Abuse conviction will be appealed for Celtic Boys Club coach from Viewpark

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A SENIOR judge has set a date for a former Celtic Boys Club manager to appeal against his conviction for sexual abuse.

Judge Lord Menzies told lawyers acting for Frank Cairney,84, that the Court of Criminal Appeal will consider the case in November 2019.

Lord Menzies told the lawyers that colleagues will consider the matter on November 14. The announcement came at the end of a short procedural hearing at the appeal court on Thursday. Cairney, of Viewpark, Lanarkshire wasn’t present in court to hear the news.

The former coach was jailed for four years after being convicted at Hamilton Sheriff Court last February on nine charges of sexually abusing young footballers during the 1980s.

It is the third time that Cairney’s legal team have appeared before appeal judges.

His lawyers have tried on two separate occasions to have Cairney released from prison ahead of the appeal because of his apparent poor health.

However, judges have refused to grant the requests. Both Lord Turnbull and Lord Drummond Young concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to justify Cairney being granted interim liberation.

During proceedings at Hamilton Sheriff Court last December, jurors heard how Cairney’s victims suffered badly from the abuse.

Sheriff Daniel Kelly described Cairney as being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Cairney is among four former Celtic Boys Club coaches to be convicted of child sex abuse in recent months.

Last November, Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett was jailed for six years whilst former teacher Gerard King was also convicted of abusing boys at a school.

Earlier this year, Jim McCafferty,73, was jailed after pleading guilty to child sex abuse charges.

He was sentenced to six years and nine months for abusing 10 teenage boys between 1972 and 1996.

Earlier this year, defence solicitor advocate Simon Collins said that Cairney plans to appeal against his conviction on the basis that prosecutors allegedly failed to disclose a key piece of evidence to him ahead of his trial.

The court also heard that Cairney believes he didn’t receive a fair trial due to prejudicial press reporting.

The matters will now be discussed later this year at the Court of Criminal Appeal.