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Man denies abusing care home girls

Express, 16/03/2004

A FORMER Quarriers Homes house parent yesterday denied sexual abuse charges against eight young girls in his care.

Alexander Wilson, 61, is alleged to have molested and raped the girls over a 19-year period beginning in the mid-1960s.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow has heard allegations that the children were abused, sometimes when they asked him to check their reading and writing.

Some claimed it happened when he sat them on his knee to hear their reading, and when watching television.

Many of them wept as they gave their evidence before temporary judge David Burns QC.

One of them claimed that Wilson sexually assaulted her after she was car-sick on a journey from the home in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, to Girvan, Ayrshire.

Wilson, of Quarriers Village, Bridge of Weir, told his defence advocate, Donald MacLeod, how he went to work as a plumber in the laundry at the home in 1966 and he and his late wife Jan became house parents the following year.

He denied the allegations made by the women and said he could give no explanation as to why they were making them up.

Prosecutor John Martin said that none of the women had been in touch with each other since leaving the home many years ago and asked Wilson: "Why should they come to court and put themselves through all the distress in giving evidence?" Wilson replied; "I don't know." Earlier, some of the women told the court they did not tell the authorities about the alleged abuse until Wilson's wife, Jan, whom they all liked, died in 1995, aged 53, of a heart condition.

Wilson was made redundant in 1987 and worked as a bus driver at a depot in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, until he lost a leg through smoking.

Three of the 19 charges were dropped at the end of the Crown case yesterday before Wilson began giving evidence. The trial continues.

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