Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Ex-council carer Gordon Collins guilty of sexually abusing children

Gordon Collins Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly

A former council care worker has been found guilty of sexually abusing four young residents at children's units in Edinburgh.

Gordon Collins, 59, groomed troubled youngsters before molesting them while working in two homes in the capital.

Collins, from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, had denied seven charges of indecency and one of rape at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He was caught after police opened a cold case investigation.

Judge Lady Wise deferred sentence for the court to obtain reports.

She told him: "Given the serious nature of the offences of which you have been convicted of, I will revoke your bail and remand you in custody."

The abuse involved four different girls at Northfields Young Persons Unit and St Katherine's secure unit between 1995 to 2006.

In her closing speech to jurors, prosecution lawyer Jane Farquharson said: "Rather than care and protect, he has sought to exploit these children.

"These are women who have absolutely nothing to gain by concocting lies against the accused."

'Troubled lives'

During proceedings, the prosecutor said the abuse had occurred in the very places that should have been protecting the child victims who had "very troubled young lives."

She pointed out each of the victims was not in contact with the others at the time of the offending.

One young woman who had told of how she had been abused by him told the court that she had begun to realise that his behaviour was wrong at the time, but did not tell anyone.

She said: "Who was going to believe me, the troubled kind, against him, a senior member of staff?"

He repeatedly raped one young woman during her time in care.

Defence advocate Matt Jackson challenged the rape victim, now aged 26, that the attacks, which took place between March 2004 and February 2005, did not happen.

But the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: "It simply did happen and he knows that I know."

Collins will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on 31 May.

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