Edinburgh teacher found to have persecuted young boys.

John Brownlee, a former teacher, inflicted sadistic cruelty on young boys at the Edinburgh Academy between 1967 and 1991. He has been found to have physically assaulted and emotionally abused children at the school.

Brownlee, 89, had been deemed medically unfit to be criminally tried and did not attend any hearings on the case. An examination of facts was held at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. At these proceedings, 42 former pupils gave evidence. Both the Crown and defence led evidence which was tested. 

Following the examination of facts, the Sheriff ruled that Brownlee had repeatedly committed a number of violent assaults, against children aged between 8 and 11 years of age, spanning 31 charges as well as ‘cruel and unnatural acts’ at the school.

Victims and witnesses described the habitual use of physical force and mental terror which they suffered throughout their time at school.

Brownlee was found to have assaulted some children with implements, such as a cricket bat, a snooker cue, a clacken, and a leather strap. He brutally and regularly attacked those in his care. Boys were slapped, kicked or punched, some of whom were left unconscious as a result of attacks upon them.

Katrina Parkes, Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for historic child abuse said:

“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) consistently and successfully strives to secure justice for those affected by historical abuse.

“Victims have been waiting lifetimes for recognition of the impact of abuse and have shared in their own words how childhood abuse has followed them throughout adulthood.”

“John Brownlee has been found to have committed acts of great cruelty, to have terrified those he was entrusted to nurture during his time as a teacher. It is now a matter of public record that such acts were committed by the accused.” 

“The intimidation of and the use of force upon children, and the protection of those who inflict it, has no place in Scottish society. COPFS remain committed to investigating and pursuing those culpable to seek conclusions.”