Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Five men deny abuse at St Ninian's School in Fife

The former st ninian's school Image copyright The Courier

Five men have gone on trial accused of sexually and physically abusing pupils in their care at a school in Fife between 1967 and 1983.

They are charged with abusing boys who were aged between 11 and 16 at the former St Ninian's School in Falkland.

At the High Court in Glasgow John Farrell, 73, Paul Kelly, 63, Edward Egan, 78, Michael Murphy, 76, and William Don, 61, denied the charges.

The court indictment lists 121 charges involving sexual and physical abuse.

The majority of the allegations are against Farrell and Kelly.

The Crown claim that a total of 35 boys were allegedly abused at the school.

Many of them allege they were assaulted with a variety of implements, including shoes, belt and a ruler.

Among other claims is an accusation that Kelly left a 13-year-old boy rolled up in a rug overnight.

Sex assaults

He is also said to have stripped another pupil and hung him upside down from a bridge.

Farrell is accused among other charges of indecently assaulting a 12-year-old boy by simulating sex with him and forcing a pair of underpants into his mouth to prevent him screaming.

He also faces a charge that in the early 1980s he indecently assaulted a boy at a monastery on the isle of Iona.

He is said to have attacked the same boy at a Catholic church in Motherwell in 1999.

Farrell, who is represented by QC Edward Targowski, lodged a special defence of alibi and Don, who is represented by advocate Laura Thomson, lodged special defences of alibi and incrimination.

Dozens of witnesses are expected to give evidence during the trial before judge Lord Matthews.

It is likely to last between 12 and 14 weeks.

The trial continues.

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