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Ex-Carer Faces Abuse Charges

By Myra Philp, Daily Express 22/08/2001

A FORMER children's home house parent went on trial yesterday accused of sexually and physically assaulting four young girls who were in his care 40 years ago.

Samuel McBrearty, 70, denies 19 charges, including rape, alleged to have happened at Quarrier's Children's Home in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, between 1961 and 1968.

The home, a Christian institution, cared for 500 children, including babies and toddlers in 30 detached villas in the Sixties.

Yesterday, as the trial began, a jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard details of the 19 charges against McBrearty.

They allege that McBrearty raped one child on various occasions when she was aged between 11 and 15 and he also punched and kicked her in the head and body in a bathroom, tying her hands behind her back with a towel, pulling her hair and forcing her to kneel on the floor before committing a sexual assault on her.

He is also charged with allegedly standing on her body and locking her in a cupboard on various occasions between January 1, 1961 and October 6, 1965.

It is also claimed that he assaulted the girl with a wet towel and hit her with a brush handle.

Seven of the charges relate to the girl, who is now a woman aged 41 and is expected to give evidence this week.

Six other charges allege that he sexually assaulted and raped a girl on various occasions when she was aged between 10 and 17.

He is also accused of throwing a bowl of hot water on her head and body and hitting her with a brush handle.

In three other charges he is alleged to have assaulted a girl, aged between seven and nine, by forcing food into her mouth causing her to choke, repeatedly striking her on the head and body, seizing her by the neck and hair, throwing her against a wall, repeatedly shaking her, forcibly removing her from a bed and pulling her down a flight of stairs.

He is also accused of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards the girl by entering a bathroom while she was naked.

McBrearty is accused of allegedly entering the fourth girl's bed on various occasions when she was aged between eight and 12 and sexually assaulting her between 1961 and 1968.

He is also charged with sexually assaulting the child in a bathroom and of repeatedly punching and kicking her on the head and body to her injury.

Yesterday another former house parent, William Dunbar, 70, told the jury that up to 500 children were cared for in 30 detached villa houses in Quarrier's, including 70 children aged from a few months to three year in a nursery unit.

Mr Dunbar said: "It was a Christian establishment. We had our own church, playing fields and latterly a sports centre.

"The children went to various activities including the Life Boys and the Boys Brigade."

He said that after a change in national policy for the care of children in 1968 from large institutions to foster care the children were dispersed and most of the villas had been sold off.

Now known as Quarrier's Village, adults with learning difficulties and people with epilepsy are currently cared for there.

The trial before Lord Reed continues today.

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