Father sues over bogus abuse case

A former top official in the Scottish National Party who was falsely accused of sexually abusing his daughter is suing an NHS trust for £250,000.

Jim Fairlie said his daughter Katrina underwent a discredited therapy which produced false memories of violence.

He has asked a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to allow a full hearing against NHS Tayside.

It has taken Mr Fairlie, a former SNP deputy leader, eight years and almost £100,000 to get his case this far.


Katrina was undergoing recovered memory therapy in a psychiatric hospital in Perth when she made a series of devastating allegations of sexual abuse by her father.

She later said those claims were completely untrue and a police investigation found there was no evidence of abuse.

The family are now reunited but the former SNP deputy leader will tell the court how his reputation was destroyed and his family torn apart.

Mr Fairlie said: “Anyone who has been accused of paedophilia or rape, or in my case murder and running a paedophile ring, it’s an enormous thing to take on board knowing that there is absolutely no evidence that there could be any possibility that any of those things took place.

“So the effect on the family is absolutely devastating.”

He will argue that the hospital was negligent for using the therapy, claiming it led to false memory syndrome.

NHS Tayside said that with legal action under way, it would be inappropriate to make any comment.

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Dec. 11, 2003

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014