High-profile monk will not face criminal action

A HIGH-profile Roman Catholic monk who withdrew from all active ministry following an allegation, will not face any criminal action, it has emerged.

The Journal reported earlier this month that Dom Antony Sutch, 60, a Benedictine monk and broadcaster, who was parish priest at St Benet’s Church in Beccles, was being investigated by police over an “historical safeguarding allegation”.

Fr Sutch is a former headmaster of Downside School, an independent Catholic co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 11 to 18, and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

Fr Sutch came to Beccles after leaving Downside School, which is run by Downside Abbey, and became well-known in the community, serving on Beccles Town Council since 2007.

It has since been reported that four monks from Downside Abbey, near Bath, have been investigated over alleged sexual incidents.

This week an Avon and Somerset police spokesman said: “We can confirm that four people have been investigated.

“One of them has been arrested in connection with an historic allegation of indecent assault. He remains on bail pending further enquiries.

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“In respect of the other three, there is no evidence of criminal offences.”

Fr Sutch is not facing any criminal action. It was not known whether or not he plans to return to Beccles.