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JUDGMENT DAY; Abusers in court tomorrow.


CAMPAIGNERS yesterday demanded new probes into all the Scottish schools run by De La Salle monks.

Lawyers for three men who face sentencing tomorrow after being convicted of abuse at one school claim victims had not come forward from any other institution run by the monks.

But we can reveal dozens of alleged victims claimed to have been abused at other De La Salle schools - although prosecutors refused to take their alleged abusers to court.

Emil Szula, 51, of Glasgow, was abused while a pupil at St Ninian's school in Gartmore, Stirlingshire.

He said: "I'd give evidence in court about being assaulted.

"But the man who raped me repeatedly when I was a frightened little boy is still walking free.

"I have been told by the Procurator Fiscal's office that they haven't decided whether they will proceed with charges against this evil beast."

Three former members of staff at the school - former monk Michael Murphy, 69; teacher Charles McKenna, 81; and nightwatchman James McKinstrey,

72 - were found guilty of 10 charges of abusing and torturing pupils at St Ninian's last month.

They will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh tomorrow.

During the trial, Scott Brady QC, who defended Murphy, known as Brother Benedict, said it was significant that pupils hadn't come forward from other schools.

He suggested the claims of the vast majority of victims had been investigated and found to be false.

But we can reveal that police prepared dossiers on another seven alleged abusers, some of whom are still working with children and the Procurator Fiscal formerly handling the case, Cameron Ritchie, didn't proceed with charges against them.

Lawyer Cameron Fyfe, who raised a class action on behalf of victims, said: "We've got clients from every school.

"They've made allegations of extreme brutality and sexual abuse.

"Abuse was endemic in those schools."

Social worker Chris Ferns, 36, was scarred for life during one horrific incident at St Joseph's School in Tranent, East Lothian, as punishment for simply laughing at another pupil in class.

He was told by a monk to climb a telegraph pole covered in jagged metal.

Chris said: "Halfway up, the inevitable happened. I fell. But I was caught on one of the jagged bits of metal sticking out of the side of the pole and I was left hanging there.

"I was ripped open the entire length of my body."

Pupils at St Mary's, Bishop-briggs, near Glasgow, told how they were systematically beaten and abused.

Once labelled the most violent man in Scotland, former hardman Jimmy Boyle told how De La Salle monks at St John's, Springboig, struck terror into his heart.

Peter Reid, of support group Men Against Sexual Abuse and a member of the Scottish Executive Working Party on Childhood Abuse, said: "We've been inundated with calls from victims from every De La Salle school dating back to the 1950s.

"It's obvious from the number of victims involved that there was abuse and brutality in every school.

"There is also evidence of monks and teachers moving from school to school, abusing children as they went."

St Mungo's, Mauchline

DISABLED campaigner Lawrence Nugent, 60, of Glasgow, believes the beatings inflicted upon him at St Mungo's led him into a life of crime.

He said: "Violence became a way of life. I did 10 years for attempted murder because the only way I knew to behave was to lash out.

"These `holy men' created generations of psychopaths, murderers and rapists."

Former pupil Willie Dyer, 62, of Glasgow, also remembers being tortured.

He said: "We were force fed and made to stand naked in freezing snow for talking or wetting the bed.

"We were beaten every day. It was an evil place, filled with frightened young boys with no one to turn to when the violence became unbearable."

St Joseph's, Tranent

FORMER pupil Chris Ferns attended St Joseph's when convicted monk Brother Benedict was there.

Chris, from Glasgow, said "Brother Benedict attacked me in the dining room, hitting me in the ribs with his knuckles so hard that he lifted me right off my feet.

"He smashed me into a wall and threw me about.

"He was a towering monster, feet and fists flying as he punched and kicked me to the ground.

"My crime was I hadn't taken my school cap off."

Chris added: "Violence and brutality was a way of life.

"You spent each hour in terror because you knew it wouldn't be long before it was your turn to be punched and kicked again."

"It was a deliberate act of torture."

St Mary's, Bishopbriggs

ST MARY'S is still a school for problem teens but is no longer run by the De La Salle Order.

Staff are banned by law from using corporal punishment and school life is now nothing like under the monks' brutal regime.

Former pupil Jim McVicar, 52, of Dundee, said: "These so-called holy men behaved like SS guards. They battered us every day.

"I was beaten until my legs and backside ran with blood. Other boys were sexually abused - we'd hear them screaming at night."

Colin Matthews, 51, also from Dundee, spent 18 months at St Mary's. He said: "I was battered with fists and sticks.

"One monk used to smash his metal cross into your skull. We lived in complete terror every day."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 13, 2003
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