Former care worker jailed over historic abuse at children's home

Alan Smyth, 64, preyed on two girls aged between ten and 12 between 1979 and 1981.

A former care worker has been jailed for three years for historic abuse at a children’s home.

Alan Smyth, 64, preyed on two girls aged between ten and 12 between 1979 and 1981.

A jury heard Smyth worked at Nazareth House care home in Glasgow’s Cardonald at the time.

Smyth inappropriately touched one of the girls in their bed and also washed her at bath time.

The second woman also claimed that she was washed by Smyth which made her feel “uncomfortable.”

The victims, now as adults, attended court to give evidence and received justice after waiting more than 40 years.

Smyth, of Linwood, Renfrewshire, was found guilty of three charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour.

He was also convicted of one charge of indecent assault.

Sheriff Daniel Kelly said: “These offences took place when the children were at their most vulnerable.

“They should have experienced protection, security and safety – instead they had the opposite. 

“The victims spoke of the pain and enduring the consequences and the burden they had to carry through childhood into adulthood as a result of your actions.

“Now you must also carry the burden of your own behaviour.

“Given the nature of the offences and vulnerable victims as well as the position of trust you were given, a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal.”

Smyth was also put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.

First offender Smyth shook his head as he was led into custody from the dock.

One of the women stated Smyth entered her bedroom, went under her covers and “touched me where he shouldn’t.”

The woman said she did not move and stayed still.

She did not talk about the incident to anyone.

She described Smyth as being “sleezy” who tried to wash her at bath time.

Prosecutor Mark Allan said in his closing speech to the jury: “He would wash her back, chest and her whole body.”

Smyth would also use a towel on her body and legs.

The second woman stated Smyth would wash her as a child with a sponge or face cloth.

Mr Allan said: “He would wash all over her back and body which made her feel uncomfortable.

“She said that she just did what she was told.”

Smyth told the court in his evidence that the women were lying and claimed to have been friends with them.

Defence advocate Geoffrey Forbes told the sentencing that his client continues to deny the offences. 

Mr Forbes also stated: “These offences were committed 40 years ago when he was a young man who had just turned 20.

“If he were being sentenced today for new offences he would fall under the young persons sentencing protocols.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in