Charity Boss Apologises For 'Decades Of Child Abuse' At Children's Home
allegations of physical and sexual against children at Lagarie Children’s Home in Rhu,
The head of a children's charity which ran a children’s home that was at the epicenter of decades of abuse has apologized after a BBC Scotland investigation uncovered the sadistic crimes.
The Disclosure programme found allegations of physical and sexual against children at Lagarie Children’s Home in Rhu, near Helensburgh, Argyll.
The home, which was run by Christian charity the Sailors Society, took hundreds of children from seafarers between 1949 and 1982.
Former resident Angela Montgomery and her sisters Mary and Norma, were sent to the time following the death of her mother.
Montgomery told the programme that Reverend William Barri, who took charge of the children's home, raped her and her sister's hundreds of times.
According to MSN: She said it began when his once-comforting night visits turned sinister when he said she was not kissing him “properly”.
She said: “And he stuck his tongue in my mouth, and I gagged, but I made the fatal mistake of spitting at him.
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“And then I paid dearly for it, because in front of the other girls, he punched me in the face.
‘I remember when I eventually did give him a full blown kiss after he’d forced me, I went and told Norma and Mary, and they said – ‘well, we’ve been doing that for ages’.”
She said the sisters initially made fun of him for being “disgusting”, but then “it got really serious, and…so…it was no longer a laughing matter. And so none of the girls then spoke about it”.
She said she and Norma were also taken outside the home on weekends away and abused by strangers – and girls were also abused at conventions outside Lagarie.
Another former resident, Philp Donald, said the matron when he was in the home, Anne Millar, would pick him up by the ears, throw him into a cold bath and put her soap-covered fingers down his throat.
He alleged she would also take him to the shed of the home’s gardener, Norman Skelton, where he would be raped.
Roddy Austin, who was sent to the home as a toddler in 1960, said Matron Miller punched him in the face on arrival for calling her granny.
The programme reports the Montgomery sisters and others gave statements to the police about the abuse in the early 2000s, but no one was charged.
A second police investigation, prompted by the Sailors Society, concluded in 2016.
Mrs Barrie was questioned, and a report was sent to the fiscal, but she was never charged and died in late 2017, her husband having died years earlier.
Matron Millar is now dead and Mr Skelton died in 1999.
Stuart Rivers, chief executive of the Southampton-based Sailors Society, told the programme: “I was horrified when I heard these accounts.
“We do regret any abuse happened and we have apologised unreservedly that this abuse happened.”
Lagarie was recently announced as one of the homes being investigated by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.