Northern Ireland news

Former Celtic kitman and youth football coach Jim McCafferty charged in Belfast over sex abuse claims

Jim McCafferty was arrested after walking into a police station. Picture by Alan Lewis, Photopress

A FORMER Celtic kit man arrested in Belfast has been charged with child sex abuse.

Jim McCafferty (70), from Wishaw, Lanarkshire in Scotland, worked for Celtic as a scout before he became a kit man and was employed with the Glasgow club's youth team. He also worked for other Scottish clubs including Falkirk and Hibernian, before moving to the north about seven years ago.

He was charged last night with sexual activity with a child in Northern Ireland. McCafferty is to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on Thursday. 

McCafferty has admitted to "paedophile tendencies" and said he had sexual contact with around a dozen boys, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.

He told the newspaper he had abused children in the 80s and 90s while coaching boys' and junior teams at West Lothian.

He also admitted to having abused young players at Celtic between 1990 and 1996, the newspaper said.

McCafferty, who now lives in Belfast, was arrested by police after he handed himself in to a station on Tuesday night.

Following his arrest, Detective Superintendent Deirdre Bones, from the PSNI's public protection branch, said he was detained "on suspicion of sexual offences against children in Northern Ireland".

Police in Scotland said they have received information about alleged historic offences and will investigate.

A police spokesman said: "Police Scotland has received a report of non-recent sexual abuse and will commence inquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this matter."

The arrest comes amid a series of allegations about the historic abuse of young footballers in Britain.

Around 350 people have come forward to say some coaches sexually abused them as children.

The PSNI has said it is investigating "a very small number" of allegations of child sexual abuse related to football clubs in the north, although it is not yet clear which clubs are involved.

 

 

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