Ex-police officer accused of abusing children

Phillip McCarthy faces charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Greg Macvean
Phillip McCarthy faces charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A FORMER policeman has gone on trial accused of abusing two young children in the 1980s and 90s.

Phillip McCarthy, 55, faces charges of lewd and libidinous practices against a young girl – where he is alleged to have struck her on the naked body with a belt – and he is also accused of repeatedly attacking a teenage boy.

In addition, he and partner Jane Kitt have been accused of abandoning a young girl in their care on a number of occasions.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard yesterday from the alleged male victim who claimed McCarthy “frequently” punched him on the body and also hit him with a belt several times. The man described the abuse he suffered at the hands of McCarthy as “horrendous”.

He claimed that on one occasion, McCarthy used his police-issued handcuffs to tie him to a pipe outside a house.

When asked by fiscal depute Mark Keane why he didn’t report the abuse at the time, he replied: “Because he was a police officer I didn’t think they would do anything.”

McCarthy’s defence agent Jim Stephenson, in cross-examination, accused the witness of making up the allegations. He said it was suspicious that no-one else had noticed the bruises on the child’s body over the three-year period of alleged abuse. Kitt’s defence agent, Mark Harrowe,r also suggested that the man’s allegations were entirely fabricated. He questioned the statement he gave to police. “You told us earlier that he handcuffed you outside the house,” said Mr Harrower. “It’s the first thing you told us about, but you didn’t mention it [to police] in August or November. Why?” The alleged victim replied: “I don’t know.”

McCarthy, of Gilmerton Road, has pleaded not guilty to four charges. It is alleged that on various occasions between March 9, 1986 and January 11, 1989, at addresses in the 
Capital, he assaulted a 
teenage boy by repeatedly punching him on the body, seizing him by the arm and forcing it behind his body, to his injury.

He is also accused of assaulting a girl from the age of seven by seizing her by the head, repeatedly punching her on the body, knocking her to the ground, and striking her on the naked body with a belt, to her injury, between March 9, 1986 and October 17, 1995.

McCarthy faces a further charge of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards an under-age teenage girl between 
October 18, 1993 and October 17, 1995, by repeatedly making sexually inappropriate remarks and handling her breasts.

He and Kitt, 61, also of Gilmerton Road, are accused of wilfully abandoning a child in their care and leaving the child alone in the house for extended periods of time, between October 18, 1990 and October 17, 1995.

The trial, before Sheriff Jamie Gilmour, continues.