Prosecutors are being trained to be more understanding of abuse and its victims ahead of a predicted flood of court cases related to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The harrowing story of Andy Kershaw, who was subjected to brutality and abuse after being taken into care in England at the age of eight has been made into a film by the training consultancy Safe To Say.

The film, commissioned by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), will now form part of its staff training.

Number 69 takes its title from the number by which Mr Kershaw was referred to at a reform school, where children's names were barely used.

It tells the story of his quest for justice following years of institutional abuse and the unhelpful attitudes he encountered from authorities. After being taken into care he spent time in children' homes in Devon where he was abused by teachers and ran away before ending up in a Home Office approved school run by former military men at the age of 16.

"We weren't seen really as human," he recalls. "In Forde House [the approved school] if they shouted 'gloves on' we had to run to the gymnasium where two boys would be made to fight until one of you couldn't get up".

Like many others abused in care Andy emerged into the adult world a deeply traumatised and angry individual. He says years of being on the receiving end of a brutal regime had left him worthless and unable to deal with conflict, adding that survivors were more likely to "punch someone’s light’s out, and ask questions later."

But the longest lasting effect wasn't the brutality or lack of care, Mr Kershaw argues in the film, but the 'educational abuse'.

"We were worked like animals from 5am to 8pm at night. We got no education. People came out of those institutions unable to cope. I was lucky, I managed to learn to read and write later in life but that takes away your life chances."

A small number of individuals were successfully prosecuted following investigations into complaints by Andy and others failed by the care system, but he has carried campaigning to uncover institutional abuse and to bring those responsible before the courts.

The film is the first of four to be made by Edinburgh-based Safe to Say, which will also film the experiences of victims of in-care abuse from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Catriona Dalrymple, Procurator Fiscal for Policy and Engagement at COPFS stressed that the agency already had an international reputation for its specialist work on sexual crimes. But she said many survivors of abuse had a deep suspicion of officialdom: “We are keen to make sure our specialist prosecutors who are dealing with these kind of cases are aware of the survivors’ experiences. It isn’t just the impact of abuse but the impact of dealing with it and being let down by institutions.

"Individuals often have a feeling of being let down by the authorities and we don’t want to do anything as an organisation that perpetuates that."

As witnesses give evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, some of that is expected to be passed on to Police Scotland to investigate if a crime may have been committed.

That means the courts could deal wit many more abuse victims, Ms Dalrymple said: "We already deal with cases of historic and institutional abuse, but because of the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry we may receive more of these cases or inquiries from survivors about their cases.

"We want to make sure our prosecutors are appropriately skilled to engage effectively with survivors - that is why Andy’s story is so vital. He talks not just about physical, sexual and emotional abuse, but things like educational abuse.

"Our prosecutors need to be aware of that, and the major impact on life chances that can have on victims. They will be aware once they’ve listened to Andy’s experience,” she said.

Sue Hampson, of Safe To Say, said: "we thought it was really important that Andy's story was heard. We will be working with the Crown Office to help staff explore the complexities of these cases so we can help them understand people's reactions and help survivors through any court cases."