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Don't name sex abuse accused

The Greenock Telegraph 29/11/02

THE boss of Quarriers one of Scotland's largest children's charities has called for people accused of child sex crimes earlier in their lives to be allowed to remain anonymous until they are convicted.

Phil Robinson, whose organisation has hit the headlines after a series of former care workers were jailed for sex offences against youngsters, said he could see the benefit of extending the victims' right to anonymity to the accused.

Responding to a home affairs select committee report on child abuse Mr Robinson said: "We can also see the potential benefits of extending, in cases of historic child abuse, the victims' right to anonymity to the accused, until the date of conviction."

However, he accepted that child abusers should be dealt with by the courts and there should be no time limit placed on prosecutions.

He added: "Our sympathy is with the victims in these cases. They have lived their entire lives with the memories of the dreadful things that happened to them, often up to 50 years ago, and, if they are to see justice done, they have to relive their experiences publicly while giving evidence in court."

Two high-profile convictions involving "house parents" at the Quarriers homes, in Quarriers Village, near Bridge of Weir, have already been secured.

Samuel McBrearty (70), formerly of Port Glasgow, was jailed for 12 years in September 2001 for repeatedly raping two girls and indecently assaulting a third between 1961 and 1968.

Earlier this month, John Porteous (69) was jailed for eight years for forcing two boys to commit sex acts between 1969 and 1976.

And it was reported this week that the police are investigating at least nine separate complaints of suspected child molestation involving Quarriers.

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