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I DETEST HER - SHE HUMILIATED US ALL; Court told of nun's 'dirty pants ritual'.

A NUN forced convent girls to take part in a humiliating ritual to find out if they had wet themselves, a court heard yesterday.

Sister Alphonso allegedly made the girls line up and remove their pants - then ordered one of them to sniff the pants to see if they were soiled.

Any girl who had wet themselves was then told to stand with the dirty underwear on her head for up to an hour.

The claim was made by Jeanette Adams, now 41, who said she could remember just one happy time at Nazareth House - an Aberdeen children's home run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.

She told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: "Sister Alphonso had had teeth removed and she could not speak for a week - that is my fondest memory of Nazareth House."

Mrs Adams said the nun, who is on trial facing child cruelty charges, was "just someone you hated".

She said she couldn't eat tomato soup but Sister Alphonso used to hold her nose, squeeze open her mouth and force her to swallow it.

She added: "Once some soup dribbled down my chin and Sister Alphonso used her finger to put it back into my mouth.

"I bit her finger and she stopped that day."

Mrs Adams, who was nine when she was sent to Nazareth House, claimed Sister Alphonso regularly hit her with a brush and once thumped her over the head with a doll as she slept.

And she recalled an occasion when her twin sister, Angela, wet the bed and was made to take a cold bath then stand in a corridor holding the soiled sheets.

Mrs Adams, who still lives in Aberdeen, told the court she "detested" Sister Alphonso because of the way they were treated.

Mary Grant, 45, another alleged victim, said she was frightened of the nun and told of the punishment she suffered at her hands for losing a sock.

Miss Grant said: "When I couldn't find it she went high. She grabbed me by the hair and pushed me down some steps.

"She put me in a cupboard. It was dark. I was left for about half an hour before she eventually let me out."

Sister Alphonso, 58, whose real name is Marie Theresa Docherty, denies cruel and unnatural treatment of 23 girls in her care at Nazareth House homes in Aberdeen and Lasswade, Midlothian.

The trial continues.
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Author:Gall, Charlie
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 22, 2000
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