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Scottish child abuse inquiry hears apologies over ‘deplorable’ attacks 

Scottish child abuse inquiry hears apologies over ‘deplorable’ attacks

child abuse survivors
Image caption Child abuse survivors gathered for a vigil outside Rosebery House before the inquiry started

The first hearing in the Scottish child abuse inquiry has heard apologies from organisations which ran children’s homes around the country.

More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated.

The inquiry, which is being chaired by Lady Smith, is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care.

It is expected to report in late 2019 – four years after it was set up.

The opening session in Edinburgh heard apologies from groups who said they “deplored that physical sexual abuses could occur”.

They included Quarrier’s, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Nazareth, Good Shepherd Sisters, De La Salle Brothers and Christian Brothers.

Lady Smith began the public hearings by acknowledging that many children in Scotland have been abused in residential care over the years.

Lady SmithImage copyright Nick Mailer
Image caption Lady Smith has urged victims and witnesses to come forward

The High Court judge revealed the number of survivors who had already spoken to the inquiry team was “very far in excess” of 200.

She said: “They suffered some terrible treatment inflicted by those to whom their care was entrusted. That is a matter of grave concern.

“It is critically important that our community engages in facing up to the fact that children in care were wronged and failed in the past and to commit to seeing to it that children of today and of the future are safe.

“It’s not easy to do that, for many it will be a painful process. But if we are to achieve real, substantial and lasting change for the better it has to be done.”

‘Cruelly betrayed’

John Scott QC, for the In Care Abuse Survivors group (Incas), said children had been “cruelly betrayed by those supposed to care for them”.

He said the inquiry had come too late for those who have already died, but added: “It is not too late for at least some acknowledgement and accountability, not too late for some compensation, not too late for other survivors to come forward.”

The hearings have now been adjourned until Thursday.

The inquiry states its purpose as being “to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland”, while considering “the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty”, in particular seeking any “systemic failures”.

It classes “in care” as being:

  • Children’s homes (including residential care provided by faith based groups)
  • Secure care units including List D schools
  • Borstals and Young Offenders’ Institutions
  • Places provided for Boarded Out children in the Highlands and Islands
  • State, private and independent Boarding Schools, including state funded school hostels
  • Healthcare establishments providing long term care, and any similar establishments intended to provide children with long term residential care
  • Children in foster care

But it does not cover children who were abused while living with their natural or adoptive families, while using sports and leisure clubs or attending faith based organisations on a day to day basis.

The inquiry will also not examine allegations of children being abused in non-boarding schools, nursery or day-care centres.

Its terms of reference say it covers a time period “within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse”, up until the point the inquiry was announced in December 2014, and will consider if “changes in practice, policy or legislation are necessary” to protect children in care from abuse in future.

child abuseImage copyright Thinkstock

Analysis by Reevel Alderson, BBC Scotland home affairs correspondent

The inquiry’s remit has been criticised as being too narrow, even though the government says it is the widest public inquiry they have ever established.

Some campaigners say that while abuse in residential schools, for example by a priest, would be covered, abuse by the same person in a parish or working with a youth organisation like the Scouts would not.

And it has also been criticised for not dealing with the question of redress or compensation, which by contrast has been the case with other inquiries in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Jersey and Australia.

The inquiry at Rosebery House, in Edinburgh’s Haymarket, will hear from survivor groups and large care providers as well as faith-based organisations.

Among those appearing will be representatives of the Church of Scotland/CrossReach, the Benedictines, Barnardo’s and Aberlour Child Care Trust.

The Scottish government will give evidence on “the nature, extent and development of the state’s areas of responsibility for children in residential and foster care in Scotland”.

Survivors’ vigil

Some survivors and campaigners staged a vigil outside the building before the inquiry got under way.

They also organised a minute’s silence at 13:00 “to remember those children whose lives have been taken by abusers, those who have lost their lives from the affects of abuse and those who have died without gaining justice for the crimes committed against them”.

The inquiry has been plagued by problems since it was set up in October 2015. Around £6m has been spent on it during this period.

child abuse survivors
Image caption Flowers were laid outside Rosebery House by survivors and campaigners
child abuse flowers

Its original chairwoman, Susan O’Brien QC, resigned from her post in July 2016, citing government interference.

A second panel member, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned, claiming the inquiry was “doomed”.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said at the time that he rejected any charges of interference in the independence of the inquiry, and that the Scottish government wanted a “robust independent inquiry that can operate without fear or favour”.

Thanks to the sun for the original article Thanks to Wild Cat for her Video on Stv News.

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Police must be at Scotland’s first child abuse inquiry public hearings, say survivors

Survivors of systemic sexual and physical abuse have asked Police Scotland to send officers to the first public hearings of an unprecedented inquiry.They have also urged the independent Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry to publish a detailed breakdown of spending after costs soared by more than £2m in the first three months of this year.

And there have been fresh calls to widen the inquiry to include a charity which has worked with more than 1,000 survivors but was denied “core participant” status, meaning it can’t question witnesses or view evidence.

The first phase of public hearings are scheduled to begin at the end of May, almost two years after the inquiry into historical allegations – chaired by Supreme Court judge Lady Anne Smith – was set up.If witnesses give evidence about ongoing criminal activity the inquiry “may be obliged” to pass this to police, according to its website.

The Chief Constable of Police Scotland is a core participant but survivors’ groups have suggested that officers should also be at all hearings to listen to testimonies.

Alan Draper, who previously advised the Catholic Church on sexual abuse and now speaks for In Care Abuse Survivors (INCAS) – one of the core participants in the inquiry – said: “I would hope that at the public hearings police will attend. It would certainly help, from a survivors’ point of view.

“If it is clear there’s a particular home, and a number of people are repeatedly named by survivors, we would demand that information is acted upon and potential crimes against vulnerable children are investigated.

“Equally, police could themselves have questions to answer if, for example, it emerges officers failed to take appropriate action about historical abuse, in terms of an investigation.”

Janine Rennie, Chief Executive of survivors’ support charity Wellbeing Scotland, said: “The police have a role to play, particularly the child abuse unit. Clearly they’re not going to attend each time, which means there may be a gap, and that is a concern.


“I think criminal prosecutions are the way forward because survivors feel they have no access to justice. We need corroboration and if the same individual is named on a number of occasions then Police Scotland would have to take action.

“A number of perpetrators could still be at large. Survivors don’t want to look at systemic failings as much as they want justice.”

Rennie’s charity has been shut out of the inquiry after an application to be a core participant was refused.

“It seems really strange that we have not been included because we’ve worked with 1,100 survivors,” Rennie added. “They said there already were core participants that work with the same survivors, but that is not the case and we have appealed the decision.”

Meanwhile, Draper has questioned the inquiry’s failure to provide a full breakdown of spiralling costs.

The website shows that the total expenditure is £5.7m – up from £3.5m at the end of December last year – and The Sunday Herald understands there is no upper limit.

Draper said: “They’ve spent an enormous amount of money, considering no public hearings have yet taken place. The inquiry has a responsibility to spell out what this has been spent on.

“While the money should be spent, we can’t deny accountability. We would like to see a breakdown on a quarterly basis, not just a headline figure.”

The first public hearings will begin on May 31 and run until July 12. Among the organisations giving evidence will be Quarriers, Barnardo’s and various religious groups including the Sisters of Nazareth, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and the Church of Scotland.

Experts will also give statements on the legislative and regulatory framework governing children in care, the early development of care services in Scotland, societal attitudes towards children and the nature and prevalence of child abuse in Scotland.

Alan Draper of INCAS said: “Lady Smith has invited a wide range of organisations to come. Whether they’ll acknowledge the abuse that happened in establishments they had responsibility for, I don’t know.

“A lot of organisations will be tentative, in terms of publicity. I suspect they’ll be on the defensive. A lot of them have good lawyers and the tendency may be to admit nothing and deny everything.

“What survivors experience is obstruction from organisations, but we’re hopeful this inquiry will open doors so that there will be true accountability.”

David Whelan, spokesman for Former Boys and Girls Abused (FBGA) in Quarriers homes, said a reference group should have been set up by the inquiry to “allow survivor groups to collectively raise any concerns and also to have a better understanding of the inquiry process in laymen’s terms”.

Whelan added: “Some survivors are still raising concerns about barriers – including understanding the legal documents – [which] may be preventing engagement with the inquiry. The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry process is clearly a legalistic process and many survivors are having real difficulty understanding the legal documents and their concepts. To someone who is non-legal these documents are difficult to understand. Any barriers – perceived or otherwise – encountered by survivors to engaging with the inquiry should be addressed as a priority.”


A spokesman for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said: “This inquiry is one of the most far reaching to have taken place in Scotland and its investigations are progressing.

“Evidence has already been gathered from many survivors through private sessions across the UK, and we continue to source information and documents from various institutions and organisations as we prepare for the first public hearings at the end of this month.

“Each week survivors get in touch with us, and we would encourage anyone who believes they have relevant information to contact us.”

The Sunday Herald also contacted core participants in the inquiry for comment.

Viv Dickenson, Director of Children and Family Services for CrossReach, the Social Care Council of The Church of Scotland, said: “As an organisation invested in continuous improvement we will be interested in the findings of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, which will examine practice as far back as the 1930s, and anything we learn during this process will be used to help us strengthen and improve our safeguarding policies in the future.”


A spokesman for Quarriers said: “We strongly believe that all survivors have the right to be heard and that Scotland should learn the lessons of its past, however painful, to ensure that all children are treated with love and compassion and have the best start in life.”


A spokeswoman for Barnardo’s said the charity would not “risk any perceived conflict of interest in making comments on issues of importance to abuse survivors”.

The Sisters of Nazareth and The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul did not respond.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland referred the Sunday Herald to two paragraphs of a lengthy statement by Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins, which was published on its website in January 2017.

“Police Scotland fully supports and is fully engaged with the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. We are grateful that Lady Smith has granted Police Scotland ‘core participant’ status.

“As the statutory agency with responsibility for criminal investigation into reports of child abuse and as a major stakeholder in the wider statutory framework regulating child protection in Scotland, we fully expect to have a significant role to play in supporting the Inquiry in fulfilment of its terms of reference.”

When the Crown Office was asked if it was participating in the enquiry, a spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service – which is responsible for the prosecution of crime in Scotland – confirmed no application to be a core participant in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was submitted.

He added: “We will respond as necessary when required to do so.”

Anyone wishing to contact the inquiry can call 0800 0929300 or email

Scottish child abuse inquiry investigates top private schools 

Fettes CollegeImage copyright Google
Image caption Fettes College is one of the boarding schools being investigated by inquiry staff, the chairwoman confirmed

More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools, are being investigated by the Scottish child abuse inquiry, it has been confirmed.

The new chairwoman of the inquiry, Lady Smith, said they were among 100 locations where abuse is alleged to have taken place.

She said several boarding schools, including Fettes College and Gordonstoun, were being investigated.

The inquiry will look in detail at historical abuse of children in care.

Lady Smith replaces the original chairwoman who resigned in July 2016. Susan O’Brien stood down complaining of government interference.

Speaking at the start of the inquiry at the Court of Session building in Edinburgh, Lady Smith insisted the investigation would be fully independent.

She confirmed that several boarding schools were being investigated by inquiry staff.

Other institutions being investigated include those run by faith-based organisations and major care providers like Quarriers and Barnardo’s.

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Institutions under investigation

Boarding schools

  • Fettes College
  • Gordonstoun
  • The former Keil School
  • Loretto School
  • Merchiston Castle School
  • Morrison’s Academy (when it was a boarding school)

Institutions run by religious orders

  • Benedictines
  • Sisters of Nazareth
  • Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
  • Christian Brothers
  • Sisters of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  • De la Salle Brothers
  • Marist Brothers
  • Church of Scotland (Crossreach)

Other providers

  • Quarriers
  • Barnardo’s
  • Aberlour Child Care Trust
  • Widower’s Children’s Home

Local authority establishments

  • Clerwood Children’s Home, Edinburgh
  • Colonsay House, Perth
  • Nimmo Place Children’s Homes, Perth
  • St Margaret’s Children’s Home, Fife
  • Linwood Hall Children’s Home, Fife
  • Kerelaw Secure Unit, Glasgow
  • St Katherine’s Secure Unit, Edinburgh
  • Larchgrove Remand Home, Glasgow

Source: Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

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Lady Smith also said child migrants were “expressly included in the inquiry”, with staff working to contact people in countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand who may have suffered abuse in Scotland.

The first public hearings will begin on 31 May 2017 and the inquiry is expected to last four years.

The judge told the court that she would act independently and without bias, and was fully independent of government, police and prosecutors.

The judge added she would not have agreed to chair the inquiry if she had concerns about its independent status.

‘Systematic failures’

The inquiry states its purpose as being “to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland”, while considering “the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty”, in particular seeking any “systemic failures”.

Its terms of reference say it covers a time period “within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse”, up until the point the inquiry was announced in December 2014, and will consider if “changes in practice, policy or legislation are necessary” to protect children in care from abuse in future.

Lady Smith
Image caption Lady Smith, pictured, was appointed to chair the inquiry after the resignation of Susan O’Brien QC

The inquiry has been plagued by problems since it was set up in October 2015. More than £3.5m has been spent on it during this period.

As well as the original chairwoman quitting last July, a second panel member, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned, claiming the inquiry was “doomed”.

Lady Smith was appointed to replace Ms O’Brien, but Mr Swinney said he was confident a replacement for Prof Lamb was not needed – although he added that experts could be called in to assist Lady Smith and remaining panel member Glenn Houston.

There were also complaints about the remit of the inquiry, with survivors’ groups claiming some abusers could be could be “let off the hook” if children’s’ organisations, clubs and local parish churches were not specifically included in the probe.

However, Mr Swinney told MSPs that it was clear there was “not unanimity on this issue”, concluding that the probe should focus only on in-care settings so that it remained “deliverable within a reasonable timescale”.

He said “terrible crimes” had been committed in other settings, such as day schools and youth groups, but said criminal behaviour should be referred to the police and would be “energetically pursued through the criminal courts” where evidence exists.

A bill has been introduced at Holyrood removing any time bar on people seeking damages over childhood abuse.

We Thank the  Source of the  original story which has been republished on this site.

Survivors call for action to find Scotland’s missing victims ahead of historic abuse inquiry

Dave Sharp, survivor and spokesperson for SAFE, is campaigning for justice



SURVIVORS of historic sexual abuse are today making a plea for more to be done to find Scotland’s missing abuse victims.

Seek and Find Everyone Abused in Childhood, also known as SAFE, has made the call to action with only two weeks left before the formal inquiry into historic abuse starts taking evidence.

SAFE, a group of survivors who have set aside their own time and money to campaign on this issue, want to send a message to all those survivors who are too afraid to speak out.

Survivor and spokesperson for SAFE, Dave Sharp, said: “We understand that victims are looking for like-minded people to connect with. Survivors are looking for people who understand their vulnerabilities and uncertainties and SAFE wants to help them find a path to justice and to have their voice heard.”

Sharp explained that just before last Christmas John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for the abuse inquiry, said that there are roughly 2500 survivors of historical institutional child abuse in Scotland but he wants to know what he has done to find them.

“It’s so important that as many people as possible come forward and we need the help of politicians but also of communities across the country to make that happen,” he added.

“Not only is this the last chance for many old people who have suffered for years to have their voice heard, it is also the best time for survivors to come forward because there are more professional bodies than ever before to help and that is the message we want to give out.

“Some of us met with the police earlier this year and we were assured that they have the resources and the manpower to deal with survivors, and to pass them onto organisations that can walk with them through the process of having their voice heard and seeking justice.”

Sharp’s calls were backed by Mary Robertson, a survivor of family and in-care abuse.

She said: “Thousands of people are still living in shame and fear that their secret will get out. The shame is not theirs to bear. When I first disclosed and felt believed a great burden was lifted from me. I started to look people in the eye, when previously I was scared and felt I had a huge label on my head. Future generations should not have to suffer with the shame like I did for many years.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said: “The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has been engaging with survivors through private sessions for many months and is also taking evidence from others with valuable information. It is currently investigating 69 institutions as part of its initial investigations.

“As Lady Smith stated at the preliminary hearing, we will not be sharing the numbers of those contacting the inquiry on an ongoing basis. We have been pleased with the response to date but, importantly, as work of the inquiry continues, we still want to hear from people who have been affected.

“We would encourage anyone who has relevant information, whether they have been abused themselves or know others who have, to get in touch.”

SAFE’s campaign to find Scotland’s missing voices was also given full backing by leading abuse charity Wellbeing Scotland.

Wellbeing’s chief executive Janine Rennie said: “John Swinney referred to over 2000 people abused in care and Police Scotland have mentioned a figure closer to 5000. The Inquiry has seen extremely low numbers come forward in comparison to that figure and therefore cannot be seen as reflecting the scale or impact of abuse in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government said that ministers meet survivors and their representatives regularly, and that, where permission was given, those involved are being updated on progress made.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have worked incredibly closely with survivors, particularly in recent years as we have established one of the widest-ranging public inquiries Scotland has ever seen and transformed the support available to adults who were abused as children.

“Ministers meet survivors and their representatives regularly. We carried out a large-scale consultation, which allowed people to take part online, in person at numerous events across the country and via a special phone line and received responses from across Scotland and abroad. And where permission for further contact was given, we have kept those involved updated on the progress in this area.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said: “The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has been engaging with survivors through private sessions for many months and is also taking evidence from others with valuable information. It is currently investigating 69 institutions as part of its initial investigations.

“As Lady Smith stated at the preliminary hearing, we will not be sharing the numbers of those contacting the Inquiry on an ongoing basis. We have been pleased with the response to date but, importantly, as work of the Inquiry continues, we still want to hear from people who have been affected. We would encourage anyone who has relevant information, whether they have been abused themselves or know others who have, to get in touch.”

Anyone wishing to contact the Inquiry can do so using the following methods

The Inquiry also keeps its website up to date with news and information about its progress and rules. The website address is

We Thank the  Source of the  original story which has been republished on this site.

Children still not reporting sexual exploitation, NSPCC warns

Child sexual exploitation is still ‘woefully under-reported’ in the UK, the NSPCC has warned.

The charity said many young victims don’t understand that what is happening to them is grooming and exploitation, because offenders use manipulative tactics.

It is now calling on concerned adults to raise the alarm if they suspect a young person might be in danger.

Nearly 2,000 of the country’s most vulnerable youngsters have been helped by the Protect and Respect service it set up in 2011.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  A Police officer stands outside New Scotland Yard after a report into the sexual allegations of the late TV star Jimmy Savile was released on January 11, 2013 in London, England. The report  by the Metropolitan police and NSPCC on Jimmy Savile gives details the scale of his sexual abuse of children from 1955 to 2009.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Adults are being told to stay aware (Picture: Getty Images)

NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said: ‘Young people will not always recognise that they are being exploited and treated as property.

‘We want every child to be able to spot exploitation for what it is and, if they find themselves in danger, know that it is categorically not their fault.

‘Our Protect and Respect service is showing them how to spot potential abusers, find their way out of an exploitative cycle and help them on the road to recovery.

‘We are imploring any adult who suspects a child is being exploited to pick up the phone and call the NSPCC Helpline.

‘This abuse is sadly still woefully under-reported and, for us to help these children, we need people to speak up.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by KEITH MEATHERINGHAM/DOBSON A/REX/Shutterstock (4891334h)nGiant sand art footprintsnGiant footprint sand art created for NSPCC campaign on Filey beach, Yorkshire, Britain - 01 Jul 2015nGiant footprints have been created on Filey beach in Yorkshire for the NSPCC, to inspire the nation to leave a lasting legacy for children. Created by world-renowned British sand artist Jamie Wardley, the six footprints represent the one sixth of the NSPCC's funding that comes from gifts in wills. Jamie spent around 5 hours creating the six 3D anamorphic footprints with the finished design measuring over 60 metres in depth and 20 metres in width.n

The warning comes from the NSPCC (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Launched in November 2011, Protect and Respect is open to children and teenagers aged 10 to 19, and works with agencies such as the police and social services to identify and support youngsters who have been sexually exploited or are at risk of falling victim.


The services has directly helped 1,866 children and young people so far, including 1,493 kids between the ages of 10 and 15.

Earlier this year ministers unveiled plans for a new £40million attack on child exploitation.

The drive includes the launch of a new centre of expertise and plans to create a new national database of missing people.

Many Thanks To The Original News Source for this story.

Celtic Boys Club founder at centre of fresh child sexual abuse claims

BBC Scotland investigation alleges Jim Torbett abused boys during two stints at football club from mid-60s to 1996

Fresh allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against the founder of Celtic Boys Club and a former Rangers youth coach.

A BBC Scotland investigation claims Jim Torbett sexually abused boys during two stints at Celtic Boys Club from the mid-60s to 1996.

Torbett was jailed for two years in 1998 for abusing three former Celtic Boys Club players, including the former Scotland international Alan Brazil, between 1967-74.

Alleged victims told a BBC Scotland programme, which aired on Monday night, that Torbett was allowed to return to the club around 1980 despite being sacked when abuse allegations surfaced in 1974.

It is alleged Torbett continued abusing boys in his second stint at the famed Celtic feeder club, where he coached until 1996 when more abuse allegations were made against him.

Torbett’s lawyer told the BBC he “vehemently denies these completely false allegations. Clearly allegations of this kind must remain in the hands of the police and due process of the law must be followed here.”

The BBC investigation also made fresh claims about the former Hibernian and Rangers coach Gordon Neely, who died in 2014.

The programme, Football Abuse: the Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game, claimed Neely was sacked from Hibernian when allegations of abuse surfaced but the police were not informed.

He then joined Rangers where it is claimed he began abusing boys there. Rangers also sacked him over alleged abuse. The club told the BBC it informed the police.

In a statement, Hibernian said it was “saddened to be told that personnel at the club at the time were allegedly made aware of concerns about Neely and, again allegedly, did not contact the police.

“[This] is something which current policies and practices would prevent from happening today.”

Jon Cleland, an alleged victim of Neely, said he was subjected to 18 months of serious sexual abuse when he was 11. He told BBC Scotland: “He said I looked like I had had an injury … then he asked me to lean over a desk, and that’s when I was raped. At that age, I hadn’t a clue what was going on.”

The former Hutchinson Vale FC player said he gave up football to escape the abuse. He told the programme he was raped about 10 times over 18 months.

Asked if he had been able to tell anyone, he said: “No. I couldn’t have possibly at that age. I thought it was my fault. I thought I had done something wrong.”

Kenny Campbell, now 44, alleged that he was abused by Torbett over four years after joining Celtic’s under-14s team in 1986.

He said Torbett took a special interest in him and won the trust of his parents. Campbell told BBC Scotland: “Pretty quickly he became a hero of mine. In my mind he was doing good things [for me].

“I’d have jumped in front of a bus for him if he had asked me, guaranteed. So it was as if he had a hold over us.”

He said Torbett began the abuse while he was sitting on the couch with him one night and that this was the beginning of up to four years of sexual abuse, which carried on even after he was signed by the senior Celtic team.

The young player did not tell anyone. “I just thought it was natural. I just thought that was what happened,” he said.

In a statement, Celtic FC said the club was fully committed to safeguarding children. Rangers said it understood Neely was dismissed and the police were informed at the time. The club added that “all employees adhered to the strictest codes of conduct” and that it would “always cooperate fully with the authorities”.

Stewart Regan, the chief executive of the Scottish FA, said an independent review into allegations of historical child sexual abuse in Scottish football was under way.

“We await its findings,” he added. “The latest allegations are a matter for the investigatory authority, Police Scotland. We would urge anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward using the dedicated, confidential NSPCC 24-hour helpline 0800 023 2642, directly to the police on 101 or via email to the Scottish FA at”

DCI Sarah Taylor, of the national child abuse investigation unit at Police Scotland, said: “Child abuse is incredibly difficult for people to revisit and to talk about. Our officers are highly specialist and are trained to deal with all reports sensitively.

“We would ask anyone who has been the victim of abuse, or has information about potential abuse to contact us. We will listen and we will investigate and our first priority will be to ensure that there are no children at risk now.

“If you have suffered sexual abuse, or if you can assist this investigation or you know anyone who may have been a victim then please call Police Scotland on 101. Or you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0800 023 2642.”