Man accused of abusing children in Edinburgh – including locking one in a coffin

A man is accused of physically and sexually abusing a number of children – including locking one in a coffin.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 9:18 am
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 9:20 am

Brian McKernan, 64, faced the allegations during a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

The charges span between 1973 and 1980 at addresses in Edinburgh including in Wester Hailes.

One allegation claims McKernan forced a teenage girl into a van and hit her on the head and body.

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The hearing took place at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

It further states he did then “lock her in a coffin” and “detain her there against her will”.

A separate charge alleges he helped assault another girl “with intent to procure the miscarriage” of a child she was 
carrying.

The same girl is also said to have had her hands burnt on a fire, hit with a whip and her head held under a basin of 
water.

McKernan further faces charges of lewd and libidinous behaviour towards children.

Frances Forsyth, 79, joined him in the dock for the hearing. She is accused of neglecting children and that she knew McKernan was harming them.

It is claimed Forsyth did “instruct” him to “assault them”. She is accused of making youngsters eat dog food and forcing one boy to live outside in a tent.