Britain's police charge fugitive former priest with child sex crimes

LONDON (Reuters) - British police have charged a former priest with child sex crimes after he returned to Britain from Kosovo, where he had been on the run for around five years living under a false name.

Laurence Soper, 72, was due to appear at a west London court later on Monday (Aug 22) to face charges for crimes he is accused of committing from 1972 to 1986. He was arrested at Luton Airport on Sunday after he flew back to Britain.

He faces nine charges in total, according to a police statement, which said there were five victims.

Described by police as a monk, Soper had lived in the town of Peja in Kosovo for about five years under the name Andrew Charles Kingston. British media said the former abbot from Ealing, west London, who was a teacher in the 1970s and 80s, had jumped bail in 2011.

The Kosovan authorities detained Soper on an international arrest warrant in May but two extradition requests were rejected by courts in the country, the second because the crimes were committed too long ago.

Police in Kosovo told Reuters that Soper had exceeded the time limit of his stay in the country and had been deported.