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#Celtic Boys Club abuse accused described as ‘good man’ #Torbett #FootiePaedo

26 October 2018

A man yesterday told a court a former Celtic Boys Club coach sexually abused him when he was aged between four and six.

The witness, 35, said he would go to Jim Torbett’s Trophy Centre factory in Glasgow’s Shawlands after school while waiting to be picked up by his mother.

He said he would sit at a desk in his school uniform, colouring-in or doing his homework

Recalling one alleged incident, he added: “I was instructed by Mr Torbett to take my shorts and underwear down. He stood looking at me for a while. It seemed like ages. He said everything was fine and then left the room.”

The witness said on another occasion, Torbett touched him on the groin while he looked at his homework. He also claimed Torbett often touched him on the bottom.

The witness said the abuse happened in a large office at the factory between August 1988 and June 30, 1990.

Defence QC Tony Graham said: “The large office was for admin staff and there would always be a number of people there.”

The witness replied: “On some occasions, yes, but on other occasions, I was on my own with Mr Torbett.”

Torbett, 71, from Kelvindale, Glasgow, denies sexually abusing four boys between August 1985 and August 1994.

Another witness, a man from Motherwell who played for Celtic Boys Club in the 80s, told the High Court in Glasgow the coach touched his groin during a car journey in 1986 or 1987.

He also claimed Torbett made young footballers walk naked from the dressing room to the showers at Barrowfield training ground, adding: “He used to stand and watch everyone going into the showers.”

Mr Graham said: “You are likely to hear that Mr Torbett’s team trained at Scotstoun showground and played at Scotstoun showground.

The witness, 45, replied: “No, they must have changed it.”

The trial continues.

25 October 2018

A former youth footballer claimed ex-Celtic Boys’ Club coach Jim Torbett touched his thigh during a car journey.

The witness, who played for the team in the 1980s, told a jury the incident happened while Mr Torbett was driving.

Mr Torbett, 71, denies sexually abusing four boys between over a nine-year period.

The High Court in Glasgow heard he is alleged to have abused the man on one occasion between 1 June, 1985 and 30 June, 1986.

‘Panicky’

The 45-year-old witness said: “He touched my leg. He ran his hand up and I had to pull his hand away. He touched up to my groin, but I drew his hand away, I got a bit panicky.”

The man insisted the alleged incident happened on the M8, near Airdrie, when Mr Torbett was his team manager.

He told prosecutor Sheena Fraser: “I think it was in 1986 to 1987.”

The court also heard four other boys were in the car at the time.

Defence QC Tony Graham said: “I have to suggest to you you have never been in Jim Torbett’s car in your life.”

But the witness replied: “I have been in his car.”

‘Very uncomfortable’

The witness also claimed that Mr Torbett made young footballers walk naked from the dressing room to the showers at Barrowfield Training Ground.

He said: “Mr Torbett used to say Celtic Boys’ Club is a family and you don’t take your underwear off in the shower room. You take them off in the dressing room.

“People started doing it, but they felt uncomfortable. Mr Torbett used to stand and watch everyone going into the showers.”

Ms Fraser asked the witness if he felt uncomfortable.

He replied: “Yes, very uncomfortable.”

School uniform

Another witness claims Mr Torbett sexually abused him 30 years ago as he wore his school uniform.

The 35-year-old told the court that this took place at the Trophy Centre factory in Shawbridge Street, Glasgow, between August 1988 and 30 June, 1990, when he was aged between four and six.

He said: “I was instructed by Mr Torbett to take my shorts and underwear down. He stood looking at me for a while. It seemed like ages. He said everything was fine and then left the room.”

The witness told Ms Fraser that on another occasion the accused touched him on the groin while he looked at his homework.

He also claimed that Mr Torbett often touched him on the bottom.

He said that the alleged abuse took place in a large office at the premises.

Defence QC Tony Graham said: “The large office was for admin staff and there would always be a number of people there.”

The witness replied: “On some occasions yes, but, on other occasions I was on my own with Mr Torbett.”

The trial continues.

24 October 2018

A man who claims he was sexually abused by an ex-Celtic Boy’s Club coach sent him a text saying: “You’re a good man.”

A court heard it was sent to James Torbett in the months before he made allegations to police and the press.

The witness was given evidence for a second day at the trial of Mr Torbett, 71, who denies sexually abusing four boys between 1985 and 1994.

He claims he was sexually abused by Mr Torbett between the ages of 14 and 17.

In the text the man, who is not being named, said: “You’re a good man Jim. Always have you in my heart until my last breath. You only ever tried to make me a better person, no more or less. Always love you. Xxx”

‘Someone very special’

Defence QC Tony Graham showed the witness a police statement taken from him on 17 May, 2017, which refers to the text.

Mr Graham said: “It says ‘I initiated contact with Jim. He was getting a lot of grief in the newspapers. They were saying he was a paedophile. It shows the hold he had over me as I felt sorry for him.”.

The 46-year-old replied: “It doesn’t mean anything to me.”

The witness said he accepted it was sent from his phone in December 2016 but said in court he could not remember sending it.

He was also shown birthday and Christmas cards he sent to Mr Torbett.

One birthday card said he was grateful for his friendship while a Christmas card had the written inscription: “To someone very special. You mean the world to me. I know if it wasn’t for you I’d have nothing to look forward to in life.”

Addiction issues

The witness told Mr Graham: “It means nothing.

“I can’t give dates and times. They are insignificant to me. All I know is that I was abused for years by your client.”

He told the court that for many years he was addicted to cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol and gambling and claimed for have been addiction free for nine years.

Later when asked about incidents in 2016 the witness described it as “a bit of a blur.”

The man said that when police arrived at his home in December 2015 after he phoned and reported historical sex abuse at Celtic Boys’ Club he told them to “forget about it.”

The witness claimed he did not want his mother finding out about the alleged abuse.

BBC interview

When asked by Mr Graham why he had then gone on television with his allegations, the witness replied: “I felt let down by Police Scotland.

“They turned up unannounced. I had expected them to turn up in a couple of hours. It was two days.

“I told the police to forget about it. BBC reporters then came to my door and they gave me a platform.”

Mr Graham said: “You didn’t speak to the police, but spoke to the BBC.

“If you were so keen to protect your mother from finding out about this, did you not think she would find out when it was broadcast?”

The witness replied: “She never watched it.”

He added: “A million times I thought about going to the police.”

Mobile phone

The witness later told a jury a BBC journalist gave him a mobile phone.

Mr Graham asked the witness: “Once the programme was made, did the BBC keep in contact with you and did that extend to a BBC journalist giving you a phone?”

He replied: “Yeah, he gave me a cheap phone.”

Asked if he had liaised with BBC staff during earlier proceedings, the witness said: “I got a lift into the court.”

The witness agreed that he had at that time spoken to the journalist on a daily basis and added: “It was more a support basis. There never was a follow-up.”

Mr Graham then asked the witness why he called Mr Torbett a good man if he had been seriously abused by him and replied: “I was in complete denial and high on drugs.”

The QC also asked the witness if he was suing Celtic.

He replied: “Yes”.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-45967545    archive

23 October 2018

An ex-youth footballer claimed a former Celtic Boys Club manager stuffed hundreds of pound notes into his mouth while he abused him.

The witness, now 46, said James Torbett sexually assaulted him when he played for the under-14 team.

Mr Torbett, 71, denies a total of nine offences of sexual abuse committed between 1985 and 1994.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in his Mercedes and at various addresses in Glasgow, London and Noyon.

‘£100 notes’

The man, who was a teenager at the time told the court Mr Torbett – who he knew as Jim – often gave him money.

He said: “Sometimes he would give you money. He would fit it into your mouth using his hand.

“One time it was £530. I remember going home with £100 notes in my pocket.”

The man, who lives in the Glasgow area, also claimed that on a trip to Noyon in France with Celtic Boys Club Torbett did a” striptease” to music before abusing him.

‘Striptease’

The witness, who is not being named, told prosecutor Sheena Fraser: “I was in my bed in a dormitory.

“Jim Torbett was standing there with a shirt and underpants on.

“He proceeded to do a striptease. He took his shirt off and was dancing.”

The man claimed that the accused then summoned him to his room and abused him.

At times during his evidence the witness appeared upset.

Mr Torbett, from Glasgow, denies a total of nine offences of sexual abuse allegedly committed between August 1985 and August 1994.

‘My hero’

Defence QC Tony Graham lodged a special defence of alibi in relation to a charge alleged to have taken place between June 1985 and June 1986.

During his evidence the man said: “Jim Torbett was my hero. I would have run through walls for him. I would have done anything he told me to do. I loved him.”

The man said that he told no-one about the alleged abuse until 2015.

He added: “I had to get it out. It was killing me. I told my sister, but I swore her to secrecy.”

The witness said that he also phoned Police Scotland and added: “They never came for a couple of days and I went into a huff and I told them lies.”

He told the court this was because his mother was there when the police arrived.

Football trial

The witness said the alleged sexual abuse by Mr Torbett ended when he was 17 and began a relationship with a woman.

He told defence QC Tony Graham that he was only selected for Celtic Boys Club at his second attempt.

On the first occasion Jimmy “Jinky’ Johnstone, who was described in court by Mr Graham as a Celtic great, got him a trial.

The witness said: “Jimmy Johnstone got me a trial for the under 12s. I did a six week trial and I was told I wasn’t good enough.”

On the second occasion the witness said he competed when he was 13 against 200 other boys for a place and was successful.

The trial, before judge Lord Beckett, continues.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-45953316    archive

 

 

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