Criminal charges dropped against Aberdeen day school

Picture: Google Maps
Picture: Google Maps
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THE Crown has dropped all criminal charges brought about following an investigation into the running of Scotland’s only privately owned independent day school.

The family-run Hamilton School, in Aberdeen’s prestigious West End, was shut down by Scottish Ministers after a joint probe by Scotland’s care watchdog and police in early 2014.

An adjoining nursery which catered for over 200 children closed just 24 hours after the school following a critical report from the Care Inspectorate.

At the time of the closure, then Education Secretary Mike Russell labelled the report that led to the nursery closure as “far and away the most extraordinary, worst report” he had ever read.

Two people were charged with alleged offences against children in the aftermath, owner and principal Kathlyn Taylor and staff member Hannah Jamieson.

But back in June last year prosecutors dropped the charges against Mrs Taylor, who had ran the school for a number of years.

The Crown has now confirmed that Ms Jamieson would no longer be facing prosecution after “further information” came to light.

A spokesman for the Crown said: “It is the duty of the Crown to keep cases under review and as a result of further information provided about the circumstances of the alleged offences, and the accused, Crown Counsel took the view that it was no longer in the public interest to continue with this prosecution.”

Mrs Taylor, who founded the school in 1975, welcomed the decision.

She said: “It is an enormous relief to hear that the charges against Hannah have been dropped. 

“She was an excellent member of staff who unfortunately was caught up in a chain of events that was triggered by malicious behaviour which ultimately led to the truly astonishing decision to close the primary school, changing the lives irrevocably of the children, parents and staff.

“Yet, here we are, two years on and we are no further forward in discovering how all of this happened and was indeed allowed to happen. 

“I remain proud of our achievements at Hamilton and the numerous success stories it spawned. My earnest hope now is that Hannah can rebuild her life and career after a nightmare 24 months.”

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Prosecutors previously claimed Ms Jamieson carried out a number of attacks on youngsters aged between 12 weeks and two years old while at the school between March and December 2013.

She was due to go on trial on Monday charged with eight counts of assault with alternative allegations of culpable and reckless conduct “to the danger” of the children supposedly involved.

At the time of closure, the school had 105 pupils on the rolls between the ages of three months and 12 years.

The cost of a place started at 1,000 pounds a month.