EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
Daily Record [Glasgow, Scotland]
November 25, 2022
By Ruth Suter
The siblings’ cases were thrown out last year after Sisters of Nazareth claimed it could not get a fair trial due to the passage of time.
Two siblings who were allegedly abused at a Scots children’s home have been told they can sue a Catholic order after their case was scrapped last year.
The pair, known as ‘B and W’, claimed to have suffered historic abuse at the hands of Sisters of Nazareth (SoN) – a charity operating across five regions to provide care for those in the organisation’s established houses. They had been residing at the religious body’s premises in Lasswade, Midlothian, in the 1970s, where they claimed to have been assaulted as children.
In January this year, both legal bids were scrapped after the religious body claimed it could not get a fair trial due to the passage of time. But three appeal judges today ruled the cases should not have been dismissed and granted the siblings permission to continue with their claim.
It is understood the siblings could claim for a six-figure sum.
Kim Leslie, Partner at Digby Brown, said: “We welcome today’s ruling however as the case is ongoing we cannot comment further.”
It comes after the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry ruled that children were deprived of compassion, dignity, care and comfort into residential institutions run by the SoN between 1933 and 1984. A probe was launched into the systems, policies and procedures in place at the charity’s houses in Aberdeen, Cardonald, Lasswade, and Kilmarnock.
Lady Smith, Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said at the time of the inquiry’s case study findings: “The Nazareth Houses in Scotland were, for many children, places of fear, hostility and confusion, places where children were physically abused and emotionally degraded with impunity. There was sexual abuse of children which, in some instances, reached levels of the utmost depravity. Children in need of kind, warm, loving care and comfort did not find it. Children were deprived of compassion, dignity, care and comfort.
“It was suggested in evidence that applicants may have colluded to present fictitious accounts about their time in their care, fuelled by resentment towards their families and an appetite for compensation. I reject all such suggestions.”
A total of 39 people gave statements about their experiences in Nazareth Houses during the inquiry, with evidence also heard from the families of two witnesses.