Men sentenced for boys' home abuse

High Court GlasgowHigh Court Glasgow
High Court Glasgow
Two men responsible for the physical and sexual abuse of young boys during the 1970s and 80s have been jailed.

At the High Court in Glasgow today (Friday), Paul Kelly and John Farrell were sentenced to ten years and five years in prison respectively for offences committed at St Ninian’s School in Falkland.

Kelly (64) and Farrell (73) were both members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers who operated the school at the time the abuse took place.

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The victims were aged between 11 and 15 years old and were resident at the school which was run by members of the religious order between 1952 and 1983 and catered for male pupils, of secondary school age, who were in need of care and protection.

Farrell and Kelly were convicted of preying on six boys, some of them only eleven at the time they were abused.

Between 2012 and early 2013, officers in Fife Division received three separate complaints of sexual abuse from victims who had been pupils at the school.

This initiated a protracted and proactive police inquiry with victims and witnesses being traced throughout the UK.

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In total 37 men who were all former pupils made complaints, all of which were thoroughly investigated by detectives from Police Scotland.

Chief Inspector Nicola Shepherd, who led the investigation said: “These sentences reflect the severity of the crimes committed against the young victims, who at the time were in the care of both Farrell and Kelly.

“The abuse took place over a number of years causing untold misery and suffering to the boys and was a complete betrayal of the trust they placed in these men.

“Thanks to the bravery of the victims, a significant case was built against them during this extensive investigation and the evidence and testimony of the victims ultimately led to their conviction.

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“I would like to thank all of those who came forward to provide us with information for their courage and strength.

“Police Scotland will robustly investigate any and all reports of sexual abuse, regardless of when the offences occurred.

“We will work closely with our partners at the Crown Office to bring those responsible to justice, and with support services across Scotland to ensure that victims receive the help and support they need to recover.

“I would also like to reassure survivors of childhood sexual abuse that their reports will be listened to and investigated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity.”

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Speaking after the sentencing, Kenny Donnelly, procurator fiscal high for sexual offences in East of Scotland, said: “These men have been convicted of serious sexual offences against vulnerable boys.

“Although these crimes took place decades ago, this case, and others like it, show that justice can be achieved after many years.

“We strongly encourage anyone who has been a victim of any such offences to report this to the police, even after a significant passage of time, and they can be confident that they will be treated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity by the police and our expert prosecutors.”