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Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Nun 'punched' sick girl
Sister Alphonso
Sister Alphonso faces 23 charges
A court has been told that a young girl suffering from rheumatic fever was punched in the chest by a nun.

Patricia Milne said she was knocked off a footstool by the force of the blow from Sister Alphonso, who is standing trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on abuse charges.

The charges
Marie Docherty faces 23 charges, all of which are denied
The charges date from 1965 to 1980
They include - forcing girls to kiss dead nuns
Punching, slapping and kicking girls
Forcing girls to wear soiled underwear
The trial is expected to last up to six weeks
She was later carried upstairs to bed, and estimated it was another three months before her condition was diagnosed as rheumatic fever and she was admitted to hospital for treatment.

Mrs Milne, who is now 44, was a resident at Nazareth House children's home in Aberdeen between 1959 and 1972.

She told the court on Wednesday that on one occasion she and other youngsters had been made to line up and kiss a dead nun "to show respect".

Mrs Milne said she could not remember if it was Sister Alphonso or another nun, Sister Hildegarde, who made her kiss the dead nun, but said she had not wanted to carry out the act and felt "scared".

Patricia Milne
Patricia Milne: "Kissed dead nun"
She also said that she was made to hold down a young boy while Sister Alphonso, 58, hit him with a slipper.

Mrs Milne said she was aged between 10 and 12 when she had entered a room to find Sister Alphonso - from the Roman Catholic order of the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth - striking a five or six-year-old boy.

"Sister Alphonso asked me to hold the boy down while she used a slipper on his backside.

"She had him over the knee but the boy had been kicking her and so she asked me to hold him while she hit his bottom with a slipper," said Mrs Milne.

The trial continues.

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See also:

21 Aug 00 | Scotland
Court told of bed-wetting ordeal
18 Aug 00 | Scotland
Nun 'wicked' says ex-resident
16 Aug 00 | Scotland
'Nun beat me with steel spoon'
15 Aug 00 | Scotland
'Broken teeth' claim at nun trial
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