OAP due in court over child abuse

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A 71-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with a number of offences involving children alleged to have taken place in the 1970s and 1980s.

John Stingemore, of Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards was charged on Tuesday (July 23) by Metropolitan Police.

It followed an extensive multi-agency investigation codenamed Operation Fernbridge supported by the NSPCC, the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre and Richmond Social Services.

Stingemore was first arrested on February 6 along with Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, of Old Brighton Road North in Pease Pottage, West Sussex.

Detectives charged Stingemore with eight offences of indecent assault, two offences of taking an indecent image of a child and one of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit a sexual act on a child.

McSweeney was charged with three offences of indecent assault, three offences of taking indecent images of a child, three offence of making indecent images of a child and one offence of possession an indecent image of a child.

The charges relate to seven victims aged between nine and 15 years when the offences are alleged to have taken place during the 70s and 80s.

Both men are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

A third man, aged 69, arrested in connection with the investigation remains on police bail until September.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim is asked to contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.