Former Salvation Army man assaulted teens in his care

Stirling Sheriff Court
Stirling Sheriff Court
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Six vulnerable teenagers were attacked in a children’s home by a former Salvation Army member while they were in his care.

James McManus (68) hit the youngsters, four boys and two girls aged between 12 and 16, on the head with his hand and also pulled the girls’ hair.

Appearing at Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday (Wednesday), McManus had previously pled guilty to the assaults he committed at the former Dock Street Children’s Home in Carronshore in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The court heard the boys were assaulted in the course of getting a row, but the attacks on the girls seemed to come out of nowhere.

Edith Forrest, representing McManus, said her client had “suffered a totally unacceptable loss of composure in the face of challenging behaviour by the children”.

It was stated the children at the home were “frightened” of McManus, who was 26 stone at the time and would go about his work in his Salvation Army uniform.

Allegations McManus hit children with wooden batons and rendered one unconscious were dropped by the prosecution.

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson said: “Much has been said about the fact this happened in a different era. But what you did would never have been acceptable, even in relation to any form of discipline.

“Assaulting these complainers, vulnerable boys and girls in the home, wouldn’t have been acceptable in any circumstances, even then.”

He sentenced McManus, of Braehead, Renfrewshire, to 240 hours community service.