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Man jailed for historical sexual abuse offences against children

A Catholic Brother from a religious order has been jailed for the historical sexual abuse of children over two decades.

A Catholic Brother from a religious order has been jailed for the historical sexual abuse of children over two decades.

Michael Murphy, who was also known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, carried out the assaults against 19 boys between 1961 and 1981 at residential schools in Stirlingshire and East Lothian.  

The 88-year-old was convicted of 29 charges, including indecent assault and assault to severe injury and permanent impairment, following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in September.

The court heard that Murphy regularly whipped boys and subjected them to painful and frightening electric shocks.

One child lost his finger in a vice after Murphy told him to put his hand in it.

He was also convicted of lifting a boy by the ears, and kicking him in the face, causing his teeth to fall out. He threw at billiard ball at the same child and struck him in the face with laces.

Murphy seized another child by the neck and threw him against a wall.

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.

Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences Fraser Gibson said:

“Michael Murphy grossly abused his position of power to inflict a series of horrifying attacks on children in his care.

“His crimes had a devastating impact on the lives of his victims, and I commend them for their bravery and composure throughout the prosecution process.

“He has been brought to justice thanks to their cooperation and complex work by police and specialist prosecutors.

“The Crown is committed to the fair and effective prosecution of sexual crime and historical abuse, and I would urge anyone who has been the victim of similar offending, whenever it occurred, to report it to police and seek support.”