A STUNNED Eric Cullen, Wee Burney of the BBC's Rab C Nesbitt series,

was led yesterday from Hamilton Sheriff Court to begin a nine-month

prison term for making an indecent video and taking indecent photographs

of young boys.

An immediate appeal for interim liberation was made to the High Court

in Edinburgh by Cullen's lawyer, Mr Maurice Smyth, which will be

followed by an appeal against the sentence.

In a plea to Sheriff Alexander Macpherson, Mr Smyth disclosed for the

first time that the accused had been the victim of systematic sexual

abuse since the age of 13, abuse which lasted until the early 1990s.

Cullen, 29, pleaded guilty to four charges: being in possession of a

quantity of obscene photographs of children and indecent videos at his

house in Hamilton; taking two indecent photographs of children;

shameless and indecent conduct by exposing himself in front of children;

and taking an indecent video of young boys.

On August 30, 1993, acting on information that Cullen had at his house

pornographic material relating to children, police went there with a

search warrant. Cullen told them: ''The stuff you are looking for is

upstairs. I will show you.''

He pointed out a cardboard box with more than 100 video tapes, and

said: ''That is not my stuff.'' Most were pornographic videos involving

an adult male and young boys and formed part of the prosecution against

a man who received a 14-year sentence. He opened a briefcase for the

police containing pornographic magazines and around 400 photographs

involving boys. About 50 were indecent.

On the fourth charge, Mr James Robertson, depute procurator-fiscal,

said the indecent video was taken when Cullen was acting in a

supervisory capacity at a youth centre at Moffat. One section taken in

the dormitory focussed on the boys' private parts.

Mr Smyth said the actor's success was all the more remarkable in that

in addition to the difficulties which had accompanied his life, from his

early years to the early 1990s he had been subjected to sexual abuse and

blackmail by adults who exploited his physical vulnerability through

violence and intimidation.

It was accepted by the Crown that the videos in the first charge were

the property of the paedophile Francis Currens, who had received the

14-year sentence.

An investigation into all aspects of Cullen's case had established

beyond all doubt he was not involved in any form of child abuse. The

sheriff accepted there had been little or no effect on the children


0 He fined Cullen #1000 on the possession charge, imposed two

sentences of six months imprisonment on the photograph charges to run

concurrently with the nine months sentence on the charge of taking an

indecent video.

BBC Scotland noted the outcome of the case ''with regret''.