Newcastle Priest Convicted Of Child Sex Abuse ‘Sorry’ For His Crimes

Legal: The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is examining events at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is examining events at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark.

STV

“A former priest convicted of abusing boys has told an inquiry he is sorry for his actions.

Bernard Traynor, 64, pleaded guilty in 1995 to sexually abusing four boys while a trainee priest helping at St Vincent’s home in Newcastle in the the 70s.

On Friday the paedophile gave evidence before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry which is currently examining events at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, South Lanarkshire.

Colin MacAulay QC, counsel to the inquiry, told Traynor: “The reason this inquiry is interested in these particular children is that their care was arranged in Scotland.”

The inquiry heard a former Smyllum resident said he was sexually abused by the ex-priest when he was ten.

Traynor said: “I hate that aspect of myself and there’s nothing I can do and there’s nothing I can say other than I am totally, totally sorry.”

‘I hate that aspect of myself and there’s nothing I can do and there’s nothing I can say other than I am totally, totally sorry.’

Bernard Traynor

Meanwhile, a nun has told an inquiry she “slapped” children in her care at an orphanage but said she is “not aware” of beating a boy unconscious.

The 73-year-old was giving evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry about her time at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, South Lanarkshire, between 1969 and 1976.

The nun, who wishes to remain anonymous, was questioned over evidence of a resident at that time who said he was given a “proper hiding” after seeing her and another nun in an embrace in the boiler room.

The boy, then aged six or seven, said he was hit and kicked, had his hair singed by being held over an open boiler flame, and passed out before waking to find himself black and blue.

Colin MacAulay QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked the nun if this happened and she replied: “I’m not aware of it happening. I can only say what I remember.

“That incident has shocked me but I can’t remember it happening.”

Mr MacAulay said: “Is it at all feasible that you would have forgotten an event where you were involved in what seems would have been a serious attack on a young child?”

She replied “I don’t think I would have done”, adding she was not leaving open the possibility she has blacked the memory out.

The resident told the inquiry he was then “persecuted” by the nun who hit him with a cricket bat, which she denied.

Asked if she used corporal punishment on the children at the home, which was run by the nuns of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul until closing in 1981, she said: “I did administer a slap on the legs or slap on the hand but I wouldn’t have done any corporal punishment.”

Questioned on force-feeding and bed-wetting evidence, the nun said some children who did not eat their food at one meal would have it heated up for the next to encourage self-discipline but said she was “not aware” of children being force-fed.

She also told the inquiry there was an alarm system fitted to wake children up when they wet the bed.

The inquiry, sitting in Edinburgh before Lady Smith, continues.”

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