Former Falkirk kit man jailed after admitting child abuse

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A former Falkirk kit man has been jailed after admitting a series of child sex abuse crimes.

Jim McCafferty, who also worked with Celtic and Hibernian, was sentenced to six years and nine months for the catalogue of offences when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh today.

Following his sentencing, Police Scotland issued a statement saying that McCafferty had abused his power and the trust of his young footballers victims.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor, Police Scotland said: “Between 1972 and 1996 James McCafferty sexually abused boys aged between 13 and 19, under the guise of football.

“These boys had a passion for the game, they had dreams and hopes. Rather than provide a place of safety for them to fulfil these dreams, he used football to prey upon them.

“The trust and respect they showed him was repaid by a complete and utter abuse of power. McCafferty exploited his position to satisfy his own sexual depravity.

She added that McCafferty had “blighted the lives of his victims and their families.

“As boys, his victims lived in fear but as adults they stood united, finding the courage and strength to speak out. They were listened to and without their testimony we would not be here today witnessing McCafferty’s long awaited admissions of guilt.

“I would like to pay my own personal gratitude to these men. The damage that McCafferty inflicted will never be forgotten, however, today hopefully starts the process of trying to resolve the past.

“The scale of his abuse is unprecedented, and demonstrates the systematic and calculated methods he used to target his victims. Whether as a respected coach or an affable kitman, he used every opportunity available to perpetrate his callous abuse.

“While this investigation is concluded, we are aware that there may be people who have not felt able to report. I would urge you to do so. It does not matter when or where the abuse occurred, or who committed that abuse. We will listen and we will investigate.

“The sexual abuse of children is still happening across our communities and in a range of different settings. It is up to all of us to make sure that children across Scotland can follow their interests and hobbies without fear and free from the threat of harm.”