Frank Cairney, aged 87, was deemed unfit to stand trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this week. As a result, an examination of the fact hearing took place instead of a trial. 

The court had previously heard that Cairney suffered from health problems including dementia. He was not required to be present at court for the examination of facts hearing. Cairney had previously been sentenced to three years imprisonment for abusing seven boys over a 20-year time period. 

The court heard the Cairney abused the young boys between 1978 and 1989. The offending behaviour took place at Celtic Park shower room and dressing room at the Barrowfield training ground. The abuse also took place during a trip to Aviemore and in his car. 

Evidence was heard from a victim of the abuse. He told the court that Cairney followed him into the shower room. He explained: “He put his arms around me to hug me in a consoling way I thought at the time. He put his hand on my lower back and his other hand was at the top of the inside of my leg. He then moved his hand and touch my private parts and lower stomach”. 

The man went onto described other sexual assaults on him by Cairney. All three victims told the court of the abuse they experienced. 

It was heard that some victims did not come forward due to the fear of the impact it would have on their careers and the influence of Cairney. 

Sheriff Tom Hughes, in giving his verdict, stated: On the balance of probabilities, there are no grounds for acquitting Cairney and I make findings to that effect. The victims gave evidence on what must have been very difficult circumstances for them. They gave their evidence with great dignity and I hope they can put the circumstances of these offences behind them and start to move on with their lives”. 

The Procurator Fiscal did not move for sentence after the verdict due to Cairney being unfit to stand trial. The case was deserted pro loco et tempore.