Church shame as nun convicted of cruelty

 The Catholic Church in Scotland has said it is deeply ashamed after a nun was convicted of cruelty to youngsters at a children's home. Sr Marie Docherty, 58, committed the offence at care homes in Aberdeen and Laswade, Midlothian, during the 1960s and 1970s, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told. Lawyers said the guilty verdicts could open the way for a flood of compensation claims against Catholic orders. A statement from the church says it has drawn up guidelines to prevent such incidents in future. The statement reads: "While legally this case is a matter for the Sisters of Nazareth, as a church we are deeply ashamed that anyone entrusted to any church personnel suffered in any way. "Our priority is the protection of children and over recent years we have put in place child protection guidelines which will help ensure that now no child will come to any form of harm." One victim told the court she had been regularly "battered" while others spoke of being punched, slapped and hit by Sr Marie. The nun faced 23 charges at the start of the trial, but was eventually convicted of four, when the jury of nine women and six men could not find the other charges proven. The Sheriff took nine and a half hours to reach his verdict. He has asked for Sr Marie to undergo medical tests before sentencing in November. Sr Marie is currently being treated for a heart condition.

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