Lanark Ridgepark abuser is jailed for 10 years

Brian Dailey
Brian Dailey

A once-respected Lanark care worker has begun a 10-year jail sentence for a decade of acts of sexual abuse and violence towards children that started at the town’s former Ridgepark residential school over 40 years ago.

On Thursday at the High Court in Edinburgh, Brian Dailey, 70, was led to the cells in shame following his conviction for such acts at various establishments across Scotland.

Ridgepark School, Lanark.

Ridgepark School, Lanark.

Last week, the Gazette told how possibly his first victim, ex-Ridgepark pupil Robert McCuaig, now 55, claimed his life had been ruined by Dailey’s sexual and physical abuse he received at Dailey’s hands during a six-month period straddling 1973 and 1974.

He had called for a sentence to reflect the legacy of mental illness those experiences at the age of 11 had left him with, and on Thursday he sat in the public benches of the court to watch the man he blamed for a blighted life sent to jail for a decade.

Until the charges against Dailey were made public, he remained a respected figure in Lanark and was still an emeritus member of the Lanimer committee despite not having lived in the town for many years.

The Gazette understands that he attended this year’s celebrations in June, ironically mingling with the hundreds of happy children taking part.

During his trial shortly afterwards, Dailey denied a total of seven charges of indecency and assault, eventually being convicted on five counts and acquitted on two of the sexual abuse allegations.

Among his convictions were those for the sexual and physical abuse of Mr McCuaig at Ridgepark when it was a residential school for children with learning difficulties. It now plays an entirely different role.

The remaining convictions, arising from incidents at two Edinburgh institutions after he left Ridgepark, were two of indecent acts against a boy and girl and a physical assault on the boy.

Said investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Martin MacLean: “Dailey is a predator who targeted vulnerable children in his care.

“He frequently moved to different care homes, which helped to allow his behaviour to go undetected.

“Thanks to the courage of his victims, he has now finally been held to account. I thank the victims for their assistance throughout this investigation. Hopefully, the significant sentence imposed on Dailey will provide them with some sense of justice.”