Two charged with historic child abuse under Operation Fernbridge

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Rocks Lane: Tom Watson MP made allegations about the guest house in Parliament Rocks Lane: Tom Watson MP made allegations about the guest house in Parliament

The former deputy head of Richmond Council’s Grafton Close children’s home has been charged with offences on boys aged nine to 15.

John Stingemore, 71, was today charged along with Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, with indecent assault and making indecent images of children.

Both were arrested under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating historic allegations of sexual abuse at Elm Guest House in Barnes.

They were charged today and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on bail on September 4.

Mr Stingemore, who lives in East Sussex, will face eight counts of indecent assault, two of taking indecent images of a child and one of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery.

Mr McSweeney, a Roman Catholic priest from Norfolk, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault, one of taking indecent images of a child, three of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

The charges relate to seven victims, all aged between nine and 15 years when the alleged offences took place during the 70s and 80s.

Anyone with information, who has any concerns or believes they may have been a victim is asked to contact the NSPCC on its helpline 0808 800 5000.

A 69-year-old man remains on police bail, to return in September.

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