Concerns have been raised over insufficient safeguarding measures in place to protect children in entry-level motor sport following revelations that Andrew Fairley, owner of Clan Racing Team, admitted to indecently assaulting a teenage boy in Edinburgh in 1996.
Mr Fairley then established “Clan Racing”, a children’s kart racing team in Larkhall, in or around 1997 and managed the team for approximately 20 years. Mr Fairley was not DBS checked nor was he required to disclose his offences.
In or around 2017, an allegation was made against Fairley by a person who had been a child in Clan Racing in the mid-2000s. The victim, now in his twenties, alleged that he was abused by Fairley over a period of several years from the age of nine years old and that the abuse occurred whilst he travelled with the racing team.
The matter was investigated by Motherwell police in December 2017 and Clan Racing ceased to trade.
Fairley would take children on overnight trips to races. His history was not known to parents who entrusted their children to his care. Motorsport UK, the body which oversees the sport, has stated that “safeguarding and safety are paramount to the running of the sport and we will be continuing our efforts to ensure watertight safeguarding practices are adopted across motorsport.” However, it is concerning that the sport was inadequately regulated at the time that the abuse occurred.
This bares resemblance to the issues which have befallen the football industry following the disclosure by numerous individuals of incidents of abuse by football coaches. The matter clearly indicates that there is or has been a lack of protection of children in various sports and that greater awareness is needed regarding child sexual abuse in sport.
Sports clubs are often held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees and have a duty to protect children in their care.
Here at Farleys, we have substantial experience of dealing with allegations of sexual abuse within sports clubs and we appreciate that it can be very difficult to talk about what happened. We address all enquiries with sensitivity and in the strictest confidence. Call our specialist abuse line on 0330 134 6430 or email us today.