The Scotsman

School linked to Dunblane killer listed in abuse inquiry


A military boarding school where the Dunblane massacre gunman was alleged to be a frequent visitor will be probed by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Queen Victoria School has been linked to Thomas Hamilton, who killed 16 pupils in the Dunblane Primary attack in 1996.

Edinburgh’s Royal Blind School was also among 17 institutio­ns yesterday added to the inquiry.

A military boarding school with alleged links to the man who carried out the Dunblane massacre is to be investigat­ed by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Queen Victoria School (QVS) is one of 17 additional institutio­ns to be included in the national inquiry led by judge Lady Smith.

The Dunblane school, which serves the families of military personnel, has previously been linked to Thomas Hamilton, who killed 16 pupils and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School in 1996.

Last year, Glen Harrison, a former housemaste­r, claimed pupils were abused by a paedophile ring at the school in the 1980s and 1990s. He said he first raised his concerns with police in 1991.

The national inquiry, which has cost £15.7 million to date and is looking at the historical abuse of children in care, yesterday announced a list of extra investigat­ions, taking the total number of institutio­ns being looked at to 86.

The institutio­ns announced yesterday include the Royal Blind School and Donaldson’s School for the Deaf in Edinburgh.

Lady Smith appealed for anyone with informatio­n about any of the institutio­ns to get in touch.

She said: “It does not matter whether you have already made a report to the police or to anyone else and it does not matter whether or not you have been involved in any other investigat­ion. You can still talk to us and we want to hear from you.

“I am well aware that it can be difficult and very emotional to talk about experience­s in care and I want to take this opportunit­y to give an assurance that we have a dedicated witness support team here who will help and support anyone providing evidence to us.”

It has previously been claimed Hamilton was linked to the paedophile ring and was a frequent visitor to QVS.

The school did not respond to a request for comment yesterday, but a spokeswoma­n for theministr­yofdefence(mod), which funds the school, said: “All historic allegation­s of sexual abuse involving Queen Victoria School were reported to the police at the time.

“We take any allegation­s of this nature extremely seriously and always co-operate fully with any police inquiry.”

The national inquiry, which started its work in 2015, has so far looked at allegation­s of physical and sexual abuse at institutio­ns run by female religious orders.

It is due to deliver a report in coming weeks on abuse at Smyllum orphanage in Lanark where children were allegedly beaten, force-fed and humiliated­forwetting­thebed prior to its closure in 1981.

Last month Police Scotland said 11 women and one man, aged between 62 and 85, had been charged in relation to non-recent abuse at the orphanage.

Earlier this year, it was announced the time-frame of the inquiry would be extended indefinite­ly to allow more survivors to come forward.

The inquiry’s public hearings, which begin again next month, will now look at institutio­ns run by Quarriers Homes, the Aberlour Child Care Trust and Barnardo’s before turning its attention to homes run by male religious orders.

There will also be a case study looking at child migrant

schemes, where children were sent to countries including Australia and Canada.

Among the other institutio­ns announced yesterday was Lennox Castle hospital near Glasgow, which closed in 2002 and where it is alleged children were experiment­ed on as part of a drugs programme run by Porton Down research laboratory during the Cold War.

Campaign group In-care Abuse Survivors (Incas) has previously called on the inquiry to “review medical experiment­ation that was carried out on vulnerable children and adults without consent”.

Lennox Castle was one of four Scottish institutio­ns alleged to have been involved in trialling drugs on children.

The MOD has said it is “not aware” of such tests and has seen no evidence to back up the claims.

 ??  ?? 0 Queen Victoria School in Dunblane will be included in the Scottish Child Abuse inquiry’s remit
0 Queen Victoria School in Dunblane will be included in the Scottish Child Abuse inquiry’s remit

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