Celtic Boys Club founder 'made player wear club's shorts before assault'

Jim Torbett is standing trial for assault at the High Court in Inverness.

Celtic Boys Club founder ‘made player wear club’s shorts before assault’, court hears Google Maps

A former player with Celtic Boys Club claimed his manager asked him to wear the club’s shorts and then indecently assaulted him as another boy slept in the same bed.

The teenager told police that Jim Torbett, now aged 75, kissed him on the lips, put his hand down his shorts and told him not to wake a second boy who was also staying overnight at Torbett’s late mother’s fifth storey flat in Glasgow.

Torbett’s alleged victim also told officers how Torbett had again attacked him in a toy shop as they made up items to sell in order to celebrate Celtic winning the European Cup in 1967.

But soon after, the youngster, who was under 16 at the time, claimed he was kicked out by Torbett after being told their friendship had to end and “not to come back”.

The allegations were revealed in an hour-long video of a police interview with Torbett in May, 2021 which was played for the jury at the High Court in Inverness.

The claims were put by detectives to Torbett who either denied those and other events ever happened or said he couldn’t remember. 

Torbett is standing trial accused of historic sexual abuse of a 13-year-old boy between June 1967 and December 1968.

The abuse is alleged to have carried on until the boy was 14. Torbett is charged with indecently assaulting him at a toy shop in Glasgow’s Maryhill.

It is claimed that Torbett exposed himself and performed a sex act. Torbett allegedly went on to seize the boy by his neck and repeatedly attempted to make him perform a sex act on him.

A second indecent assault charge claims Torbett touched the boy’s thigh and groped him while in a vehicle in the city’s Drumchapel. The charge goes on to claim Torbett then exposed himself and performed a sex act.

Torbett also faces separate charges of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards the boy. Torbett allegedly touched him on the thigh over his clothing before groping him while in a vehicle in Drumchapel.

He then is said to have exposed himself and performed a sex act.

The final charge claims that Torbett touched him on the body while he was asleep at a flat in the city’s Sighthill.

It is claimed Torbett went on to repeatedly grope the boy before performing a sex act on himself. The charge also states that on a separate occasion Torbett kissed him on the mouth and performed a sex act on himself.

Torbett denies all charges and is represented by Jim Keegan KC.

Detective Constable Diane Curran, who conducted the interview, asked Torbett if he sexually assaulted the boy claimed just 100 yards away from his home after Torbett gave him a lift.

He replied: “Absolutely not. Never happened”, adding that he couldn’t remember the boy or if he could drive at that time.

Torbett also denied the toy shop incident saying it “never happened” and as well as refuting the boy’s claims that kids were invited back to his multi-storey flat and allowed to stay the night.

Torbett told the DC that kids went to the flat he shared with his mum to wash kits. But he insisted he would never have let them stay the night.

“I can’t even tell you if the boy played there. We are going back 50 years ago or something. I’ve been responsible for 3000 kids over the period. I’ve no memory of him.”

He was also asked if he had told the boy not to come back to training.

Torbett replied: “I can’t remember anything about that.”

Torbett’s alleged victim is expected to give evidence on Wednesday afternoon.

The trial, before Lord Cubie continues.

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