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Man tells of Quarrier's 'abuse'

November 2004

A MAN who grew up in a children's home has claimed he was sexually abused for years.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday how he suffered at the hands of his house father in a church clocktower in the grounds of the famous Quarrier's children's home.

The 41-year-old, referred to as Mr X, alleged that John Porteous, now 69, committed sexual acts two or three times a week in the room where he helped him wind up the bells for the clock.

The boy, who was sent to the home with his two sisters and two brothers when he was only four, alleged that Porteous first of all committed indecent sex acts against him in the cottage he shared with his house parents and 15 other children.

Mr X told Norman Ritchie, prosecuting, that the abuse started when he was eight to nine-years-old and ended when he was 14 or 15.

Porteous, whose address was given as Quarrier's Village, Bridge of Weir, denies sexually abusing three boys and two girls between 1969 and 1977.

His wife, Helen, 59, a house mother in the village, denies assaulting three girls, plus charges of ill treating, neglecting and causing them unnecessary suffering.

It is claimed she forced food into their mouths and re-served their meals repeatedly until they ate them; woke another little girl up and forced her to stand up for a period of time in her night clothes; locked a second girl up in a pantry and forced her to walk when she was unfit to.

She is also accused of rubbing a third child's face in soiled bedclothes.

Mr X admitted that he had a previous conviction for indecent exposure in 1982.

And in 1999 he was put on probation for three years for lewd and libidinous practices against a 10-year-old girl.

It was only then he revealed what had happened to him in Quarrier's Homes and told his probation officer that he had been abused himself as a child.

Mr X added: "Some of the problems I have had throughout my life are related to this matter and I believe that what we do is either genetic or environmental.

"And certainly the way I have acted since I left the home is more environmental after what happened to me when I was a kid."

Mr X denied to Derek Ogg QC, defending Porteous, that he made up the allegations to get sympathy from the court when he appeared in 1999.

The trial before Lord Hardie continues.

 
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