Council accused of ‘abhorrent breach of trust’ after admitting liability in Linda McCall case

Families of youngsters who were the victims of attacks by Borders teacher Linda McCall say they feel vindicated, after Scottish Borders Council admitted liability in the ongoing civil case.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:54 am
Scottish Borders Council has admitted liability in a civil case after former teacher Linda McCall was convicted of attacks on pupils.

McCall was found guilty in July of assaulting five autistic, some non-verbal, pupils with special needs, between the ages of five and seven.

The parents, who said they had “life changing trauma” inflicted upon them and launched the civil case, in which Andrew Webster QC is looking into how the initial internal inquiry at the council had cleared McCall of any wrongdoing.

Marina Urie, a senior solicitor with Thompsons Galashiels office who represents all the families involved, said: “My clients have been fully vindicated by the admission of liability in our civil cases.

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"They have had a long and torturous journey to get to this stage.

"They have been met with a wall of obstruction from Scottish Borders Council, who five years ago told them the allegations had been investigated and were untrue.

"This is shocking given they now admit liability in the civil cases.

"The families involved deserve a full public apology and we await with great interest the results of Andrew Webster QC’s inquiry into this awful affair.”

Borders MSP Christine Grahame, who supported the parents in making the civil case, said: “The parents have now been vindicated in both the criminal court and civil court, however this I know is cold comfort.

"At the centre of all this we have young children, often non verbal and unable to clearly communicate, who have been traumatised by the abuse they endured, abuse which they were unable to understand or communicate to anyone.

"It is an abhorrent breach of trust by those we trust to care for the most vulnerable in society and Scottish Borders Council must face up to its role in this.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “This remains an ongoing legal matter, which is being is being undertaken on behalf of Scottish Borders Council by external solicitors, and it has not yet been finalised. We have no further comment to make at this stage.”