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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Police 'bungled' Nazareth abuse case
Nazareth House gates
Mr Currie alleges he was abused at Nazareth House
A man who claims he was sexually-abused at the Nazareth House children's home in Aberdeen has accused Grampian Police of bungling their investigation.

The force told Joseph Currie three years ago they could not proceed with a criminal investigation because his alleged abuser was dead.

However, Mr Currie said he has now been told he was alive until earlier this year.

Police have promised an urgent inquiry.

Joseph Currie claims that in the 1960s he was physically and sexually abused by a male helper at Nazareth House.

Joseph Currie
Joseph Currie: Claims police told him the man was dead
He made a detailed complaint to Grampian Police in 1997.

He said the police then told him the man was dead.

Mr Currie was in Aberdeen on Thursday to witness the sentencing of disgraced Nazareth House nun Marie Docherty.

She had been found guilty of four charges of cruel behaviour towards girls in her care at two homes in Midlothian and Aberdeen during the 1960s and 1970s.

Sister Marie escaped jail on Thursday when Sheriff Colin Harris decided that, because of her age and heart condition, a custodial sentence was not appropriate.

Mr Currie was surprised to be told by former residents of the Aberdeen home that his alleged abuser only died in May this year.

'Holiday' outcry

Helen Howie was a helper at Nazareth House in Aberdeen for 50 years until she retired in 1995.

She has confirmed the man Joseph Currie has named to BBC Scotland was a voluntary helper at the home.

Sister Marie Docherty
Marie Docherty: Admonished
Grampian Police have promised to urgently investigate Mr Currie's complaint.

A spokesman said officers received information in good faith at the time of the original investigation.

The Roman Catholic Church was forced on Friday to retract a statement that Sister Marie was to be sent on holiday to the United States.

A spokesman for the Bishop of Aberdeen had indicated on Friday morning that she was going abroad for three months to "rest and recover".

The holiday announcement provoked an outcry from her victims and was retracted on Friday afternoon by a church spokesman who said it was a "misunderstanding".

She will, instead, be recuperating at Nazareth House in Aberdeen.

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See also:

29 Sep 00 | Scotland
Nun holiday statement retracted
28 Sep 00 | Scotland
Cruelty nun walks free
19 Sep 00 | Scotland
Nun convicted of cruelty
19 Sep 00 | Scotland
Cash claims over homes ordeals
19 Sep 00 | Scotland
Nuns' helper jailed for sex abuse
15 Sep 00 | Scotland
Nun 'a conspiracy victim'
08 Sep 00 | Scotland
Nun denies home was 'like a prison'
30 Aug 00 | Scotland
Nun 'slapped' girl for singing
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