Glasgow & West Scotland

Former Celtic Boys Club boss given probation for sex abuse

Gerald King Image copyright Mike Gibbons/Spindrift
Image caption King coached football at a primary school in the north of Glasgow during the 1980s

A former Celtic Boys Club chairman has been given a three-year probation order for sexually abusing four boys and a girl in the 1980s.

Gerald King, 66, was coaching football at a primary school in the north of Glasgow when he carried out the crimes.

He was convicted of using lewd and libidinous practises towards the victims from August 1984 to April 1989.

Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC said he had breached "a trust that both pupils and society place on school teachers".

The case came just weeks after Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett was jailed for abusing three boys.

King will be supervised throughout his time on the order and must carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

He will also be on the sex offenders register for five years.

King's victims were aged between nine and 13 at the time of the attacks.

Shower photos

In evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court, he admitted taking two pictures - one of which was of four boys in a shower with no clothes on.

It was later printed in the school magazine with "censored" over their genitals.

King, who denied all the charges he faced, also said he took a second picture of one of the boys with no clothes on, but claimed both were entirely innocent.

Following his sentencing, a Police Scotland spokeswoman praised King's victims for coming forward.

Det Ch Insp Laura Carnochan, of the National Child Abuse Unit, said: "Reporting such offences is incredibly difficult and reliving these experiences can be traumatic.

"I hope his sentencing today for a number of those offences will reassure his victims that their reports were taken seriously and that they were acted upon.

"Gerald King's offending has now been made public and he will be closely managed going forward to ensure that he will never be in a position to abuse anyone else.

Torbett link

King had worked at Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett's company, the Trophy Centre, but previously denied being close to him.

During his trial, Torbett named King as one of the coaches at the boys club.

Torbett was first jailed for two years in 1998 for abusing three former players.

He was said to have been sacked from the club in 1974 when allegations surfaced against him, but was later welcomed back in 1980 until 1996.

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