Jim McCafferty sentence: Legal action over child abuse is imminent, celtic warned
May 16 2019, 12:01am, The Times
celtic FC will face a multimillion pound compensation claim “within months” unless it accepts responsibility for the paedophiles who preyed on young players, a senior lawyer has said.
The warning from Patrick McGuire, who has represented some of the victims, comes after Jim McCafferty, 73, a former club kitman and celtic Boys Club coach, was jailed for six years and nine months after admitting that he had molested boys over 24 years.
The jail sentence is the third to be handed down to former celtic Boys Club staff after Jim Torbett, 71, its founder, and Frank Cairney, 83, a coach, were imprisoned for sexually assaulting youngsters.
Gerard King, 66, the former chairman of the boys’ club, was convicted of abusing four boys and a girl while he was employed as a primary school teacher, but was not jailed.
Mr McGuire, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, said that court action would be launched imminently unless the club changed its stance.
celtic has expressed sympathy for the victims but has insisted that the boys club is a separate organisation and not its responsibility.
Mr McGuire said: “We have formally intimated a large number of claims on behalf of survivors of all the four named paedophiles that operated under the guise of the wider celtic umbrella. We continue to gather evidence and have got a lot of financial information. We have got the evidence of survivors, talking about the links.
“The case is being gathered and we absolutely will be going to court, and probably doing so in a matter of months, unless celtic’s tack changes.”
Mr McGuire argued that celtic should follow the precedent set by Manchester City, which has launched a compensation scheme for youngsters abused by Barry Bennell, a former youth coach and serial paedophile.
“celtic’s board and chief executive should stop hiding behind their lawyers and start looking at what Manchester City has done,” he said.
It has been reported that a claim could amount to more than £5 million.
celtic FC did not respond to a request for comment.