A HOUSE parent who sexually abused five young girls at the independent

school where he worked was sent to the High Court for sentence


A lawyer for bearded Adrian Batty, 42, told Dingwall Sheriff Court

that he had already received a death threat in Porterfield Prison,


Sheriff David Crowe criticised Raddery School on the Black Isle -- for

emotionally damaged children -- which, he said, had ''behaved in a naive

manner'' for employing an unqualified man like Batty and allowing him to

supervise young girls overnight.

Batty, who had been remanded in custody since his trial for reports,

stood unmoved as Sheriff Crowe told him: ''You were found guilty of five

offences of lewd, libidinous, and indecent behaviour involving five

separate girls all under the age of 16.''

He said what Batty had done to the girls might have been classed as

normal behaviour had it happened between consenting adults in private.

''All stated they were unhappy about what was being done to them but

they felt unable to complain.

''It is disturbing that one of the girls thought that this was to be

expected in the normal world.''

The sheriff added: ''The school was set up to treat emotionally

damaged children, some of whom had suffered previous sexual abuse. You

must have known in general terms why they were at the school.

''You were a house parent and you abused a position of trust.

''It might be mentioned that the school behaved in a naive manner. It

was happy to employ you though you had no educational or social work


''It was happy that the night room was moved from the boys' to the

girls' wing and happy that supervision was carried out by an unmarried


Sheriff Crowe said there was a reporting system to cover incidents of

a sexual nature and had Batty felt he was being subjected to sexual

advances he could have used it. He had not done this.

Batty, originally from Cumbria but who had been living with his

parents in Forres, Moray, was found guilty by a jury on September 7 of

indecency charges involving five girls at Raddery between 1983 and 1989.

His lawyer, Mr Neil Ramsay, said Batty had been held since the trial

at Porterfield Prison where ''his life has been threatened by another

inmate''. He said Batty had found himself in a situation where

''temptations had become a real and accessible demon''.

He said Batty's life had crumbled about him. He was married with two

young children and his wife had started divorce proceedings.

The offences came to light when one of the girls involved, now a

married woman with two children of her own, was convinced by her husband

that what had happened to her was ''out of order''. She had then

reported the matter and an investigation was launched.

Before the police inquiry started, the principal of Raddery, Mr David

Dean, who was awarded the OBE two years ago for services to education,

alerted the Scottish Office and Highland Region.

This resulted in a three-month inspection by HM Inspectors of Schools

and Raddery now has a child protection officer, a public phone which the

pupils can use, and at night two adults are on duty, one male and one

female, with only the female being allowed into the girls' bedrooms.

After the hearing, Mr Dean said: ''Raddery School was optimistic for

the professional future of Mr Batty.

''He had taken part in the school's extensive internal training

programme and at the time of his resignation was engaged in a course of

study with the Open University specifically directed towards working

with children and adolescents.

''He was supervised and supported throughout his period at Raddery by

well qualified and experienced staff members.

''The room used by the many staff engaged to carry out sleep-in

duties, as well as their other duties, was situated strategically

between a boys' bedroom and two girls' bedrooms.

''It was the most logical room from which to supervise all wings of

the building.

''Sadly, in this work nationally, there will always be a minute number

of staff members, qualified and unqualifed, married and unmarried, who

will transgress the trust placed in them in their work in residential

schools and children's homes.''

' You were a house parent and you abused a position of trust. It might

be mentioned that the school behaved in a naive manner. '

Sheriff David Crowe