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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Crown Office drops Kerelaw cases
Kerelaw
No further action will be taken over the ten Kerelaw allegations
No further legal action will be taken over 10 cases of alleged abuse at an Ayrshire school for vulnerable youngsters, it was announced.

The Crown Office said that there would be no criminal proceedings over the cases at Kerelaw Residential Unit in Stevenson, Ayrshire.

The Procurator Fiscal at Kilmarnock has offered to meet complainers to explain the reasons for their decision.

Glasgow City Council officials spent three years investigating the unit.

A recent report claimed that as many as 40 care workers abused children at Kerelaw.

I found the school to be extremely supportive and the staff extremely helpful - the school helped me turn my life around
Craig Diver
Former Kerelaw resident

The local authority-run establishment, which has since closed, looked after youngsters with significant emotional, social and behavioural problems.

It was shut after allegations of abuse and a subsequent police investigation three years ago.

Last year, two men were found guilty of physically and sexually abusing children in their care at Kerelaw.

Art teacher Matthew George, 56, was jailed for 10 years at the High Court in Edinburgh for a "horrifying catalogue" of 18 offences.

Residential care worker John Muldoon, 53, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for four offences.

But former Kerelaw resident Craig Diver, who attended the school between 1985 and 1987, said he was not surprised the latest cases had been dropped as he was convinced many staff had been wrongly accused.

'Further prosecutions'

Mr Diver said: "I found the school to be extremely supportive and the staff extremely helpful - the school helped me turn my life around. I just do not recognise the description that has been made."

Former Kerelaw principal James Hunter said he was confident more staff members would be cleared in the future.

He added: "The tide is beginning to turn and the truth will be told and shall prevail. Eventually the staff's position will be made clear and the public can decide for themselves."

Glasgow-based lawyer Cameron Fyfe, who has represented several former Kerelaw residents seeking to raise actions for damages at the Court of Session, said he had gathered "a lot of evidence" of abuse at the school.

Mr Fyfe said: "Crown Counsel must have decided there was not enough for criminal proceedings and of course that is his decision.

"It is hoped that further prosecutions may come about in the future."




SEE ALSO
'Up to 40 staff' abused children
14 Jun 07 |  Glasgow and West
Jail terms for school abuse pair
01 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West
Action plan for troubled Kerelaw
15 Oct 04 |  Scotland
Closure plan for troubled Kerelaw
13 Oct 04 |  Scotland
Inquiry at school for vulnerable
18 Jun 04 |  Scotland

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