Authorities moved sex offender to children’s home after complaint

Lady Smith is chairing the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
Lady Smith is chairing the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
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A paedophile was moved to work in a home for children with learning difficulties despite warnings he was “dangerous,” an inquiry has heard.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was told the man was taken out of another children’s home in Pollokshields, Glasgow, after concerns were raised about him in the early 1990s. The man, who was not named during the inquiry hearing, was later jailed for sex offences.

Philip Dolan, a retired social worker, told the inquiry the man first came to his attention when a colleague warned him about his behaviour.

He said: “His complaint was that this guy was dangerous and he had concerns. Once the name came out, I was aware of the person and as history has shown, the concerns turned out to be correct.”

Mr Dolan, who held social work roles in West Lothian, East Kilbride and Glasgow before his retirement in 1996, said abuse cases in affluent areas of Glasgow’s south side “seemed to get buried” by senior social work figures.

He said: “At times there were cases which may have become high-profile and someone at a senior management level would say they would deal with it.

“Child abuse doesn’t just happen in areas of deprivation, it happens in more affluent areas.”

In another case, Mr Dolan said a young girl moved to a children’s home in Pollokshields for her own “care and protection” later became pregnant.

And he said earlier in his career he had visited foster homes in a “pitiful” state, including one home in Lanarkshire where he found soaked bedding and excrement on the wall.

Led by Lady Smith, the inquiry is investigating the abuse of children in care and is expected to report in 2019.

More than 60 institutions including leading boarding schools and residential homes run by religious groups are being investigated

Yesterday it also heard from Ian Levitt, an emeritus professor of social policy at the University of Central Lancashire, who wrote a report for the Scottish Government on the inspection regime for children’s homes between 1930 and 1968.

Professor Levitt said there were “relatively few retained papers” for children in care prior to 1950.

He said only one inspection report exists for the period 1930-68 for Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, South Lanarkshire, where hundreds of children are buried in an unmarked grave.

The inquiry continues.