The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Boy ‘beaten black and blue’

Wit­ness says man stripped and as­saulted him at chil­dren’ s home


A man stripped and beat a boy “black and blue” in an as­sault at a chil­dren’s home, an in­quiry has heard.

A wit­ness at the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry said the man “bat­tered hell” out of him at Nazareth House in Aberdeen in the 1960s when he was 11 years old.

He told the in­quiry: “I thought my time was up.”

The wit­ness said the nuns who ran the home would have been aware of the in­ci­dent but did not come to see how he was.

The hear­ing in Ed­in­burgh is now into the third day of ex­am­in­ing four chil­dren’s homes, no longer oper­at­ing, which were run by the Catholic con­gre­ga­tion the Sis­ters of Nazareth in Scot­land.

The wit­ness, now in his 60s, who can­not be iden­ti­fied, said he was at­tacked by the man – a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the Aberdeen in­sti­tu­tion – af­ter he was caught fight­ing or ar­gu­ing with an­other boy.

He said: “He grabbed hold of me. He dragged me into a bath­room and bat­tered hell out of me.”

The man had taken off the boy’s clothes, leav­ing him naked as he was punched, the in­quiry was told.

“I was black and blue all over my body,” said the wit­ness, who could not re­call how long the episode lasted.

He told se­nior coun­sel to the in­quiry Colin Ma­cAulay QC he has no idea why he was stripped, adding: “It’s not ex­actly a nor­mal thing to do, is it, to a young boy? It’s a bit pe­cu­liar.”

He agreed he was shout­ing and scream­ing dur­ing the as­sault, which left him with bruises “all over my face, my back, my front and my legs”.

Pressed on whether the nuns would have been aware of the in­ci­dent, he replied: “Yes def­i­nitely, they were aware but not one nun ap­proached me.”

He told how he was un­able to sleep that night and as­sumed he would not be go­ing to school the next morn­ing.

How­ever, he said one nun told him: “Don’t think you’re get­ting away with not go­ing to school.”

The wit­ness told how the bus driver then re­ferred him to the school head­mas­ter and the po­lice were called.

Of­fi­cers later took him back to the home at Nazareth House, he told the in­quiry, at which point a nun “took me into a wee side room and pulled me up for get­ting the po­lice in­volved”.

He added: “I told her it was the head­mas­ter who called the po­lice, not me.”

The wit­ness said po­lice had a word with the man but he did not be­lieve the man was pros­e­cuted.

The in­quiry, be­fore Lady Smith, con­tin­ues.

 ??  ?? IN­STI­TU­TION: A child abuse in­quiry is in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims of an as­sault at Aberdeen’s Nazareth House in the 1960s
IN­STI­TU­TION: A child abuse in­quiry is in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims of an as­sault at Aberdeen’s Nazareth House in the 1960s

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