FORMER residents of a children's home in Rhu are reportedly to sue the charity which ran the facility over claims of physical and sexual abuse.

Lawyers acting for some of the alleged victims of abuse at the Lagarie children's home are taking legal action against the Sailors' Society in two test cases, according to the BBC.

In a 2018 documentary in the BBC's 'Disclosure' series, several people said they had been repeatedly abused while living at Lagarie, which opened in 1948 and was home to hundreds of children before its closure in 1982.

The then chief executive of the Sailors' Society told the documentary that the charity had "apologised unreservedly that this abuse happened".

READ MORE: Documentary uncovers allegations of abuse at children's home near Helensburgh

But the BBC reported on Friday that lawyer Patrick McGuire, from Thompsons Solicitors, said the charity had "not admitted liability" to the alleged victims.

Mr McGuire told the BBC the Sailors' Society had "failed to engage in any meaningful correspondence" on the issue, despite an apology on the programme from Stuart Rivers, who resigned from his post with the charity in May 2019.

READ MORE: Lagarie abuse accounts spark pleas for survivors to seek help

Responding to the latest reports, a spokesperson for the Sailors' Society said: "We deeply regret that any child was abused at Lagarie and we have apologised unreservedly for any abuse that was suffered by children who were in the care of the British Sailors' Society (Scotland) at that time.

"The current Sailors’ Society is a very different organisation. In recent years we have worked hard to respond as fully as we can.

"We have met with survivors, kept up contact with survivors who have wanted contact with us, financed counselling, asked police to reopen their investigations and fully cooperated with the police and the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

"We cannot comment further given the sensitivities of the matter and the fact that this is the subject of legal action."

READ MORE: Rhu, Shandon and Cardross homes under investigation by child abuse inquiry

Just days before the BBC documentary was broadcast, in September 2018, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry announced that Lagarie was one of three former children's homes in Helensburgh and Lomond to be investigated as part of its ongoing probe into historic allegations of abuse across the country.

St Andrew's School in Shandon and the Cardross Park Assessment Centre were part of a list of 17 institutions across Scotland which the inquiry team said it would be "investigating as part of its ongoing work".

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