AN ELDERLY man has appeared in court accused of historical abuse of children at an East Lothian school.

Michael Murphy is facing 14 allegations of assault and using lewd and libidinous practices towards children in his care at the former St Joseph’s School, near Tranent.

Murphy is alleged to have punched, kicked and stamped on children as young as 11 between 1974 and 1985.

Murphy, described as a prisoner of HMP Edinburgh, is also alleged to have indecently assaulted children, while he is also alleged to have used pieces of metal to administer electric shocks.

The 85-year-old appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty. He will return to court later this month.

Murphy is also facing two similar charges relating to St Ninian’s State School, Gartmore, Stirling, in the mid-1960s.