Father loses claim over sex-abuse allegations

A father who claimed his daughter falsely accused him of sadistic sex abuse while undergoing “recovered memory therapy” lost a £250,000 damages action yesterday.

James Fairlie, 63, said his family life was shattered after a psychiatrist disclosed his belief that the allegations were true.

However, a judge ruled that Mr Fairlie’s case could not be allowed to proceed to a stage where he would be given the chance to prove that the doctor had been negligent.

The Court of Session was told that in 1994, Katrina Fairlie, then 24, was treated for severe abdominal pains, and when her symptoms continued she was admitted to a psychiatric unit at the Murray Royal Hospital, Perth.

Mr Fairlie, of Crieff, said his daughter underwent intensive “recovered memory therapy”.

According to Mr Fairlie, Katrina, as a result of the therapy, alleged that he and others had sexually abused her in a brutal and sadistic manner. He maintained that the allegations “were entirely without foundation” and were subsequently withdrawn by Katrina, but not before social workers and the police had become involved.

Perth & Kinross Healthcare NHS Trust denied that Katrina had undergone recovered memory therapy, or that the psychiatrist had told members of the family that he believed Mr Fairlie had abused her.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Scotsman, UK
July 9, 2004
John Robertson, Law Correspondent

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