Scotland Times

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Child abuse ring victims suffered 'horrific ordeal'

Five men and three women have been found guilty of abusing children after a trial that is believed to have been the largest prosecution of a child abuse ring in Scotland.

After a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, seven of the accused, including Iain Owens, Elaine Lannery, Lesley Williams, Paul Brannan, Scott Forbes, Barry Watson, and John Clark, were convicted of sexual abuse, including rape.

Four of them were also found guilty of attempting to murder a young girl by confining her in various locations, including a cupboard. Marianne Gallagher, one of the accused, was convicted of one count of assault to injury but was cleared of all other charges.

Three individuals, Mark Carr, Richard Gachagan, and Leona Laing, were acquitted of all charges.

The children first came into contact with social work in Glasgow in August 2017, and they were deemed to be at risk in July 2018. However, allegations of violence and sexual abuse did not come to light until 2020 when a man who had gotten to know the children alerted the police.

Detective Superintendent Nicola Kilbane described the victims' ordeal as "horrific," with years of "unimaginable abuse." She also commended the victims' courage in securing the convictions.

Colin Anderson, the independent chair of Glasgow's Child Protection Committee, acknowledged the complexity of the case and announced that the circumstances of the children involved would undergo a multiple agency review.

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