May 2023

Greenock Christian mission worker struck off

A pervert locked up last year for sex abuse against children while working at a Greenock Christian mission has been struck off the care register.

Andrew Ward’s crimes were branded ‘heinous’ by a sheriff last July after he was convicted of preying on young boys over a period of eight years.

The 53-year-old sex offender was sentenced to 36 months behind bars for indecent assault and using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards his victims when they were aged between nine and 15.

He used his position and influence over the young boys to sexually abuse them whilst he was an adult volunteer at the Barnard’s Court Mission in the east end of Greenock.

The Telegraph previously reported that Ward repeatedly molested and performed disgusting acts on the youngsters between 1986 and 1994.

His traumatised and emotional victims gave harrowing evidence during a four-day trial of how Ward targeted them in places including a common close and onboard a minibus.

A sentencing hearing at Greenock Sheriff Court was told how Ward’s wife, who has a child with him, separated from him after he was charged by police.

This week, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) published a report confirming Ward – who also worked in a local care home – has been removed from the care register.

The SSSC found his fitness to practise is impaired because his actions ‘represent conduct which is fundamentally incompatible with the principles of the social services profession and professional registration’.

The report on the decision on Ward states: “Your conduct is extremely serious and constitutes a gross breach of trust.

“There are ongoing public protection concerns as the behaviour is of an extreme nature.

“There is no evidence of any remediation from you.

“Conduct of this nature raises serious and fundamental questions about your values and there is a risk that this behaviour may be repeated in the future.”

Greenock Sheriff Court was told last year that Ward had shown ‘no insight’ into his offending behaviour and that his attitude about what he had done was ‘poor’, having branded his victims ‘evil liars’.

A jury took just 35 minutes to convict him and he was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

The SSSC report adds: “Your actions exposed the children concerned to serious risk of physical, emotional and psychological harm.

“There was therefore a presumption of trust and your conduct represents a gross abuse of this.

“Your behaviour amounts to a pattern of conduct over a significant period of time.”

The SSSC panel considered that no other sanctions were appropriate and imposed a removal order on Ward’s registration, which came into effect on Thursday.