TWO men convicted of sexually abusing and assaulting boys at a Catholic-run school in the 1970s and 80s will be sentenced today. John Farrell, 73, and Paul Kelly, 64, were found guilty of several charges against six former pupils of St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife, after a long-running trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
The prosecution followed one of the biggest abuse inquiries of its kind ever carried out by Police Scotland. Farrell, from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was convicted of three counts of indecent assault and a charge of assaulting a boy with a belt.
Kelly, from Plymouth, Devon, was convicted of four counts of indecent assault and three assault charges, including hitting a boy’s head off sinks at the school, which was run by members of the Catholic religious order the Congregation of Christian Brothers.
St Ninian’s housed about 45 vulnerable boys in need of care until its closure in 1983. Farrell and Kelly, who were remanded in custody following the July 22 conviction, committed the crimes over a four-year period from 1979 against pupils aged 11 to 15.
The pair were tried on about 50 charges but the jury, who returned a verdict on their eighth day of deliberations, found them not guilty, or the offence not proven, for all but 11.
When police began their investigation into abuse claims at St Ninian’s, a total of 37 men came forward with allegations relating to their stay at the residential school, which took in boys who had been orphaned, neglected or could not be looked after by their parents.