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LET THEM ROT!; Fury as kids' home fiends get 27 years.

Two paedophiles were yesterday caged for the horrific sex abuse of children in their care.

As Gordon Knott and Brian Maclennan were led from the dock, their victims screamed: "Rot in hell, you beasts."

The perverts were jailed for a total of 27 years. Their four-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh was described as one of the most sickening ever held in Scotland.

Knott, 43, was found guilty of 10 serious sex offences against children and having paedophile pornography.

Maclennan, 51, was convicted of two charges of having sex with under- age girls and three charges of indecency.

A third man, Michael Cull, 43, walked free after the charges against him were found not proven.

Knott was jailed for 16 years by Lord Bonomy and Maclennan got 11 years.

Knott used to work at Clerwood Children's Home in Edinburgh, where he was Assistant House Father looking after children up to the age of 15.

He later worked at another home, Glenallan in the Inch area of Edinburgh. Maclennan was the former boss of Dean House children's home in the upmarket Ravelston district of Edinburgh.

Last night, the former director of social work in Edinburgh, Roger Kent, refused to speak about the case.

He was in charge of all the homes where Knott and Maclennan worked.

Last year, Kent was brought out of retirement by the Government to review childcare in Scotland's homes.

Weeks ago, he published a special report called The Children's Safeguard Review.

In it, he said: "The abuse of children is abhorent; they are entitled to the protection of adults and it should be expected.

"When protecting children we have to be ready to think the unthinkable."

A police probe was sparked after a chance meeting between a former resident of a home and a care worker.

Last night, it emerged that the inquiry was hampered by a lack of proper social work records on who had been put in the homes, or employee details. The man in charge of the probe, Detective Inspector Tom Martin, said: "They could not give us any form of documents which would identify what children were in the homes."

He added bitterly: "All the day records for these homes were missing - destroyed in the floods and holocausts that we all know Edinburgh suffers from."

The abuse victims were in the public gallery to see Knott and Maclennan convicted by the jury after seven hours.

The victims cheered as the evil pair were sentenced.

Lord Bonomy told the sickos: "You have behaved in a way that society finds repugnant.

"There can be no excuse for not controlling your urges and taking advantage of some of the most disadvantaged children committed to the care of both of you."

Earlier this week, the trial was delayed for a day after Cull - who was freed - tried to kill himself.

He returned to the dock on Wednesday with his arm in a sling.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:McIlwraith, Gordon
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 5, 1997
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