Scottish Daily Mail

Foster carer beat kids with belt and spoon

- By David Meikle

A FOSTER carer has been convicted of repeatedly striking youngsters with a wooden spoon and a belt.

Margaret McIntosh, 56, assaulted a vulnerable boy and girl but tried to claim that she had been disciplini­ng them.

A police probe was launched after the children reported the abuse they had suffered aged 15.

The investigat­ion led to officers carrying out detailed interviews with the youngsters which were recorded and played to jurors.

Both children explained how they had been targeted by McIntosh at properties in Lanarkshir­e. The girl said she had been threatened with violence, left in an unheated garage and kept under surveillan­ce by baby monitor cameras.

The boy said he had been locked in a bedroom with no food or toilet facilities.

McIntosh, of Johnstone, Renfrewshi­re, denied any wrongdoing between January 2016 and November 2018.

But jurors at Airdrie Sheriff Court found her guilty on Tuesday of two charges of assaulting the boy and the girl as well as two charges of wilfully ill-treating and neglecting them.

A child said he saw the boy struck with a belt. ‘She was hitting him with the belt and he was trying to get away but she was following him and still hitting him with it,’ said the witness.

‘She was very angry, like she was going to blow up, and he was very scared.’

Questioned by Ximena Vengoechea, defending, McIntosh wept as she denied ever hitting a child with a wooden spoon but admitted ‘tapping’ one with a belt on the hand because she ‘thought it would work’. She said ‘it was not my best idea’.

McIntosh insisted: ‘What is being said about me here is just not true, I was never violent with the children. What is being said about me here is just not true.’

Sheriff Derek Livingston deferred sentence until next month for reports and continued bail.

 ?? ?? Convicted: McIntosh
Convicted: McIntosh

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