John Farrell, 73, above left, and Paul Kelly, 64, have been jailed for a total of 15 years for physically and sexually abusing six pupils at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife, more than 30 years ago.
According to this report, one person present at the sentencing of the pair at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday shouted “hope you enjoy every day of it” as Catholic priest Farrell, former head of the school, and Kelly were led away to serve their jail terms.
The pair preyed on youngsters between the ages of 11 and 15 at St Ninian’s, which was run by the Christian Brothers organisation before its closure in 1983.
Judge Lord Matthews condemned them for committing:
A gross abuse of trust
Farrell, of Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was jailed for five years for three counts of indecent assault. Kelly, of Plymouth, Devon, was given 10 years in prison for four counts of indecent assault and two assault charges.
The men belonged to Catholic order the Congregation of Christian Brothers. Farrell went on to become a priest and Kelly continued to teach until his retirement four years ago.
Referring to the victims as he sentenced the pair, the judge said:
The jury found you guilty of a number of gross abuses of the trust placed in you in relation to some of the most vulnerable members of our society, children from difficult backgrounds with no effective voice.
The vulnerabilities to which all of the victims were already subject were plainly greatly exacerbated by the revolting abuse to which they were subjected at St Ninian’s and it is no exaggeration to say that their whole lives have been blighted by what went on.
No sentence I can pass can undo the grievous harm caused to them by your conduct. It can only be hoped that the jury’s verdict can provide some form of closure for them after all these years.
But one victim of Abuse at the school, Dave Sharp, 57, above, blasted the sentences imposed on the two paedophiles.
Sharp, who “endured hell” at the school, said the men should have been caged for longer.
Child abuse on this scale should carry a life sentence. To destroy somebody’s life as a child should not be treated the same as burgling a house or robbing a bank. You are talking about children’s lives, not just one, but many children’s lives over a long period of time. The punishment does not fit the crime.
Everybody said the St Ninian’s case was the biggest case of its kind in Scottish legal history. This was an opportunity for the legal system to make a huge statement and they haven’t really done that.
Sharp didn’t give testimony because the man who raped him, Father Gerry Ryan, is dead.
St Ninian’s housed about 45 vulnerable boys in need of care until its closure in 1983.
Farrell and Kelly were tried on about 50 charges but the jury found them not guilty, or the offence not proven, for all but 11.
Hat tip: Peter Sykes