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Quarriers Say No To New Abuse Law

by Marion Scott, Scottish Sunday Mail 18/03/07

Direct link to this article on the Scottish Sunday Mail web site

The charity with the highest number of ex-employees convicted of child abuse have been asked to help form new rules on victims suing organisations.

Children's charity Quarriers Homes was consulted by the Scottish Law Commission over changes to restrictions on victims taking legal action against the abusers. Laws stop them pursuing private action if the abuse happened more than three years ago.

But Quarriers - who had seven former staff convicted in Scotland of child abuse - didn't think there was any need for change.

The charities policy officer, Kate Stanford, said "We would agree with the proposal to retain existing limitation."

But David Whelan, 49, a victim of "Beast in the Belltower" John Porteous - a former Quarriers carer convicted of abusing two boys - said: "Jack McConnell promised three years ago to change things for victims. One was to have the time-bar law re-examined. It appears his promises were empty ones.

"There is no need to wait for the outcome given the charity which employed the abusers has taken part and the victims have not.

"Politicians must do the decent thing and change the technicality that prevents us getting justice."

The Law Commission's Susan Sutherland said: "We have now received comments from the Former Boys and Girls Abused at Quarriers group and will included them in talks. Our report is due out next year".

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