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'Doubts' over child sex conviction

BBC News Scotland 01/04/03

Evidence which casts doubt on the conviction of a former children's home worker for sexually abusing boys has been uncovered by the BBC's Frontline Scotland programme.

John Porteous, who was a house parent at the Quarriers home in Inverclyde, was jailed last year.

However, a growing lobby of supporters are questioning the safety of this conviction.

Porteous and his wife Helen were house parents at the Quarriers home from the mid-sixties until 1974.

Made claims

Since then allegations about the way the children were treated have come to light.

Two years ago two men were convicted of separate sexual offences against children in their care.

At the same time claims were made against John Porteous by some of the children who had been in the couple's care.

Last November he was sentenced to eight years in jail for sexually abusing two boys.

Split families

However, Frontline Scotland has heard accounts from other people who were in care at the time, who believe the allegations against Porteous are unfounded.

The accusations have also split families.

Brothers and sisters of the men who accused Porteous of abuse have claimed that they are lying in order to claim compensation.

Porteous, who continues to protest his innocence, is preparing to appeal against his conviction.

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