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Jury told: Don't judge attack rap monk by 2017 standards.


A JURY were yesterday asked to judge a former monk accused of assaulting six schoolboys "not by perfection, but allow for human frailty".

Thomas Seed, 83 - known as Father Benedict when he taught at Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the 70s and 80s - is on trial at Inverness Sheriff Court.

In his closing speech, John Campbell QC, defending, said everyone would find the use of the cane and belt abhorrent now - but he added: "We cannot judge this by the standards of today.

"What was reasonable in the 1970s is not compared to today. You have to translocate yourselves back in time and judge this by the standards of that era."

But prosecutor Roderick Urquhart told the jury what happened to the boys on six occasions was not corporal punishment but "a beating" and excessive.

He said: "The common factors are Thomas Seed's rage, taking them by the scruff of the neck, dragging them down stairs into his study and then leaving them bleeding and with swollen wrists."

The jury failed to reach a verdict and will resume their deliberations this morning.


ACCUSED Thomas Seed

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 26, 2017
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