Ex-police officer accused of ‘belting’ young girl

Phillip McCarthy is on trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Phillip McCarthy is on trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

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A FORMER police officer accused of abusing two young children wept in court as he described the allegations as “nonsense”.

Phillip McCarthy took to the witness stand at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to dismiss the charges between 1986 and 1995, as “dangerous” and “untrue”.

He and partner Jane Kitt – also known as Jean – are accused of abandoning a young girl in their care on several prolonged occasions.

When the claims were put to McCarthy – including one that he handcuffed a young boy to a pole – he repeatedly replied: “That didn’t happen.”

Defence agent Jim Stephenson said the alleged female victim “talked about beatings with a belt on her naked body”.

McCarthy replied: “These are dangerous allegations to make to someone who was a police officer at that time. They are untrue.”

He said he remembered “nothing at all” about an alleged incident where it is claimed he touched the teenage girl inappropriately.

Defence agent Mark Harrower, for Kitt, asked McCarthy to react to accusations that he was “belting” children in between shifts with Lothian and Borders Police.

He replied: “That’s nonsense.”

McCarthy insisted that the allegations had been made in a bid to extort money from him.

Defence solicitor Jim Stephenson said: “How do you feel about what’s happened?”

Wiping back tears, he said: “It’s very upsetting. I can deal with it because of my previous experience, but it’s very difficult to support Jean.”

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 six 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. Kitt denies this allegation.

On the latter two charges, the defence solicitors made a submission that there was no case to answer, but Sheriff Jamie Gilmour repelled their argument. The trial continues.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com