Woman tells court of nun's cruelty

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A woman yesterday told a court she was punched, locked up and made to take cold baths while suffering from epileptic fits when she was a young resident at a children's home.

A woman yesterday told a court she was punched, locked up and made to take cold baths while suffering from epileptic fits when she was a young resident at a children's home.

Agnes Fowler, 45, told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that other children at the home would be encouraged to mock and imitate her having seizures and that in later years at the home she was so unhappy she tried to kill herself.

She was giving evidence in the trial of Marie Docherty, 58, who is also known as Sister Alphonso within the Roman Catholic order of the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth. Ms Fowler, who lived at Nazareth House in Aberdeen from 1965 to 1971 said she had suffered from epilepsy since infancy and had also been born with a hole in the heart.

She said as a child she did not know her fits, which she described as "quite frequent... a lot more than once a month", were due to epilepsy. When asked what happened when she had seizures, she said: "Sometimes I would be put into a bath and sometimes I would be locked up."

Later, the court heard from Patricia Milnes, 44, who said Sister Alphonso had punched her in the face, breaking her glasses and causing her nose to bleed after going to church with a hole in her jumper.

Marie Docherty faces 23 charges of cruel and unnatural treatment of girls at Nazareth House in Claremont Street, Aberdeen, and Nazareth House in Hillend, Lasswade, Midlothian, from 1965 to 1980.

Comments