Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry: Convicted teachers to speak to inquiry from prison

Paul Kelly, on the left, and John Farrell
Image caption Paul Kelly, on the left, and John Farrell both taught at St Ninian's and are serving jail terms for abusing children

Two men convicted of sexually and physically abusing pupils at a Fife residential school are to give evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

John Farrell and Paul Kelly were teachers at the former St Ninian's School in Falkland, an institution run by a Catholic religious order, the Christian Brothers.

Kelly is serving a 10 year sentence for abusing three boys at the school.

Farrell was jailed for five years for offences against four boys.

The inquiry has been told that both men will appear via video link from prison next month.

Chaired by the High Court judge Lady Smith, the inquiry has started to investigate residential child care establishments run by male religious orders.

Image copyright Crown Office
Image caption Kelly, on the left, and Farrell, abused boys at St Ninian's while working there in the 70s and 80s

The Christian Brothers have apologised for the abuse at St Ninian's, which operated from 1951 to 1983.

Farrell, the former headteacher at St Ninian's, and Kelly were jailed after standing trial at the High Court in Glasgow in 2016.

At the start of the case, five men had faced a total of 131 charges over the alleged physical and sexual abuse of more than 44 people, but only Farrell and Kelly were convicted.

The inquiry has resumed its hearings after publishing reports into the former Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, and four residential homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

In both reports, Lady Smith said that children at the homes had been physically and sexually abused.

'Horror and dismay'

On Tuesday, the Bishop's Conference of Scotland said that members of Catholic parishes around the country had been "horrified" by the evidence that had been heard so far.

Their lawyer David Anderson told the inquiry: "The Bishop's Conference of Scotland shares those feelings of horror and dismay,"

Last week, the inquiry concluded that children at the Nazareth House orphanages in Scotland were subjected to sexual abuse of the "utmost depravity".

Lady Smith said the children's homes were places of fear, hostility and confusion.

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