“Troy” broke down as he told the inquiry he was raped four times by his house father at the “cottage” he shared with other boys at Quarrier’s Village, Renfrewshire, in the late 1950s.
Now aged 67, he said: “I lost everything that night – my childhood, my faith, my dignity and my pride.”
The inquiry heard how Troy, whose identity is protected for legal reasons, stayed at Quarriers during the week before returning to his family at the weekend. He said the man charged with looking after him was “pure evil” and would regularly mete out beatings and force-feedings to him and the other boys.
The inquiry was read a transcript in which Troy recounted being raped and then beaten with a leather belt by the man who held him down with a foot on his back. Troy said the abuse had remained with him all his life, playing like “a film” in his mind. “I’ve got some hate for that man – I live with it every day,” he said.
Troy said after the first rape he reported the abuse to staff only to be taken to his abuser and ordered to apologise.
He said: “They came up with me and he was in a rage. I was grabbed, I was shaken and called a liar. I was made to apologise, you apologise to that man right now, they said. I never made it up, my words are true and for years nobody believed it was true.
“I was taken back to the cottage and I was beaten with that leather belt again. I told you not to tell anyone, he said.”
Troy said he was raped a total of four times and had never told his parents, his ex-wife or son. He finally spoke of his experience to a doctor in 2012.
Asked about the impact the abuse had on his adult life, he said he had “lost count” of the number of times he had tried to kill himself. He said the opening day of the inquiry, led by Lady Smith, had been “one of the greatest days of my life”.
“If one child can be saved from walking the path that I have walked, then I will be a happy man,” he said.
The inquiry, which has cost £17.7 million to date, is currently hearing evidence relating to alleged historical abuse at institutions run by Quarriers, Aberlour and Barnardo’s.
Yesterday the inquiry was also read a transcript of evidence given by “Jenny”, a resident at Quarriers between 1955 and 1966. She said she was sexually abused by a female member of staff and a male teacher and said “complete strangers” were allowed to take individual children away for a day or a weekend.
Jenny also claimed that gravestones for those who died at Quarriers between the 1940s and 1960s had at one point gone “missing”.