Jim Torbett founded Celtic Boys Club in 1966. It was created as a separate entity from the Celtic football club. Torbett had two stretches at the Boys’ Club, the first from 1966-1974.
Jim Torbett then returned around 1980 and stayed until 1996 when a series of Daily Record stories revealed abuse claims against him.
Torbett was jailed for two years in 1998 on conviction of abusing three former Celtic Boys’ Club players, including former Scotland international Alan Brazil, between 1967-1974.
Last month, BBC Scotland aired a programme called Football Abuse: The ugly Side of the Beautiful Game. The programme makes allegations by two other men that were sexually abused by Torbett. Torbett denies the allegations.
One of them, Kenny Campbell, told the programme he was molested dozens of times by Torbett over a period of up to four years and the abuse carried on even after he was signed by the senior Celtic team. The programme revealed:
“■New evidence that the reasons for Torbett leaving Celtic Boys’ Club in 1974 were covered up
■Claims that Torbett was allowed to return to the Boys’ Club despite being sacked for abuse
■The first evidence from former Celtic Boys’ Club players claiming they were abused by Torbett in his second spell at the Boys’ Club during the 1980s and 90s”
Kenny told the programme he did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time: “I just thought it was natural. I just thought that was what happened. I trusted the wrong person. It took me years and years to realise that. He’s got a lot to answer for.”
Mark Daly BBC Scotland Investigations Correspondent and cameraman Alan Harcus travelled to the US to try and track Torbett after the programme had been aired. They tracked him down to a suburb of Modesto, in California. He denied being a paedophile. Torbett declined to answer the majority of the questions put to him about the abuse claims, but when asked about Kenny Campbell’s allegations, he answered: “I have a lot to say. I’ll see him in court.”
It is believed that Torbett is travelling on an Esta visa allowing a maximum stay of 90 days. Any convictions spent or otherwise, are meant to be declared to the US Embassy when applying for the Esta. It would be very unlikely that someone with a child sex offence conviction would be allowed entry to the US. Failure to declare previous convictions on an Esta is a criminal offence in the US.
A major police investigation is currently under way into claims that Torbett, and others at Celtic Boys Club, abused young boys there over several decades.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor, National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, Police Scotland, said: “Child abuse is incredibly difficult for people to revisit and to talk about. Our officers are highly specialist and are trained to deal with all reports sensitively. We would ask anyone who has been the victim of abuse, or has information about potential abuse to contact us on Police Scotland on 101; NSPCC helpline on 0800 023 2642; Childline on 0800 11 11; Talk Now on 01355 458272”
Jordans solicitors successfully represent numerous victims of historic abuse that they suffered by individuals and organsiations. Jordans Solicitors can provide expert support and legal advice in relation to compensation for the abuse. Speak to an advisor specialising in child abuse claims at Jordans today to see if you are entitled to pursue a claim for civil damages.