Woman is jailed for abusing three boys

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A WOMAN who subjected three young boys to a horrific catalogue of physical and sexual abuse over two decades has been jailed for five years.

&#149 Sheila Anne Femister

Sheila Anne Femister, 66, was convicted by a jury after they heard testimony from the trio of victims, who bravely described in detail the appalling treatment they suffered.

The abuse, which was carried out between 1970 and 1990 at three houses in west Edinburgh, finally came to light when one of them went to police two years ago.

One of the victims told the Evening News the youngsters "lived in terror" of Femister, and reliving those events during the trial had been "harrowing".

Femister, who lived in Pentland Park in Loanhead, Midlothian, was found guilty of brutal attacks on the youngsters with weapons including a metal pole, sticks, shoes and belts on countless occasions between those years.

The pensioner was convicted of throwing ornaments at the head of one boy, banging his head on a door frame, biting him on the arm and spitting on him.

Femister also indecently touched the boys when they were between the ages of three to 14 while also exposing herself to them.

The youngsters have spent years struggling to come to terms with the horrors Femister inflicted upon them.

Sheriff Frank Crowe jailed Femister for five years at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday following the jury's earlier guilty verdict.

Speaking following the sentencing, one victim said: "The last two years since we went to the police have been harrowing and traumatic. The two weeks of the trial were really hard to get through.

"She was found guilty by the jury of 11 charges unanimously and one charge by majority.

"I've been trying to rebuild my life but it's still very hard. It's going to take a lot of time to try and get over it and move on.

"We were beaten and abused and lived in terror."

Femister faced charges of repeatedly assaulting the oldest victim, now in his 40s, at three addresses in west Edinburgh on numerous occasions between May 1970 and May 1984. He was beaten with a variety of weapons and was bitten and spit on by Femister, who also placed her soiled underwear on his head.

Femister was found guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour for fondling the youngster both over and under his clothing when he was aged three to 13.

The second victim, also now in his 40s, suffered repeated physical beatings on the head and body with a range of implements between the ages of six and 14. Femister also bit him in the face. Similarly, Femister was convicted for indecently touching him, starting when he was just six years old.

The youngest victim, now in his 30s, suffered beatings from the age of four to 16 at the hands of Femister, who used a metal pole, sticks and a belt to inflict injuries.

Femister received another conviction for lewd and libidinous behaviour against the youngster for fondling him when he was aged four to 13.