17 June 2007
BOSS FORCED OUT FOR EXPOSING ABUSE
A FORMER boss at a scandal-hit secure school yesterday claimed he was forced out for blowing the whistle on abuse of pupils.
Stephen Malone, 36, who was head of addiction services, complained to senior management after a 12-year-old girl was thrown down stairs.
He was immediately sent on leave - and never asked to return.
Mr Malone spoke out after a report last week exposed abuse by 40 staff at Kerelaw School in Stevenston, Ayrshire, over a 30-year period.
He claims he described to deputy head Chris Johnson how the girl was thrown "like a rag doll" by teacher John Muldoon, who is now in jail.
Johnson, in turn, reported the incident to head Jim Hunter.
The next day, Mr Malone, of Troon, gave evidence at a hearing. He was told to go on holiday.
Last night he said: "I was contacted by a 12-year-old girl who had seen Muldoon throwing this other 12-year-old down concrete steps in the school.
"It was called 'rag dolling'. A child would be picked up and thrown down - just like a rag doll.
"The girl was covered in bruises and the girl who witnessed the attack was deeply traumatised.
"I was horrified and had no hesitation in telling my superiors.
"Jim Hunter told me, 'I don't know what to do with you.' The message was clear - I had rocked the boat and was to disappear. I was never told when to return.
"I was made to feel I should have kept my mouth shut.
"The abuse seemed to have been going on for a while but no one wanted to do anything about it, for fear of threatening their jobs and pensions.
"There is no doubt in my mind there was a cover-up.
"After a week on holiday, I became so stressed out, I went to the doctor and he signed me off.
"After two months on sick leave, I was called to a meeting and decided just to resign.
"But I'm glad I reported this attack, even though I lost my job."
Mr Malone joined Kerelaw in March 2003 as the senior project worker for the youth addiction service and left a year later.
He helped the 75 children with their drink and drug problems.
The Sunday Mail first exposed abuse at Kerelaw in June 2004, when we revealed three teachers had been suspended.
In February last year, Muldoon, 53, was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh for two and-a-half years over acts of indecency with girls.
Art teacher Matthew George, 56, was given 10 years for sexual and physical abuse.
Glasgow Council, who ran Kerelaw, spent three years investigating abuse at the school, which shut last year. Their report last week said children had been sexually and physically abused.
Many staff also knew of the abuse but kept quiet. Fourteen were sacked or disciplined.
Two axed were head Hunter and his deputy Johnson, although neither is accused of abuse.