck wasn’t it followed up? How many children were abused after 1992 that might have avoided that abuse if the evidence had been followed as far as it could go? I think the CPS and the police have a case to answer here.

  13. barriejohn says:

    The Mail actually reported The Blessed Ann’s papal knighthood some months ago, at around the same time as this story broke:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370323/Tony-Blairs-priest-fixed-papal-knighthoods-cash.html#axzz2KDkL80Si

    If only more people had “absolute” moral standards!

  14. barriejohn says:

    G M-R: Freemasons and other establishment figures may be involved. There are many sites like the following, full of conspiracy theories, so who knows what the truth is? What IS certain is that much has been buried.

    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t920852/

  15. The Woggler says:

    As there was discussion on a previous thread about prophecies, I’m going to try to make my own mark as a prophet.

    “And it shall come to pass that during the year designated two thousand and thirteen, there shall be more stories on the Freethinker website about Catholic priests abusing children than the ones detailed in early February.”

    If my prophecy comes true, can I request that a new religion called ‘Wogglerism’ does NOT arise.

  16. Marky Mark says:

    (The crap that went on in Ireland with the laundries up until 1996,)
    …I’ve been reading about the Magdalene Laundries and I’m sick , every dime their followers give that church is an investment in child abuse across the world.

  17. ZombieHunter says:

    @barriejohn

    it’s unfortunate that only conspiracy nuts (including that crackpot david icke who is taking full credit for exposing jimmy saville) have been discussing this story due to the whole freemason connection because it means those legitemite people and orginisations trying to expose this scandal will be linked in with the tin foil hat brigade.

    Conspiracy nuts are useful idiots who help these culprits involved distance themselves from legitimate investigations all too easily.

  18. barriejohn says:

    ZombieHunter: Precisely. While their evil deeds are highlighted by such people as Icke, they’re laughing! Nick Davies is a bit more reliable:

    http://www.nickdavies.net/1998/04/01/the-sheer-scale-of-child-sexual-abuse-in-britain/

  19. T says:

    Why does a footer team need a club chaplain? . I guess there must be a youth team for the priests to prey on.

  20. Robster says:

    Is it a rule that only really unattractive people can become priests/bishops/cardinals/rabbis/imams/etc? If the church looked out for good looking people to take priestly roles perhaps they wouldn’t be so frustrated and would be quite happy with some internet porn rather than fiddling with kiddies? Every priestly type in the media on child rape charges (and jees there’s an awful lot of them) looks like a monster from old B&W movies. Perhaps they think that the clerical dog-collar is some sort of bondage instrument?

  21. John A says:

    ‘Tormented by his experience at the council-run Grafton Close Children’s Home in West London, Peter took his own life in 1994 at the age of 28.’
    When dealing with these Catholic perverts it would be nice to think that the judicial system considered a manslaughter charge appropriate for their actions. Unfortunately, that is not practical as so difficult to prove; they have to go with the best case to stick, which is often the lesser charge. I hope when it comes to sentencing day the Judge hands down a punishment from the higher end of the scale to take into account the repercussions of their actions on these children’s later life, not just the exposed vile deeds.

  22. Stephen Mynett says:

    John A, a start would be a sentence for each abuse crime and not to run concurrently. As things stand now the perverts can get 10 years 13 times and still serve less than 10. I think the Americans are often over the top and mistake vengeance for justice, but in the case of long sentences they are often right.

    I am unsure of the law but I do not think sentences have to run concurrently but the judge can decide.

    @T, I brought up the chaplian question with a director of the team I support, he was not unhelpful as the “I don’t know” he said seemed an honest lack of knowledge. However, I did find out the chaplain only turned up match days (probably wanted a free ticket) and was not at the club any other times.

    I still question why he cant come along and pay like any other supporter but the director seemed to think it was “just something the club had always done”. I am still pressing for the club to get rid of him.

  23. jay says:

    @Barriejohn

    I don’t want to actually follow that link but stormfront links probably should be accompanied with appropriate warnings.

  24. Bubblecar says:

    Looks like he’s well fond of Delia’s lardy roast potatoes.