• STV
  • MySTV

Celtic Boys Club founder Jim Torbett guilty of sex abuse

The 71-year-old was jailed for six years after a trial at High Court in Glasgow.

The founder of Celtic Boys Club has been found guilty of sexual abuse.

Jim Torbett had denied abusing two former youth players and another boy between 1986 and 1994.

But the 71-year-old was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday and jailed for six years. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

He was previously jailed 20 years ago for abusing young footballers.

Torbett - who had been living in California - was charged in 2017 following fresh allegations of sex attacks.

Lord Beckett told Torbett: "Yours is some of the most corrupting behaviour I have ever heard of in these courts. Your depraved conduct towards innocent children has blighted their lives."

'Yours is some of the most corrupting behaviour I have ever heard of in these courts. Your depraved conduct towards innocent children has blighted their lives'
Lord Beckett

He targeted two teenagers, including one who worshipped him as a "hero", and abused a five year-old boy at a trophy business he once owned.

Two victims gave evidence during Torbett's trial.

A now 46-year-old man told jurors he played for Celtic Boys Club when he was 14. He said Torbett attacked him on a trip to France.

The witness told the trial: "I was in my bed in a dormitory. Jim Torbett was standing there with a shirt and underpants on. He proceeded to do a striptease. He took his shirt off and was dancing."

The man said Torbett - who kept his pants on - was moving the shirt back and forwards between his legs.

Another man who played in the team as a young boy died in a swimming accident before he could give evidence in court. But a police statement given before his death helped secure justice.

The 41-year-old told officers he was first abused in Torbett's car after training and later at his flat.

The final victim, a now 35-year-old man, was abused at the trophy business Torbett ran in Glasgow.

'I was instructed by Mr Torbett to take my shorts and underwear down'
Victim

The witness - who was as young as five at the time - was attacked while on his own with Torbett.

He told the trial: "I was instructed by Mr Torbett to take my shorts and underwear down. He stood looking at me for a while. It seemed like ages. He said everything was fine then left the room."

Torbett showed no emotion as he was led to the cells after the jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting the first victim.

He was also convicted of lewd and libidinous conduct and indecent assault against the second player.

Torbett was further guilty of the same two charges on the third boy. A further allegation of lewd and libidinous conduct against that victim was found not proven.

Torbett, from Glasgow, founded the club in 1966 when he was around 18 years old.

He told the court they used Celtic's name and played in Celtic strips, but were not connected to the football club.

His first conviction for abusing young players came in 1998, when he was jailed at Glasgow Sheriff Court for preying on three boys between 1967 and 1974.

Speaking after Monday's sentencing, Kenny Donnelly, procurator fiscal for sexual offences, said: "James Torbett engaged in predatory behaviour and committed these crimes after establishing himself as someone in a position of trust with responsibility for children.

"While his offending began more than 30 years ago, those who gave evidence should be commended for coming forward, reporting his offending and providing the basis for this prosecution.

"I hope that this case provides confidence to victims of sexual abuse that no matter how long ago they suffered abuse, action can and will be taken against their abusers, and that our expert prosecutors will act with professionalism and respect to ensure that justice is done."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.