Nun 'Victim' Tells of Suicide Attempts

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The trial of a nun facing charges of child cruelty has been told that one girl she allegedly abused felt so worthless she tried to commit suicide.

Agnes Fowler, a former resident of Roman Catholic children's home Nazareth House in Aberdeen, said she had been terrified of the accused.

Mrs Fowler, 45, told the Aberdeen Sheriff Court trial that the nun was responsible for driving her to make two suicide attempts.

She said she had been forced into cold baths when suffering from epileptic fits at the home where she lived from 1965 to 1971.

Mrs Fowler said Sister Alphonso labelled her fits as "attention-seeking" and encouraged other girls at the home to make fun of her.

She added: "You were constantly aware that something was going to happen.

"If you didn't do what you were told - or even if you did do what you were told - if Sister Alphonso was in a bad mood, whichever child happened to be in her road, they got a punching."

Mrs Fowler, who was born with a hole in the heart and made several attempts to run away from the home, said she never told anyone about the alleged abuse because "who was going to believe a child over a nun?"

But under cross-examination by defence advocate Paul Cullen QC, the witness admitted that in recent years she had sent Sister Alphonso a Christmas card thanking her for her friendship.

She also admitted hugging the nun in public, voluntarily seeking out her company and asking her for a job.

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