Celtic Boys Club founder weeps claiming accusers are lying over attacks

Jim Torbett, 75, allegedly committed the assaults between June 1967 and December 1968.

Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett weeps claiming accusers are lying about attacks SCTS

The founder of Celtic Boy’s Club briefly wept as he accused his accusers of lying about sexually assaulting them and being on “a gravy train” to make money.

Jim Torbett was giving evidence at the High Court in Inverness for a second day where he told a jury two alleged victims were “liars”. Only one features in the four charges he denies – three of indecent assault and one of lewd behaviour. 

He said: “Nothing inappropriate happened to these kids. I will keep repeating that til the day I die. I am a decent person. The others are writing books and selling stories. They are on a gravy train.

“A lot of lies have been told. I didn’t harm them. I have not done anything sexually to these kids,” Torbett insisted as he was cross-examined by advocate depute Angela Gray.

She suggested that the 75-year-old was the liar which he denied.

She asked him: “Are you sexually attracted to young boys aged 13 to 14?”

Torbett replied: “Absolutely not.”

Then the prosecutor asked him: “Did you groom boys for your sexual gratification?”

Torbett repeated his previous answer: “Absolutely not.”

He accepted that five boys stayed over at his mother’s flat once but insisted nothing happened, having previously denied it to police in an interview before being charged.

He said: “It was not a deliberate ploy. It may have been late. I don’t recall the circumstances.”

Torbett had been accused of sexually abusing one teenager in his bed in his flat while another slept. A second witness, who has been referred to as B, claimed he was sexually assaulted in a hotel bed on a trip to watch Celtic play in Leeds.

He denied any assault but told the court: “It is absolute nonsense we stayed at the same hotel as Celtic. We were at a boarding house and I was in another room with the other adult.”

Ms Gray also asked him about a third witness and teammate of A who gave evidence and said he was not abused.

Ms Gray said: “You didn’t abuse him because he didn’t rely on you for his career?”

Torbett replied: “I didn’t abuse any boys.”

He told his defence counsel, Jim Keegan KC, in re-examination that he had overseen many thousands of boys throughout his youth association career.

Mr Keegan asked him: “Were you ever sexually attracted to any of them?”

Torbett responded: “Never.” 

Both prosecution and defence have completed their evidence and the jurors will hear speeches from both and Judge Andrew Cubie’s charge on Monday.

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