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Friday, 15 September, 2000, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Nun 'a conspiracy victim'
Internal shot of Nazareth House
Marie Docherty worked at Nazareth House in Aberdeen
A nun accused of cruelty towards girls at homes in Aberdeen and Midlothian was the victim of a conspiracy by former residents, a court has been told.

In the closing stages of the trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, defence counsel Paul Cullen QC said that Marie Docherty's alleged victims had colluded to create stories of abuse.

The charges
Marie Docherty faces 21 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 nun - who was known as Sister Alphonso, but now prefers Sister Marie - denies 21 charges of cruelty towards girls at two Nazareth House homes over a 15-year period.

Addressing the jury, Mr Cullen said there were strong indications a network of complainers developed with discussions, meetings and amplifications of their stories.

He added that the only reason for the complaints was that the alleged victims knew they could make money out of them.

The prospect of hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation must be difficult to resist, he said.

Sheriff Colin Harris is expected to begin his directions to the jury on Monday.

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08 Sep 00 | Scotland
Nun denies home was 'like a prison'
30 Aug 00 | Scotland
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29 Aug 00 | Scotland
Child 'locked away with dead body'
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