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Catholic Priest Tony McSweeney arrested for sexual abuse committed in 1980s
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Catholic Priest Tony McSweeney and a 70 year old man from East Sussex have been arrested in relation to allegations of sexually abusing boys at the Elm Guest House and Grafton Close care home in Barnes, London, in the early 1980s.
The BBC has reported that the arrests follow the investigations Operation Fernbridge into allegations of historic sexual abuse committed in South East London. Operation Fernbridge was launched last month after MP Tom Watson claimed that a file used to convict Peter Righton of importing indecent images of children in 1992 contained "clear intelligence" of a "widespread paedophile ring”. Mr Watson said that leads were not followed up and the Metropolitan police now must secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigates the intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament.
Operation Fernbridge is looking at claims that senior political figures and others sexually abused boys at the Elm Guest House in Barnes. It is also investigating links between the guest house and the nearby former Grafton Close children's care-home run that was by Richmond Council. The 70-year-old arrested man is understood to be John Stingemore, who used to help run Grafton Close, which closed some years ago.
The Metropolitan Police said both men have been released on bail pending further inquiries until April.
At Pannone we deal with many historic abuse cases and it is not unusual for victims to come forward with their allegations years after the incident. Pannone’s specialist abuse team would like to hear from anyone affected by this story or other similar abuse. Any communications will be treated in the strictest confidence. If you have been the victim of any form of abuse, or believe that somebody in your care might have been abused contact us today or call 0800 0384 384 for free confidential advice.