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Attacker to be freed

By Marion Scott, Sunday Mail, 20/02/2005

ONE of Scotland's most notorious sex offenders is set for parole after two and a half years behind bars.

"Beast in the Belltower" John Porteous was jailed for eight years in 2002 for sexually abusing two boys in the 60s and 70s.

The 71-year-old former Quarriers' house father used a loophole caused by changes to indecency laws to get three years cut from his sentence.

Now Porteous is to be considered for freedom.

But one of his victims has strongly objected to the Parole Board for Scotland.

David Whelan, 46, said: "I'm aghast that this man is being considered for freedom.

"I want to know what steps are being taken to ensure he is prevented from returning to Quarriers where he used to abuse children, and where there are still vulnerable children."

In 1996, former Tory Scots Secretary Michael Forsyth appointed him chairman of the Children's Panel Advisory Council for Inverclyde.

Porteous used a BBC documentary Secrets Or Lies to claim he was the victim of a smear campaign. A prison spokeswoman said: "He will have to go through the normal procedures."

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