Celtic Boys Club was front for child sexual abuse, says Judge

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By Democrat reporter

Mark Daly of BBC Scotland is reporting that Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett, right,  has been refused leave to appeal his conviction for sexually abusing young players.

The 71-year-old, from Kelvindale, Glasgow, was found guilty last year of five abuse charges between 1986 and 1994.

His conviction followed a BBC investigation into his crimes against children.

The judiciary office in Edinburgh has confirmed the appeal has been refused.  Torbett’s victims welcomed the news.

Kenny Campbell was abused by Torbett during the 1980s while he played for Celtic Boys Club and Celtic FC and was a key witness in the trial.

He told the BBC: “I’ve had a knot in my stomach these past weeks worrying about this appeal, worrying that somehow that he could somehow have wriggled off this.

“But when I heard leave to appeal had been refused, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. He’ll have to do his time now.

“Maybe one day he’ll be man enough to admit what he’s done.”

Torbett was convicted in November 2018 for abusing three boys over an eight-year period. It was his second conviction for sex offences against boys.

Sentencing Torbett to six years, Judge Lord Beckett told Torbett that Celtic Boys Club had given opportunities to hundreds of aspiring young footballers and that he “used the club as a front for child sexual abuse.”

The judge added: “Yours is some of the most corrupting behaviour I have ever heard of in these courts…Your depraved conduct towards innocent children has blighted their lives.”

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