Sisters Sarah McDermott, 79, and Eileen Igoi, 79, a care worker at the orphanage, Margaret Hughes, were sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court. All the three accused denied the allegations, but the statements of the victimized children were incriminating for the accused. The jury found that the defendants committed cruel and unnatural acts.
The judge said the sentence was short considering the age and health of the women accused. Crimes committed deserve punishment. The verdict is also a warning to those who treat young children in a similar manner. Such people can be deterred from their actions. Defendants failed to take better care of the children. The judge also said that your act was unethical.
From 1969 to 1981, the children faced various forms of sexual exploitation in the orphanage. The incident in question took place at Smilem Park in Lanark, near Edinburgh.
The victims explained to the court that they even took them to the washroom and tortured them. One of the victims said Sarah McDermott was beaten after she complained about being sexually assaulted in a bathroom.
Volunteer worker Brian Daly, who is serving a fifteen-year prison sentence for child abuse, was the first to exploit a three-year-old child. One of the victims gave a statement that one of the accused, a nun, brutally beat her when she complained.
McDermott assaulted a girl and repeatedly punched her in the head and body. The children were beaten, made to vomit on themselves, hit on the head and body, grabbed by the hair, beaten with leather objects and dunked in cold water. Serious allegations were raised against the orphanage known for brutal torture. The skeletons of around 400 children believed to have died at the orphanage were found in graves in the area.
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