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Fourth Quarriers worker is jailed

Evening Times, 18/03/2004

A FOURTH Quarriers house parent has been convicted of abusing youngsters at the children's home.

Alexander Wilson, 61, faces years in jail for a catalogue of abuse against eight girls at Quarriers Village, in Renfrewshire's Bridge of Weir.

He will join his brother-in-law, John Porteous, 70, who is already serving eight years for sex offences at the home where they were both house parents.

Wilson was a plumber who became a houseparent with his late wife Jan at one of the home's 30 cottages housing 500 children.

He sexually molested the youngsters over a 19-year period from the mid 1960s.

Some of the victims broke down in the witness box during the trial at the High Court in Glasgow as they re-lived the abuse by Wilson.

Prosecutor John Martin said some of the most distressing evidence was of the young girls sitting downstairs and having to decide among themselves whose turn it was to be abused by Wilson.

During his trial, one of Wilson's victims was asked why she didn't complain. She said: "I thought the abuse was normal because I'd got it from my previous house father."

One said she complained to a senior member of staff that she "felt uncomfortable" with Wilson.

She was told she was a liar, that house fathers "didn't do that sort of thing" and was ordered back to the cottage where her sexual ordeal continued.

Wilson was found guilty of 15 charges of molesting the children. Temporary Judge David Burns, QC, remanded him in custody to await sentence and placed him on the sex offenders' register.

Some of Wilson's victims, now adults, sat weeping as the jury returned its verdict before hugging two policewomen who investigated the case and gave evidence.

After Wilson's conviction, it was revealed that there are another three ex-Quarriers' employees, all men, being investigated over sexual abuse allegations and a former woman employee over allegations of physical abuse.

Wilson follows three other Quarriers house parents to prison - all of whom were convicted of serious sexual abuse charges against children at the home.

Samuel McBrearty, 72, was jailed for 12 years, John Porteous, 70, was caged for eight years, and Joseph Nicholson, 74, nicknamed 'Uncle Joe', got two years

Another houseparent, Mary Drummond, 73, was put on probation for three years at Greenock Sheriff Court on cruelty charges, dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.

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