Former resident tells historical sexual and physical abuse inquiry that nuns oversaw regime of terror at Smyllum in Scotland

November 29, 2017 Comments Off on Former resident tells historical sexual and physical abuse inquiry that nuns oversaw regime of terror at Smyllum in Scotland


Boy, 6, died after nun kicked him in head in care home, inquiry hears


Former resident tells historical sexual and physical abuse inquiry that nuns oversaw regime of terror at Smyllum in Scotland

Smyllum House, formerly Smyllum Park orphanage, a children’s home in Lanark run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul

Severin Carrell Scotland editor Tuesday 28 November 2017

A former Catholic care home resident has alleged a six-year-old boy died after a nun kicked him repeatedly in the head during years of sexual and physical abuse at the home.

David, a pseudonym for the former resident, told an official inquiry into historical sexual abuse in Scotland that nuns and staff oversaw a regime of terror at Smyllum House, a children’s home in Lanark run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

It emerged in September that up to 400 boys and girls who had lived at Smyllum, which closed down 1981, had been buried in unmarked mass graves after dying at the home, often from TB, pneumonia and pleurisy, and mostly between 1870 and 1930.

Physical abuse was routine in the home, including beatings, slaps to the head, and verbal abuse for the slightest mistake, David said, as he gave evidence on the first day of oral testimony about abuses at three care homes run by the Daughters of Charity.

One of 23 former residents due to give evidence in person, David said several nuns and female staff at Smyllum sexually abused him and other young boys, inducing the children to have sex with them and handling their genitalia.

David said his six-year-old friend, Sammy Carr, was hospitalised after a nun flew into a rage at him in the early 1960s. She had repeatedly kicked him in the head and upper body until David shielded him from the attack.

He last saw Carr, still aged about six, being taken into an ambulance after 10 days in the Smyllum House sick bay. Wiping tears from his eyes and halting several times to compose himself, David recalled being taken by the same nun to see his friend’s freshly dug grave.

A police investigation earlier this year into David’s allegations confirmed that Carr had died of a brain haemorrhage but there was no evidence in the postmortem linking that to an assault. Medical evidence suggested instead that Carr may have had a fungal brain infection, perhaps brought on by malnutrition.

After being moved to another care home run by the order, St Vincent’s in Newcastle,he and one of his brothers were taken to a staff member’s house where they were both sexually abused by two men. Violence was endemic at St Vincent’s too, David said. In his written testimony to the inquiry, he said it was “just another place run by psychopaths. Most of them were absolutely mad.”….
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/28/boy-6-died-after-nun-kicked-him-in-head-care-home-inquiry-hears

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