Sunday, May 25, 2008

First Minister orders study of truth & reconciliation commission after law lords refuse abuse cases

It takes 'the man' himself to move on justice issues in Scotland it seems, leaving Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill well & truly in the shade as First Minster Alex Salmond moves to assure he will not turn his back on victims of abuse who had their hopes for justice thrown out by the House of Lords last week.

Well that's good. Its about time someone did something on justice, since the Justice Secretary isn't doing a thing ... and we here at Scottish Law Reporter firmly support the idea of Truth & Reconciliation to be implemented in many areas of injustice. Lets hope the First Minister carries on where others have failed ...

The Sunday Mail reports :

Abuse victims' pain as law lords deny them justice

May 25 2008 By Marion Scott

ALEX SALMOND has pledged to find a "way forward" for abuse victims whose hopes for justice were dashed by the House of Lords last week.

First Minister Salmond has told his officials to study Ireland's truth and reconciliation commission after the decision last week.

His spokesman said: "He has given his assurances that he will not turn his back on these victims.

"The Scottish Government will give careful consideration on how best to take these matters forward."

A test case had been brought by Jacqueline Whitton, 55, and Adeline Bowden, 45, who claimed to have been abused by nuns at Nazareth House in Cardonald, Glasgow, in the 1960s. But five law lords agreed with the Court of Session decision not to allow their £50,000 claim. The ruling will hit thousands of similar claims.

Jacqueline called the decision "a victory for the devil".

The ruling is a blow to victims, who must make a claim within three years of turning 18.

It means even those who had proved abuse would not receive Legal Aid funding.

The Irish government passed laws to re-categorise abuse victims as having a disability so they could get round the timebar on claims.

Former First Minister Jack McConnell said yesterday: "Legal technicalities shouldn't get in the way of justice. I am calling on the First Minister to explain what they will do."

But some victims accuse McConnell of betrayal after he failed to take action in 2004.

Lawyer Cameron Fyfe said: "When he apologised to victims four years ago, he should have taken the steps the Irish government did. But he didn't."

Jacqueline Whitton Beaten by nuns

JACQUELINE claims she suffered years of beatings and mental torment by Poor Sisters of Nazareth nuns at Nazareth House in Glasgow. Careworker Jacqueline, 55, from Paisley, said: "I wonder who commits the greater sin - judges, abusers or those who stood by."

She turned to Cardinal Thomas Winning, who offered support, and she believes if he had not died in 2001, the Church would have said sorry.

She said: "I was incensed when I heard Archbishop Mario Conti on TV defending the nuns after Sister Alphonso was prosecuted in Aberdeen eight years ago.

"He described victims as chasing a pot of gold being dangled by lawyers.

"It was such a gross betrayal of children like me."

Sister Alphonso, whose real name is Marie Docherty, was found guilty of four charges of cruelty against young girls.

James Morris Raped by teacher

AS a nine-year-old at St Margaret's Children's Home in Elie, Fife, James was raped by housemaster David Murphy.

Murphy abused 40 kids and died in 2003, months into a 15-year jail sentence.

James, 55, won £75000 compensation because Fife Council decided not to use time limit as a defence.

He said: "The Lords' ruling is a kick in the teeth. There is no timebar on our suffering."

Arthur McEwan Beaten by monk

ARTHUR, 54, sued Brother Benedict - real name Michael Murphy - for years of beatings at St Ninian's List D school in Gartmore, Stirlingshire, run by De La Salle monks.

But he will not receive the £50,000 award as Murphy took a vow of poverty.

Arthur, of Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, said: "I only hope our new First Minister will make the changes we need to reclaim our lives."

David Whelan Abused by teacher

DAVID suffered years of sex attacks by 'Beast in the Belltower' John Porteous at Quarrier's children's village, Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire.

In 2002, Porteous, 75, was jailed for eight years - reduced to five on appeal.

David, 49, said: "Holocaust victims weren't time barred so why are we?

"My case was proved in court yet this ruling denies me compensation. It's not only unfair, it's perverse."


Anonymous said...

What exactly has Alex Salmond done to help the people abused at St Ninians? He stated in 2008 he would help us get the justifaction we deserved or was he just blowing hot air. Just recently in Yorkshire the De La Salle have been found liable by the Supreme court in historical abuse case, why is the Laws governing Scottish people so different when The Supreme Court is the highest court in the UK is Scotland part of the UK

Anonymous said...

Still to date (23 July 2014)Alex Salmond seems to have done nothing for the victims of abuse at the hands of De La Salle (ST Ninians)I wonder when it comes to keeping his word on the promises he has made to the people of Scotland voting yes to get independence will he keep his word then. Perhaps the people of Scotland should take on board his failed past promises before they vote yes and put our country in his hands the hands of a man that does not keep his word.