Former youth football coach jailed for sexually abusing boys

A former football coach who abused boys was today jailed for four years.

Francis Cairney, 83, committed the offences against boys as young as 12 between 1965 and 1986.

He met the boys through his role as a football coach and abused them at various locations including his car, a school and church hall in Uddingston and at Parkhead and Barrowfield training ground in Glasgow.

The trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that he locked one of his victims in a room and made him sit in a chair before assaulting him and on another occasion followed him into an empty hut before forcing him against a wall and assaulting him.

Speaking after the sentencing Fraser Gibson, procurator fiscal for South Strathclyde and Dumfries & Galloway, said: “For over 20 years Francis Cairney engaged in predatory behaviour and committed these crimes while being in a position commanding respect and trust.

“His offending began more than 50 years ago and those who gave evidence should be commended for coming forward to report what he had done to them and providing the basis for this prosecution.

“I hope that this action provides confidence to victims of historic sexual abuse that action will be taken, and our expert prosecutors will act with professionalism and integrity to ensure that justice is seen to be done.”