Abuse in­quiry ‘must probe Bay City

As Tam Pa­ton linked to care homes, vic­tims call for ac­tion

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Pa­tri­cia Kane and Bev­er­ley Lyons

HE was jailed for ‘gross in­de­cency’ with two teenage boys and has been ac­cused of us­ing his fame and in­flu­ence to prey on vul­ner­a­ble young­sters, some as young as 13.

Now there have been calls for Tam Pa­ton, the shamed former man­ager of the Bay City Rollers who died in 2009, to be in­ves­ti­gated as part of the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry (SCAI).

A new book by one of the band’s founders, Alan Long­muir, warns the pop im­pre­sario will be ex­posed in the fu­ture as ‘a far darker force’ be­cause his ‘de­prav­ity ran deeper than we cur­rently know’.

The claim by Long­muir, who died in July this year shortly af­ter writ­ing the book, has prompted sur­vivors’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives – as well as peo­ple aware of Pa­ton’s past as a sex­ual preda­tor – to urge the SCAI to look at links be­tween him and res­i­den­tial care es­tab­lish­ments for chil­dren around Ed­in­burgh.

Chaired by High Court judge Lady Smith, the in­quiry is ex­am­in­ing al­le­ga­tions of phys­i­cal and sex­ual abuse at 86 in­sti­tu­tions across Scot­land.

In his book, I Ran With The Gang, be­ing pub­lished on Novem­ber 26, Long­muir de­scribes a trip to see Pa­ton – who was sacked by the band in 1979 af­ter rows over tour­ing – at his ranch-like house, Lit­tle Keller­stain, on the out­skirts of Ed­in­burgh.

He went with the in­ten­tion of ask­ing for money but re­calls: ‘I could not help notic­ing boys drift­ing around the house. They could have been 14. They could have been 18. I don’t reckon shav­ing foam was a ma­jor item on the Lit­tle Keller­stain shop­ping list.

“‘Who are all these boys, Tam?” I asked. “They’re Ed­in­burgh’s waifs and strays.” My brow fur­rowed. “Alan, the po­lice bring them here. It’s all above board. The po­lice find them on the streets and to keep them out of trou­ble they bring them here. They know I will give them food and shel­ter. They know I will put them on the straight and nar­row. If they go into care, they run away. If they come here, they stay. They get jobs.”.’

He adds: ‘When peo­ple ask for my opin­ion on him I say he was a good man, gone bad.

‘As the years have gone by I have grad­u­ally be­gun to re­alise how bad he had gone. He was a pow­er­ful and vin­dic­tive man not to be taken lightly.

‘He had friends in high and low places. The friends in high places in­cluded politi­cians and se­nior mem­bers of the po­lice and ju­di­ciary. The friends in low places in­cluded scum that would slash your face for a bag of Tam’s finest

Colom­bian co­caine. A dan­ger­ous com­bi­na­tion.’ Mu­sic in­dus­try sources close to Pa­ton claim the wor­ry­ing sce­nario painted by Long­muir is only the ‘tip of the ice­berg’, and that the ac­tiv­i­ties at Lit­tle Keller­stain should be ex­am­ined fully by the SCAI.

There were ru­mours that many of the boys at Pa­ton’s prop­erty in Gog­a­r­burn were ac­tu­ally from care homes in the area, brought there to en­ter­tain older men.

There is no sug­ges­tion the in­sti­tu­tions them­selves were aware of Pa­ton’s ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties but among the es­tab­lish­ments whose names have been men­tioned to MoS are Don­ald­son’s School for Deaf Chil­dren, now in Lin­lith­gow, West Loth­ian, but pre­vi­ously based in Ed­in­burgh.

It was an­nounced in Septem­ber that al­le­ga­tions about the school, some his­tor­i­cal in na­ture, would be in­ves­ti­gated by the SCAI – with hear­ings likely early in the New Year – although it is un­clear if they will in­volve Pa­ton.

It also emerged ear­lier this year that Pa­ton had been a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor in the 1960s and 1970s to the Nazareth House chil­dren’s home in Lass­wade, Mid­loth­ian – some­times ac­com­pa­nied by ac­quain­tance Jimmy Sav­ile.

Last night, He­len Hol­land, chair­man of In Care Abuse Sur­vivors (In­cas) – who has al­ready told the SCAI about her abuse by priests and nuns at Nazareth House in Kil­marnock – urged any po­ten­tial vic­tims of Pa­ton to come for­ward.

She said: ‘It def­i­nitely needs in­ves­ti­gated. It is not un­com­mon for chil­dren in care homes not to know the names of their abusers, so I’m not sur­prised Pa­ton’s name has not come up so far.

‘Jig­saw iden­ti­fi­ca­tion can help get jus­tice and the more that give ev­i­dence, the more likely the per­pe­tra­tors will an­swer for their crimes.

‘Many of the abusers are still alive. Now is the time to come for­ward and call the in­quiry team.’

‘Roller­ma­nia’ at­tracted a world­wide fol­low­ing and the band sold 120 mil­lion records, among them hits Shang-A-Lang, Bye Bye Baby and Give A Lit­tle Love.

The band’s line-up, un­der Pa­ton, changed a num­ber of times but mainly fea­tured Stu­art ‘Woody’ Wood, Eric Faulkner, Les McKe­own, Alan Long­muir and Alan’s brother, Derek. They split in 1979 but bit­ter le­gal bat­tles about money dragged on for years.

Three years later, Pa­ton found him­self in court for gross in­de­cency with teenage boys. He served one year of a three-year prison term and de­fended his life­style, claim­ing he was a vic­tim of ho­mo­pho­bia and in­sist­ing all his sex­ual en­coun­ters were con­sen­sual.

Yes­ter­day, one in­sider told MoS: ‘It was well-known that a lot of mu­sic celebri­ties went to Pa­ton’s house for the par­ties and there were boys there who were young and good-look­ing from care homes.

‘They were lured there by older boys and men with prom­ises of meet­ing a big im­pre­sario. Pa­ton had the trap­pings of a rich man and this was go­ing on the whole time. He was worse than Jimmy Sav­ile.’

Au­thor Si­mon Spence, who in­ter­viewed more than 100 peo­ple for his 2016 book, When the Scream­ing Stops: The Dark His­tory of the Bay City Rollers, be­lieves there is ‘firm ev­i­dence’ that by the early 1980s young­sters from care homes around Ed­in­burgh were be­ing taken to Pa­ton’s par­ties.

He said: ‘A few in­di­vid­u­als talked about how they were groomed and abused by Pa­ton. At least one of them was just 13 and he told me he woke up with Tam on top of him.

‘When he said how old he was, Tam jumped off and an as­so­ciate bun­dled the lad into a car boot and dropped him in the cen­tre of town. He thought he was go­ing to be killed.

‘So there was a pat­tern of be­hav­iour where boys from care homes are be­ing abused by Tam Pa­ton and his cir­cle.’

Spence said he had also been told about a 13-year-old boy, seen of­ten at Pa­ton’s house and known as DD – for deaf and dumb.

Yes­ter­day, the group’s orig­i­nal singer un­til 1973, Gor­don ‘Nobby’ Clark, said he had ‘heard the ru­mours’ about boys from Don­ald­son’s School be­ing at Pa­ton’s house.

He added: ‘A proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion would un­cover fur­ther ev­i­dence. If peo­ple have some­thing to say, they should come for­ward to ex­pose it.’

Yes­ter­day, a spokesman for the SCAI said: ‘We con­tinue to ac­tively en­cour­age any­one who has rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion to get in touch.’

No one was avail­able for com­ment at Don­ald­son’s School.

But fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment two months ago that the SCAI would in­ves­ti­gate the school, Laura Bat­tles, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Don­ald­son Trust, said: ‘We sup­port the aims of the in­quiry in un­cov­er­ing any his­tor­i­cal cases of abuse.’

‘Young boys from care homes at Pa­ton’s par­ties’

HEAR­INGS: The in­quiry chaired by Lady Smith, left, will hear al­le­ga­tions about Don­ald­son’s School for Deaf Chil­dren, be­low

REV­E­LA­TIONS:A new book by Alan Long­muir, left – with Bay City Rollers Les McKe­own, Eric Faulkner, Stu­art Wood and Derek Long­muir, seated – warns Pa­ton’s ‘de­prav­ity ran deeper than we know’

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