Nun allegedly ‘slammed boy’s head off piano’ at Smyllum Park orphanage

Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark
Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark
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A former resident of an orphanage at the centre of an abuse inquiry has told how a nun grabbed another child by the hair and repeatedly slammed his head on to a piano.

Fiona Young, who waived her right to anonymity, moved Smyllum Park in Lanark in 1973 when she was aged five or six. She told how she got visions of blood whenever she entered the playroom after witnessing the violent assault on one of the boys. The inquiry heard he had continued to play on the piano after being told to stop.

Ms Young said: “The nun grabbed him by the back of the hair and slammed his head on the piano again and again. He was bleeding. Every time I went in there I just saw blood. I don’t remember seeing him again after that.”

She also told how she was bullied by the nuns and other residents because she was Protestant.

Ms Young, who left the home in 1975, added: “We were told we weren’t God’s special children.”

Another former resident told the inquiry in Edinburgh yesterday that denying the “orchestrated” abuse which took place in child care homes across Scotland should be a crime.

He described his time at the orphanage as a “Holocaust of developmental trauma” and said Scotland has to “face up” to its past.

The inquiry continues.