The Catholic Church of England and Wales, which was thought to have escaped the child abuse scandal and took pride in having put in place a robust system to prevent such practices, was on Saturday facing allegations of a cover-up after it was reported that a priest was allowed to remain in his post despite repeated complaints from his victims.

As a result Father David Pearce, (68), who was head-teacher at a prestigious private Catholic school in West London, went on to abuse more children and was finally jailed for eight years in 2008.

The Times reported that Pearce was investigated several times by the church's own watchdog and the police between 2001 and 2004 — and in 2006 one of his victims was awarded damages by the High Court. Yet no action was taken and he remained a priest at Ealing Abbey, West London, where he “groomed and assaulted one final victim before his arrest in 2008”, the newspaper said.

More In: International | News