Updated: First two arrests in Richmond paedophile ring
The Met Police investigation into the Elm Guest House paedophile brothel took a dramatic turn yesterday. The first two people suspected of being involved in the scandal were arrested at dawn yesterday in simultaneous police raids in Hastings and Norfolk.
The first arrest at a flat in St Leonards came as Exaro reporters were outside the flat and witnessed the eight police from the paedophile unit arrive at 7.15 am. There is a full report and a picture of the arrested man being taken away by police on the exaro website (http://bit.ly/X2U3RK).
The first man to be arrested was John Stingemore, the former deputy manager of Grafton Close children’s home. Now 70 and frail he was taken to a local police station for further questioning. The police are investigating claims of child sexual abuse at the home and at the guest house.
The second person is a 66-year old Roman Catholic priest, Tony McSweeney who was arrested in Norwich . Father McSweeney, a former chaplain to Norwich football club, is being asked about child sexual abuse at the Elm Guest House in the 1980s,
Grafton Close children’s’ home, closed since the 1990s, is on the borders of Richmond and Hounslow. One central allegation in the story is that it supplied young boys to Elm Guest House,in Barnes a place strongly recommended on the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality and offering discounts to people belonging to the Spartacus club, then an organisation for men seeking sexual relations with young boys. Central to the allegations is the guest house for VIPs including politicians, government ministers and business people.
This is the first action by the Met police since 1982 when they raided the guest house and made 23 arrests. All the people were then released. Harry Kasir, the owner of the guest house, was later charged and convicted of running a gay brothel.
Both men have now been released by the police on bail until April pending further inquiries.
Police are appealing for more people to come forward and contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.