News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

nun-main_article_image.jpg
UK News

Nun tells inquiry she beat and force-fed children at orphanages

by Press Association

The 77-year-old, who cannot be identified, apologised to those she "mistreated" at Nazareth House homes in Aberdeen and Lasswade, Midlothian, while giving evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

She worked at the Catholic-run orphanages from 1963 until 1980 and said she could lose her temper "on some occasions", but denied a litany of other allegations made against her.

Colin MacAulay, senior counsel, said: "(One accusation says) you did punch her on the head and body, and strike her with a hair brush. Do you accept that you did that?"

The nun said: "Yes."

Mr MacAulay added: "Do you accept then that you did seize hold of her by her hair and drag her around the corridor?

She said: "Yes."

The same replies came when Mr MacAulay asked if she had ever force-fed a child or pushed a girl to the ground from a swing.

Her admissions were in relation to two children in separate homes.

It was heard a child was forced to eat dolly mixtures as a punishment after sweets had gone missing.

The nun said: "I always had dolly mixtures for the little ones. I went to get them and they were missing.

"I just had a few, there wasn't enough. I said 'you might as well take the rest' and put them into her mouth."

When asked why others had come forward with accusations, which she denied, the nun broke down in tears and said "I don't know".

A statement she submitted to the inquiry said her care for some children at the homes amounted to them being "mistreated".

She said another nun at the Aberdeen orphanage would hit youngsters with a hair brush.

The witness added it was this other nun who was in charge of dealing with children who wet the bed, having denied any involvement in humiliating those who did.

She said: "The children used to say they put the sheets on them but I never saw that. If it was one of sister's punishments, I never intervened.

"It was nasty, I thought it wasn't nice."

Mr MacAulay then asked her if she would describe the treatment as cruel.

She said: "I would now."

The inquiry before Lady Smith in Edinburgh continues.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate