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Children were sexually abused and assaulted at orphanages

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry published its findings on Smyllum Park and Bellevue House.

An inquiry has found children were sexually abused and assaulted at two orphanages in Scotland.

Youngsters were hit with items including leather straps, wooden crucifixes and a dog's lead at Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen.

Others had their mouths washed out with carbolic soap as a punishment for bad language.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry found those who wet the bed were beaten, put in cold baths and humiliated in ways that included "wearing" their wet sheets.

At Smyllum and a home in Newcastle, children were sexually abused by priests, a trainee priest, sisters, members of staff and a volunteer.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1397847-police-scotland-reviewing-old-cases-involving-orphanage/ | default

Several children died at the Lanark institution, including Samuel Carr, six, who caught a severe and vicious E. coli infection after contact with a rat.

Others died after being hit by a golf club as well as being struck by a car while on the run from the home.

Evidence was heard over 20 days from 54 witnesses about their experiences of Smyllum Park and Bellevue House between 1917 and 1981.

In the findings, Lady Smith said: "To children, 'home' should mean a safe place where they know they will find unconditional loving care provided by adults they can trust; a place they will find light whenever life outside has grown dark; a place which does not fill them with fear; a place where they will not suffer abuse.

"The provision, by the order, of homes for the residential care of children in a way which routinely and consistently met that description would have been in keeping with their mission and with Christ's teaching.

"Sadly, I have, in the light of the evidence, concluded that that did not happen."

She added: "I find that children were abused in both Bellevue and Smyllum, the two institutions that were the main focus of the case study.

"The abuse which took place was physical, emotional and sexual.

"In particular, children were beaten, they were humiliated, they were punished for bed-wetting, they were force fed, they were subjected to abusive washing and bathing routines, some were sexually abused and they were subjected to a range of treatments amounting to emotional abuse.

"The children were effectively isolated, particularly in Smyllum, which was in the Lanarkshire countryside, many miles away from most of their family homes."

'The abuse which took place was physical, emotional and sexual.'
Lady Smith

She added: "Applicants explained that the implements used included leather straps, the 'Lochgelly Tawse', hairbrushes, sticks, footwear, rosary beads, wooden crucifixes and a dog's lead.

"Some also spoke of their mouths having been washed out with carbolic soap as a punishment for using bad language. I find that physical abuse of all these types occurred."

Lady Smith will make her recommendations at a later date once further evidence in analysed.

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