Verdict due in Falkland abuse trial

The trial is being held at the High Court in Glasgow
The trial is being held at the High Court in Glasgow
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A verdict is expected early next week in the trial of two men accused of abusing boys at the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland.

John Farrell (73), of Motherwell, and Paul Kelly (63), of Plymouth, have denied sexually and physically abusing the boys, then aged between 11 and 16, between 1967 and 1983.

They went on trial in April at the High Court in Glasgow.

The Crown claims a total of 35 boys were allegedly abused at the school. Farrell has lodged a special defence of alibi.

The trial, before judge Lord Matthews, is expected to end on Monday or Tuesday. It is one of the longest abuse trials ever heard in Scotland and, over the last 12 weeks, dozens of the alleged victims have given evidence, some of whom are now in their 50s.

St Ninian’s opened in 1957 and closed in 1983.

It was run by the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order founded in Ireland in 1802 by a wealthy businessman for the purpose of educating poor Catholic boys. In the early 2000s, its reputation was marred when widespread abuse was uncovered in Ireland.

The building is now occupied by Falkland School, an award-winning facility.