Former resident tells inquiry of abuse at school run by religious order

A former childcare resident has told how youngsters were “robbed” of their youth by religious brothers who molested them in care.

The man, now in his fifties, was at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife, for around six months in the early 1980s.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, he told how bedwetters were targeted at night by one of the religious brothers, who pretended to check for urine.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “His way of doing it was to put his hand in the bed and touch you up.

“I didn’t even know what was going on down there, nobody explained to me about puberty.

“You sit back and you think, ‘Why me?’

“It was quite a sad existence. We were just there to be played with by the brothers that had lost their way.

“They lost track of what they were meant to be doing – we were meant to be there getting care and protection.

“The people we needed protection from were the ones that were meant to be caring for us.”

He added: “We were only kids. Most of us who were turning up 12 or 13 years of age, we had our whole lives ahead of us.

“A lot of that was robbed by brothers.”

It was also heard the children would be fondled while being “bounced” on the knees of the clergymen.

He told how he believed one of the other brothers was having sexual intercourse with older boys.

The man said he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction after leaving the institution, which was run by religious order the Christian Brothers.

He also spent some time living on the streets of London, before entering rehab and pursuing a career in politics.

The inquiry, before judge Lady Smith, continues.