Sex Abuse Victim Waives Anonymity To Tell Of Being Raped Aged 12 By Catholic Nun Who Had His Baby

Edward Hayes was abused for almost three years during his time at the John Reynolds Home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, which was then run by Catholic nuns
Edward Hayes was abused for almost three years during his time at the John Reynolds Home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, which was then run by Catholic nuns

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“Edward Hayes, a former choirboy, has spoken out to reveal how a nun repeatedly raped him when he was 12 years old and had his baby.

Hayes claims to have been abused for three years during his time at a church-run home in England. The home was reportedly run by Catholic nuns from the order of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph.

Mr Hayes was just 10-years-old when he was taken to the church-run home. He was from a poor family, and entered the home malnourished and neglected. 

The now 76-year-old grandfather has waived his right to anonymity revealing that he was raped by 27-year-old Irish nun Sister Mary Conleth.

He tells Daily Mail: ‘It was nice to be somewhere warm, where I was eating food and having hot baths. My first years there created some great memories for me.

‘I was a great student, I sang in the choir, I could read perfect Latin and play football – even being touted by local football clubs.’

According to Mr Hayes, Sister Conleth arrived several years later and worked in the laundry room. Hayes was told to assist with the laundry duties, giving Sister Conleth access to the young boy.

He said: ‘I had barely started work in the laundry when it happened. I was still twelve. She’d pull my trousers down, push me to the floor and lay on top of me.

‘She would pull her habit up and she had no pants on. She’d talk dirty to me. I would not let her kiss me. I thought babies were made by men kissing women.’

At the age of 14, Hayes was given his own room – something he claims was ‘unheard of’. The reason for this change in rooms became apparent when Sister Conleth began visiting him in the middle of the night.

The abuse came to an end in April 1956 after the nun revealed she was pregnant.

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Mr Hayes said: ‘At the time I didn’t even understand how I got her pregnant because I never kissed her. We were more naïve back then.’

Sister Conleth was sent back to Ireland and Mr Hayes was banished from the home.

He was later adopted and became an alcoholic by the time he was 21. He married and had two children, only to have the marriage fall apart.

He went into the Army and served in the Royal Artillery, but left five years later in 1969 after developing an ulcer, as a result of his drinking, and was given a medical discharge.

Mr Hayes said: ‘I couldn’t ever settle, every single day I thought about the abuse, I started drinking to try to blot everything out. I never told anybody what happened to me, not even my wife.’

In 1998, Mr Hayes decided to come forward.

Mr Hayes, a 76-year-old grandfather who now lives in Carlisle, has bravely waived his right to anonymity to reveal that he was raped by 27-year-old Irish nun Sister Mary Conleth during his time there in the 1950s. He is pictured here, at the height of the abuse, aged just 14
Mr Hayes, a 76-year-old grandfather who now lives in Carlisle, has bravely waived his right to anonymity to reveal that he was raped by 27-year-old Irish nun Sister Mary Conleth during his time there in the 1950s. He is pictured here, at the height of the abuse, aged just 14

He said: ‘I read an article about a Catholic Church abuse survivor and thought, ‘I’m going to speak out, I need to do something about this’.’

He first went to the police then a social worker and his local MP and, years later, was directed towards a Catholic care charity.

He said: ‘I have been through hell for the majority of my life, trying to hide what happened to me.

‘Nobody should go through that. Seeking retribution has been great solace for me.’

Sister Conleth passed away in 2002. “

Mr Hayes was just 10-years-old when he was taken to the home. Having grown up poor and neglected, with vulnerable parents and suffering from malnutrition, arriving at the home was a blessing (Pictured: Buildings which used to be the John Reynolds Home)
Mr Hayes was just 10-years-old when he was taken to the home. Having grown up poor and neglected, with vulnerable parents and suffering from malnutrition, arriving at the home was a blessing (Pictured: Buildings which used to be the John Reynolds Home)

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