Ayrshire children’s home worker jailed for abuse

Brian Newman molested boys during the 1990s at the Ayrshire children's home where he worked. Picture: Lesley Donald
Brian Newman molested boys during the 1990s at the Ayrshire children's home where he worked. Picture: Lesley Donald
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A FORMER care worker in a children’s home has been jailed for 13 years after he was convicted of a catalogue of abuse of vulnerable youngsters following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

One of Brian Newman’s victims first contacted the police following the publicity surrounding the shamed paedophile DJ and broadcaster and officers traced others who had also resided at the Ayrshire institution.

A judge told Newman: “You were put in a position of trust, particularly grave trust, given the background of the children you were supposed to be looking after. You abused that trust horrendously.”

Lord Glennie said that youngsters had looked to the children’s home “as a place of safety”.

The judge said at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday that he had read testimonials sent to the court by family and acquaintances that paid tribute to him as “a loving, caring, family man of the highest integrity”.

But he added: “It is clear there is another side to you your family and friends are not aware of.”

The judge said the sentence imposed on Newman had to reflect the seriousness of the offences and “the appalling breach of trust”.

The first offender, who will be 59 today, was earlier convicted of ten charges of indecency and sexual assault against six boys who were resident in the home during the 1990s. Newman, of Boyd Court, Kilmarnock, in Ayrshire, had denied abusing the boys but a jury unanimously found him guilty of eight of the charges and convicted him of the further two offences on majority verdicts.

Lord Glennie told jurors at the end of the trial it had been “a distressing case”.

The court heard that Newman’s first victim became the catalyst for the police investigation into allegations of abuse at the home.

The boy had been aged 13 when he was at the home between October 1991 and March 1992 where Newman came into his private bedroom and molested him and made inappropriate sexual remarks.

He would try to pretend that he was asleep in the hope that Newman would go away. The court heard that he did not like what was happening to him but was scared.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson told jurors: “It was the Jimmy Savile publicity that triggered this police investigation. That was what made him contact the police back in 2012.

“It was his report to the police that triggered this investigation and uncovered other victims of the abuse,” said the prosecutor.

Some victims described how they got on well with Newman but were later left with feelings of confusion, shame and embarrassment after they were exploited by him.

With some boys there had been an escalation in the abuse moving on from touching to sex acts.

Some youngsters were given sweets and cigarettes and others were subjected to threats by the care worker.

One vulnerable youngster was molested from the age of 12 and said when he arrived at the institution he looked up to the staff like they were parents.

As he neared his 13th birthday he woke up to find Newman touching him under the covers and said he froze and did not know what to do.

Defence counsel Dale Hughes said Newman continued to “vehemently deny” the charges.