Lawyer: At least 20 abuse vic­tims at Celtic Boys’ Club

Firm re­veals more cases af­ter dis­graced coach jailed for six years

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Mar­ion Scott mas­cott@sundaypost.com

Twenty men have come for­ward to al­lege they suf­fered abuse at Celtic Boys Club.

Many of those claim they were sex­u­ally abused by jailed Celtic Boys Club founder James Tor­bett.

But some claim they were abused by oth­ers in­volved in the club.

Lawyer Patrick McGuire of Thomp­sons So­lic­i­tors says he ex­pects to make claims on be­half of “at least twenty” sur­vivors.

He said: “I wouldn’t be at all sur­prised if even more came for­ward in light of Tor­bett’s con­vic­tion last week.”

Mr McGuire said it was “time for Celtic to face up to its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties”.

He said: “Ter­ri­ble things were done in the name of Celtic, and it’s time for di­rec­tors to live up to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as in­di­vid­u­als as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the club.

“They have a le­gal and mo­ral re­spon­si­bil­ity to ac­knowl­edge ter­ri­ble wrongs were done in the name of the club, and as well as a sin­cere apol­ogy, they need to face up to the con­se­quences of that.”

Af­ter Tor­bett’s con­vic­tion Celtic FC is­sued a state­ment speak­ing of its re­gret – but stress­ing the two or­gan­i­sa­tions were en­tirely sep­a­rate.

Celtic FC said: “Fol­low­ing the con­vic­tion of Mr James Tor­bett at Glas­gow Sher­iff Court, Celtic Foot­ball Club wishes to ex­press our deep re­gret that the in­ci­dents took place and sym­pa­thy for the vic­tims who suf­fered abuse.

“Although Celtic FC is an en­tirely sep­a­rate or­gan­i­sa­tion, we have al­ways taken th­ese al­le­ga­tions extremely se­ri­ously be­cause of our historic con­tacts with Celtic Boys’ Club.”

Celtic did not re­spond to a re­quest for a comment on the lat­est al­le­ga­tions.

James Tor­bett

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