Nuns Arrested After Abusing Vulnerable Kids At Orphanage

A caretaker and two nuns from an infamous Scottish orphanage all received three-year prison terms for abusing children.

At Lanark’s Smyllum Park, sisters Sarah McDermott and Eileen Igoe, all 79 years old, and caregiver Margaret Hughes, 76, put children through horrific torture.

At the trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court, the three ladies adamantly denied any culpability. They worked at the orphanage from 1969 until 1981.

The Order of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul was found guilty of many occurrences of cruel and unnatural behavior while children were in their care. The jury deliberated for three days.

While sentencing the three ladies to three years in jail, Sheriff Scott Pattison stated that the only option was to put them behind bars. During the six weeks of the trial, several former residents testified that they had been mistreated at Smyllum.

Following her account of seeing her brother molested and tortured in an orphanage restroom, one lady said that McDermott, a London resident, assaulted her.

According to her, the three-year-old was assaulted in a cubicle by Brian Dailey, a volunteer who would go on to serve a fifteen-year sentence for child abuse. Additionally, McDermott hit another girl many times over the head and body while holding rosary beads.

Igoe, an Edinburgh resident, was found guilty of many counts of child abuse, including assaulting a youngster on multiple occasions and forcing him to eat his vomit.

Hughes, who was from Lanark, grabbed a youngster by the hair and hit him with her arm. Additionally, she locked a girl’s head underwater while she dragged her into a frigid bath.

The demeaning and abusive treatment of children was institutionalized, according to Sheriff Pattison, since “each of you, in what you did and said,” fostered that culture.

The three women’s attorneys insisted that their clients still deny any wrongdoing.

Smyllum has been the subject of abuse accusations since it closed in 1981.

According to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, children were subjected to abuse in 2018, including the use of hairbrushes, crucifixes, and leather straps.