Thursday , June 1 2023

Verdict in Jim Torbett's trial on sexual abuse


Founder of Celtic Boys was found guilty of sexual abuse.

Jim Torbett refused to abuse two former youth players and another boy between 1986 and 1994.

But, 71, he was sentenced to the Glasgow High Court on Monday, and was jailed for six years. He was also placed undefined in the sex offenders register.

He was imprisoned 20 years ago for abuse of young footballers.

Torbett – who lived in California – was charged in 2017 as a result of new allegations of sexual assault.

Lord Beckett told Torbett, "This is one of the most corrupt behaviors I have ever heard in these courts. Your devastated behavior towards innocent children has spoiled their lives."

"This is one of the most corrupt behaviors I have ever heard in these courts. Your degraded attitude towards innocent children has ruined their lives"

Mr. Beckett

He targeted two teenagers, including one who worshiped her as a "hero," and abused a five-year-old boy for a trophy business he once owned.

Two victims showed during Torbett's trial.

A 46-year-old man told the jury that he played for the Celtic Boys Club when he was 14 years old. He said that Torbett attacked him on a trip to France.

The witness said at trial: "I was in my bed in a bedroom." Jim Torbett stood there with a shirt and panties, continuing to make a striptease, took off his shirt and danced.

The man said that Torbett – who kept his trousers – was moving his shirt back and forth between his legs.

Another man who played in a team as a boy died in a swimming accident before being able to go to court. But a police statement given before his death helped to ensure justice.

The 41-year-old told officers he was abused for the first time in Torbett's car after training and later at his apartment.

The final victim, a 35-year-old man, was abused by Torbett's trophy deal in Glasgow.

"I was instructed by Mr. Torbett to take my t-shirts and underwear down"


The witness – who was just as young as five – was attacked on his own with Torbett.

He told the process: "I was instructed by Mr. Torbett to take my shorts and underwear down, he stared at me for a while, it seemed to me that he was old, he said everything was fine, then left the room.

Torbett showed no emotion because he was led to the cells after the jury found him guilty of the indecent assault of the first victim.

He was also convicted of libelous and libidious behavior and harsh attack against the second player.

Torbett was still guilty of the same two charges on the third boy. An additional affirmation of the atrocible and arbitrary behavior against that victim has not been proven.

Torbett, from Glasgow, founded the club in 1966, when he was almost 18 years old.

He told the court that they used Celtic's name and played in Celtic strips but were not connected to the football club.

The first conviction for the abuse of young players came in 1998 when she was jailed at the Sheriff Court in Glasgow for sentencing three boys between 1967 and 1974.

Speaking after Monday's conviction, Kenny Donnelly, a tax prosecutor for sexual offenses, said: "James Torbett has engaged in predatory behavior and committed these crimes after having established himself as someone in a trusty position with responsibility for children.

"While his offense began more than 30 years ago, those who have shown should be praised for having come forward, reporting on his crime and providing the basis for this criminal prosecution.

"I hope this case provides confidence to victims of sexual abuse who, no matter how long they have been abused, can and will be taken to their abusers and that our professional prosecutors will act with professionalism and respect to ensure that justice is done. "

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