Sexual Abuse Trial Jury Told Cops Couldn't Trace Records of Home

Paisley Daily Express
December 5, 2008 /2008/12/05/sexual-abuse-trial-jury-told-cops-couldn-x2019-t-trace-records-of-home-87085-22407624/

POLICE probing claims that two girls were physically and sexually abused while in care at a Church of Scotland home were unable to trace any records relating to the running of the establishment, ajury heard yesterday.

Detectives flew to Northern Ireland to interview Janette Gault the person alleged to have carried out the attacks while matron of Carnegie Park Children's Home on the boundary of Johnstone and Elderslie during the early 1970s.

But Paisley Sheriff Court has heard that, when they contacted the Church of Scotland in an attempt to uncover records relating to the home, they were told that none existed.

When quizzed by police, Gault, now aged 68, admitted she had punished the two girls at the centre of the allegations but denied she had physically assaulted them or touched them in a sexual manner.

When she was asked what records had been compiled during her time there, she admitted there were no files kept on any of the children.

During the taped interview, recorded in June 2005, Gault claimed her accusers had made up false stories.

She told detectives their motivation must have been to "try to get money out of the Church of Scotland".

The officer who conducted the interview said she had encountered problems in trying to trace the accused after the complaints had been made.

She had contacted the Church of Scotland with negative results.

"They had absolutely no records in connection with the running of the children's home," said the officer.

The court heard how the children's home closed in 1980 and Gault eventually moved to Northern Ireland.

At the close of the Crown case, depute fiscal Frank Clarke dropped two of the charges against Gault and made deletions to the remaining charges on the indictment.

Defence counsel declined to call their client to the witness stand to give evidence.

Gault still faces six charges which allege that she assaulted and used lewd and libidinous practices towards her alleged victims while one was aged between nine and 15 and the other was between 11 and 16.

The trial is expected to end today.


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