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ICYMI: 'We want our abuser to die in jail for what he did to us'

By Donna MacAllister

A BROTHER and sister who were sexually abused by their “vile” step-father have lifted the lid on the lies and betrayal that haunted their childhood.

Shame and embarrassment formed the foundation of Angela Matheson and Garry Falconer’s lives.

But watching 77-year-old perpetrator Frederick Falconer being led out of the dock in handcuffs earlier this month after he was convicted of historic child sex abuse has given them the courage to speak exclusively to the Inverness Courier about the damage he has done to their lives.

“I want him to die in jail,” said ex-RAF serviceman Garry, who is now in his 50s.

“I hope he never sees the light of day again.

Frederick Falconer was "a gentleman" to the outside world.
Frederick Falconer was "a gentleman" to the outside world.

The siblings were born and raised in Glasgow, moving to Lentran near Inverness when the family relocated north in 1982.

They recall “nasty Freddie” being “so nice and charming to everybody” and being well respected by his co-workers at the former United Glass Company bottling plant.

But behind closed doors he was “a vile and disgusting man”.

“My very first memory of childhood is being abused by him,” Garry said. “I was three years old.”

The assaults went on “like clockwork” once, sometimes two times a week.

Garry knew the perverted step-dad was also molesting his little sister but says it was so shameful it was not spoken about.

Garry and Angela Falconer.
Garry and Angela Falconer.

A particularly painful memory was their mother’s twice-weekly shopping trip.

“Me and Angela always hoped she would take us with her because we knew the one that was left in the house was the one that was going to get his abuse.”

Angela was the first to break her silence about the abuse.

She managed to bring a conviction against the twisted man in 1992.

Falconer got four years in jail after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Angela on various occasions over a 12-month period in the mid-80s when she was a teenager.

Garry recalls feeling so much embarrassment at the impending court case that he quit his catering course at Inverness College.

He said: “I felt so ashamed and embarrassed because Angela was my little sister and I should have protected her. But I always knew I would get him sent down for what he did to us.

'Vile and disgusting man'.

When a jury found Frederick Falconer guilty this month, it was the third time the perverted pensioner had been sent to jail for sex crimes.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Falconer, of Creag Dhubh Terrace in Inverness, was found guilty of lewd and libidinous practices.

And he was jailed for four years for offences dating between July 22, 1971 and March 17, 1974 and between July 22, 1977 and July 21, 1982.

He was also charged with attempted rape but this was not proven.

The reason the charge misses out the period March 18, 1974 to July 21, 1977 was that Falconer was already in prison between those dates for sex offences relating to a different case.

Among his victims were siblings Angela Matheson and Garry Falconer.

Garry wants to inspire other victims to speak out. He blames lingering trauma of the childhood abuse for problems in his personal life.

He says the bad memories and his fear and distrust of others led to the break-up of his marriage and ultimately cost him his RAF career which came to an end 17 years ago.

He has since turned to alcohol as a means of coping with his experience of abuse but says he is working hard to pull his life together after finding the courage to tell police about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Falconer.

Speaking from his home at Couper, the 51-year-old, who is unemployed and has made repeated attempts to take his own life as he struggles with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, said: “There are very few grown men who were abused as children coming forward and I want to help other people to do that and get some closure in their lives as well.

“I feel a bit stronger since Freddie got sent down but I’m also nervous about speaking out because I know as soon as this story comes out it’s going to have a big impact on my life

because I’m going to have my face out there and my voice out there, but I’m the victim here, I’m not the perpetrator.

“And all that abuse that I went through has taught me one thing: in life you should only listen to the voices of those who believe you. Ignore everyone else.”

He added: “If I ever see that man again I only have one thing I want to say to him: What a vile and disgusting man you are.”

Falconer at the fairground in the 1990s.
Falconer at the fairground in the 1990s.

Sister Angela (49), of Innes Street, Inverness, who works as a project manager for Highland Council, also hopes that her story will help others.

Describing the toll it took on her own life until a decade ago when self-help methods turned her around for the better, she said: “I had attempted suicide from the age of 14 till I was 26 but then I made a promise to myself I would never do it again, which I haven’t, but that didn’t stop me being on and off anti-depressants long-term.”

She went on: “For me the trauma that you suffer as a child has a very detrimental impact on all aspects of your life; being in relationships and trusting was difficult.

“You think you’re worthless especially if your school work suffered, just like what happened to me."

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