Girl jumped to death from Lanark roof after nun '˜battering'

A former children's home resident has told an abuse inquiry that a girl jumped from a building to her death after getting 'battered' by a nun.
Smyllum Park in LanarkshireSmyllum Park in Lanarkshire
Smyllum Park in Lanarkshire

Anne Marie Carr, who has waived her right to anonymity, attended Smyllum Park in Lanarkshire between 1960 and 1964, along with her brother Samuel, before going to Nazareth House in Kilmarnock after his death.

She told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh today that a girl aged ten or 11 died after jumping from a fire escape at the East Ayrshire home because she had “taken too much of a beating”.

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The 64-year-old said: “(The nun) had taken her up the stairs and battered her, told her to go to her bed. We were still out playing.

“Somehow the fire escape was open. She must’ve taken too much of a beating and threw herself out the front of the building.”

Ms Carr said the police were called as the girl had died.

The inquiry also heard Ms Carr was violently punished by a nun and staff at the home where she stayed between 1965 and 1967 for wearing her “convent clothes” to a party at school.

She said their heads were “banged off the lockers” and they were “kicked in the back, kicked in the face”.

Ms Carr added: “We were screaming, but they didn’t stop.”

The inquiry previously heard her brother Sammy died of a brain haemorrhage at age six following an E.coli infection, which he could have caught by touching a dead rat.

Another witness, who cannot be named, told how staff tried to sexually abuse him at the Kilmarnock orphanage.

He was at the care home between 1968 and 1970.

The man, now in his late 50s, said a worker at the orphanage tried to abuse him when he was ten years old.

He said: “He tried to make me do things with his penis, tried to put it in my hand and tried putting my head down.

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“I seen it happen a few times (to others). I reported it to the nuns.

“All they said was ‘don’t tell anyone else, we will sort this out’ and the priest reassured me this would be sorted.”

He added police were not involved.

The witness also said nuns made him wear shoes on the wrong feet because they pointed inwards.

He said: “When they saw my toes were going in the way, they made me switch my shoes and walk up and down the hallway.

“They made me walk up and down the hall with my hands on my hips on my tiptoes.

“The moment my heels touched the ground, I was hit.

“I think I’m still intoed.”

The inquiry before Lady Smith continues tomorrow.