Smyllum Park nuns gave child ‘electric shock treatment’

  • 6 December 2017

Smyllum Park orphanage
Image caption Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark after it closed in the 1980s

A woman who lived in a Lanark orphanage from the age of four has told an inquiry she was given electric shock treatment.

The woman, who was giving evidence anonymously, said she was sent to Smyllum Park in 1965.

She told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry she was abused by nuns there.

The woman told the hearing she was tied to a bed and gagged for hours at a time, smothered with a pillow and made to eat her own vomit.

She said she was beaten up almost every day during the years she spent at Smyllum and was given electric shocks through electrodes attached to her head.

She also said she was force-fed, sexually assaulted and put in a box in the ground.

The woman eventually left the home when she was seven and went to another care institution.

Years later the woman told police what happened.

Image copyright Nick Mailer
Image caption The inquiry is chaired by High Court judge Lady Smith

The inquiry was also read a statement from another woman who went to Smyllum Park in the 1960s.

She said when she was eight or nine-years-old, she and others were forced to kiss the body of a dead nun laid out on a bed, which she said smelled “awful”.

She said that as her head was being forced down, she spat on the body, before being dragged down the stairs by her by nuns and “thrown in a cupboard”.

The inquiry, now in its second phase, is looking into historical abuse in Scotland’s care institutions.

Smyllum Park, run by the Daughters of Charity Order, closed in 1981.

The public hearing in front of Lady Smith continues.

BBC News – Scotland

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