New police inquiry ordered into allegations of historic abuse at Church of Scotland care home in Springburn

Daily Record
August 16, 2015

The Mallard care homes in Springburn

THE probe at The Mallard, in Springburn, has been ordered amid concerns that previous police investigations were flawed.

DETECTIVES have been ordered to launch a fresh inquiry into ­allegations of historic child abuse at a church care home.

The probe at The Mallard in Springburn, Glasgow, has been ordered by the Crown amid ­concerns that three previous police investigations were flawed.

Prosecutors gave the order after an SNP minister raised concerns about the criminal investigations.

The allegations of sexual and physical abuse date back to the 90s and were first brought to police attention by a dad who removed his son from the Church of Scotland home in 1999.

Deputy First Minister John ­Swinney is the father’s MSP and contacted the Lord Advocate on his behalf.

Swinney said: “I believe my ­constituent has raised serious issues that require thorough and transparent investigation. I hope that will be achieved.”

The MSP has previously said he believed that “institutional authorities at that time” failed to “recognise the issue and address it properly”.

The father said: “They didn’t interview anyone at that home until last year.”

The dad also accused the authorities of “setting him up” to cover up their own failings after he was charged with assaulting his son himself just weeks after the Crown ordered police to re-investigate his complaint.

He strenuously denies all the charges but is now fighting to retain guardianship of his son, after being convicted of two of three counts of physically assaulting him last year.

The boy, who is now an adult, cannot speak and was placed in care after his parents split up.

A 2001 report by a senior social worker concluded that while there were innocent explanations for the boy’s bruising, he could have been attacked by a shift leader, who “might reasonably have been charged or sacked” over assaults on three other children at The Mallard.

A senior male care home worker was suspended and transferred after a witness claimed to have seen him hitting a youngster.

Church bosses investigated the claim but did not contact police.

The Church of Scotland said any allegation of harm would be treated “seriously and sensitively.”

North Lanarkshire Council pledged to give police “every assistance”.


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