THE death of a leading campaigner for victims of child abuse in state care has led to renewed calls for Deputy First Minister John Swinney to put an interim compensation scheme in place.

Frank Docherty, who died yesterday at the age of 74, was one of the founders of the charity In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), of which he was honorary president.

In 1954 aged nine, he and his siblings were removed from the care of alcoholic parents and sent to the Catholic-run orphanage Smyllum Park, in Lanark. But while there, he suffered regular physical abuse including beatings and humiliation.

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The institution is among those currently under investigation by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, which is not due to report until October 2019.

Mr Docherty was hailed as a hero by fellow abuse survivors, who said his situation demonstrated the need a system of reparation and redress for elderly survivors who may not survive to see the inquiry’s conclusion.

The Scottish Human Rights Commission worked with the Scottish Government and survivors to develop an action plan to provide effective remedies for abuse victims, which reported in 2014.

But education secretary John Swinney has since commissioned the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland to develop further proposals. It will not report until later this year.

Campaigners point to reparation schemes already set up in Northern Ireland and by Lambeth Council.

In February, Mr Docherty complained four Incas’ committee members had so far died without seeing closure and railed against the legal restriction which means victims such as himself, whose abuse took place before 1964, cannot seek civil redress.

“Why can Australia do it? Why can Ireland do it? And Canada? And yet here, they have got a cut-off date,” he said.

Alan Draper, parliamentary spokesman for Incas, said Mr Docherty was a man of great courage and had epitomised the struggle for accountability, justice and redress since helping found the charity 20 years ago.

“The current government were finally forced into a Public Inquiry but continue to show a total disregard for the suffering endured by survivors in their refusal to grant interim payments to sick and elderly survivors. They need to hang their heads in shame,” Mr Draper added.

“Frank will never be forgotten, not just by his family , but by the many who had joined in the fight and by the hundreds of survivors he gave comfort to over the years by his compassion and the gift of his time which he readily offered,” he said. “Frank was a hero. May he rest in peace.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Frank Docherty and our sympathies are with his family.

"This Government has taken unprecedented steps to give a voice, and support to survivors of child abuse in care, including establishing one of the widest-ranging public inquiries that Scotland has ever seen.

“The Scottish Government is committed to consulting with survivor groups and other relevant parties, to fully explore the issue of financial redress.”

He said consultation would soon take place over a possible scheme. “A significant amount of preparatory work is being undertaken to ensure we get this right, which is being undertaken in the closest cooperation with INCAS and other survivor groups.  After which, there will be a three month formal consultation period, followed by a further stage of analysis, with options expected to be presented to Scottish Ministers by the end of 2017.”