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Sex beast could be free within year

Greenock Telegraph, 31/05/2005

A CONVICTED sex criminal could be released within nine months, the Telegraph can reveal.

John Porteous was knocked back for early release from HMP Peterhead where he has been held since he was found guilty of abusing two boys in the 1960s and 1970s.

The 71-year-old former house father has always protested his innocence and has a vocal group of supporters.

The Telegraphcan reveal he'll be released on "non-parole licence" from 8th March, 2006.

Victims of Porteous were notified as soon as the Parole Board for Scotland made their decision.

David Whelan, one of the two victims who has given up his right to anonymity, said: "Mr Porteous and his family and supporters have continued to call me and the other victims liars even though he was convicted on overwhelming damning evidence in court."

Porteous's wife Helen hit back that her husband would still be proved innocent and attacked the media for continuing to brand her husband "Beast of the Belltower" because of his choice of sick venues for the abuse.

She said: "He is not the Beast of the Belltower - what a horrible name to call a person. He is not in a cage. He is not a monster. He has been falsely accused. He did not get his parole because he would not plead guilty. It gives him more time to have his name cleared.

"We have had so many people backing us. There are ongoing investigations - we are not letting it rest."

Repeated calls for a full judicial inquiry into the past abuse at Quarrier's have so far not been taken up by government, despite a Scottish Parliament debate in December.

Quarrier's chief executive Phil Robinson said: "Quarriers accepts the judgement of the parole board."

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