Former Roller was framed on porn charges says foster son

Publication Date: May 7 2000

THE foster son of Bay City Rollers star Derek Longmuir has broken his silence for the first time to tell how the former drummer saved him from a life as a glue-sniffing street child in the slums of Lisbon and brought him to Scotland for a better future.

Portuguese-born Jorge Loureiro is now 28 and a happily married family man.

He decided to speak out after Longmuir was convicted of possessing child pornography.

Loureiro believes that his foster father is innocent and was framed by an obsessed American fan whom he had befriended.

The Sunday Herald has also learned that Sheriff Isobel Poole fully accepted that six videos, four films and a computer found at Longmuir's Edinburgh flat belonged to a friend now living in the United States.

Sheriff Poole sentenced Longmuir, 49, to 300 hours community service at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in March.

She also said she had noted significant extraneous circumstances in the case.

Other floppy discs found in Longmuir's home had been sent to his house anonymously a few days before the police raid. Loureiro came to Britain with Longmuir in 1988 after being officially fostered by him in Portugal.

He claimed that detectives bullied and even threatened him with arrest after he failed to give them incriminating evidence against Longmuir.

"Detectives asked me at least five times in the course of two two hour interviews whether Derek and I ever had a sexual relationship.

"I kept on saying no, that it was never like that, but they just kept on coming back to that question.

"They got increasingly angry when I wouldn't say yes and showed no interest in how Derek had rescued me and brought me up. I told them that Derek could hardly work computers.

"I told them the computer wasn't even his. But they didn't appear interested. I don't know if they even questioned the American woman I told them about."

Loureiro's wife Michelle, 24, who was present at the second interview, added: "The only thing they wanted was to get Jorge to say he had slept with Derek. But it just simply wasn't true."

Today Loureiro is a proud father of two children, Harris, five, and Daniela, nine months. He walks into Harris's bedroom in their home in north Edinburgh and says: "This is the room I always wanted as a child."

Loureiro's own childhood was far from comfortable. At 10 he walked 200 kilometres from his mother's home in Santa Cita, northern Portugal, to Lisbon, where he believed his foster mother lived. He slept in fields and barns.

But he didn't find her and for the next year he was in and out of special units for child offenders before running away to live with a group of street children in parks, squats and abandoned houses in run-down areas of Lisbon.

For more than three years he was a member of a troublesome gang who broke into restaurants for food, selling left-overs to prostitutes to raise money for glue.

"We used to run along the tops of moving trains, grabbing the bags of passengers through the open windows."

Then Loureiro, 15, came across Longmuir, sitting in a pavement restaurant enjoying a meal while on holiday in the city.

"I went up to him and asked for money," he recalled. "He spoke back to me in broken Portuguese and said that he wouldn't give me any more because he knew what I would spend it on, but he said that if I wanted to sit down and have a meal I was welcome.

"He asked where I slept, where my family was. He was the first person who ever cared about me."

For a year Loureiro lived with Longmuir in his Lisbon flat and Longmuir paid for him to attend a private school and helped him beat his glue addiction.

Loureiro admits he was difficult teenager, often taking money and running away. In his better moments he helped Longmuir with Portuguese.

The former musician was doing voluntary work for the Red Cross in Lisbon. Longmuir persuaded the boy to contact his mother and visit her.

After Loureiro passed his exams Longmuir arranged to foster him with his mother' consent.

"She accepted it fully because she knew that he could offer me a decent living which she never could," he explains. Soon after Loureiro flew with Longmuir to Edinburgh to start his new life.

Loureiro attended Stevenson College, Edinburgh, where he completed an English course. Then he did painting and decorating at Telford College and began a four-year apprenticeship.

A few years later he met Michelle in an Edinburgh nightclub and within a year they were married.

He says of his delinquent past: "It all seems a lifetime away and yet it is only 12 years,"

"And I know that if I hadn't met Derek I wouldn't be here. In fact I'd probably be dead. I believe that one day I would have fallen off one of those trains."

Loureiro explains that while he was beginning his new life Longmuir too was changing his own.

"Derek started studying really hard for his nursing course. It was something he had wanted to do for a while, and it was, I believe something he had a natural flair for," he recalled.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Longmuir passed his BSc in health studies and nursing with distinction.

He went on to carve himself out a career as a senior staff nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

But that too ended when he was dismissed from his post following his conviction.

"I think losing his job is what Derek has found most hard to take.

"He was a good and devoted nurse," said Michelle.

"I do believe he was set up by this fan and I just can't believe he is guilty of any offences against children.

"He is the only man apart from my father and Jorge who I trust to look after my children and I know he was an excellent father to Jorge."

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders police said there were strict guidelines governing interviews with witnesses and declined to comment.