BROADCASTER Bill McFarlan says that when Francis Currens was in

Peterhead Prison he was interviewed by the Crown and apologised for

abusing Eric Cullen.

''He was asked if Eric had ever been involved in these activities and

he said that he had never been. And he went on to apologise,'' says Mr


''How can he apologise for the wrong that has been done? Eric Cullen

has been in jail, figuratively speaking, for the best part of two years,

and he is still in jail. This is not the case of Eric Cullen, it is the

case of Francis Currens being tried all over again. The trouble is the

two have become completely enmeshed.''

His friends believe that Cullen was repeatedly abused for around seven

years by Currens and a number of other men, including one Church of

Scotland minister.

Two or three years ago, when Cullen was appearing in pantomime, he

began receiving threatening calls from one of these male relatives and

he was blackmailed with threats of exposure to the tune of #7000.

Mr McFarlan adds: ''I first met Eric Cullen when we were making a

programme together to turn children away from bus vandalism. When the

publicity broke we had to call it off and it cost me money. I fervently

believe, however, that when you believe in someone then you should stand

by them.

''I think what has happened in court has happened because Eric is sick

of all of it and is not willing to risk more heartbreak and breakdown.

''It is obvious to me that serious police mistakes have been made all

along the line and that the victim is Eric Cullen. Who was pulling the

strings? It is very sinister. Were the police afraid of being blamed for

the publicity which almost blew the case against Currens?'' Mr McFarlan


He is convinced that Cullen had been more sinned against than sinning:

''The worst thing that can happen to someone who has been sexually

abused is for uninformed rumour and speculation to label him the abuser

instead of the victim,'' he said.

''Eric Cullen was very badly let down by the police when he needed

their help most. He gave them the evidence they needed against his

abuser and against two other men. As far as I am aware, nothing has been

done against these other two.

''Instead, there has been a relentless tide of rumour and publicity

about Eric. I believe the police, having lifted the lid slightly at the

start, could not then afford to loose face.

''The result is they have crucified Eric Cullen, simply because he was