Three women on trial for alleged abuse at Smyllum Park orphanage

Smyllum Park orphanage
Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark after it closed in the 1980s

Three women have gone on trial accused of abusing children at an orphanage.

Sarah McDermott, 79, Margaret Hughes, 76 and Eileen Igoe, 79, are alleged to have mistreated youngsters at Smyllum Park in Lanark.

It is claimed that a number of "cruel and unnatural" incidents happened at the home between 1969 and 1981.

McDermott, from London, Hughes, from Lanark, and Igoe, from Edinburgh, pled not guilty to a string of charges at Airdrie Sheriff Court.

Hughes faces five charges of cruel and unnatural treatment of children and one of assault.

Prosecutors allege she forced a girl's hand through a wringer.

Wooden coat hanger

Igoe faces five charges of cruel and unnatural treatment and three charges of assault as well as one charge of assault to injury.

It is alleged she forced a boy's arm through an electric mangle.

McDermott faces six charges of cruel and unnatural treatment.

It is claimed she repeatedly struck a boy with a wooden coat hanger and repeatedly forced food into girl's mouth.

Sheriff Scott Pattison told jurors the case could last up to six weeks.

McDermott has lodged a special defence of incrimination, which states the alleged acts were committed by another woman who is now believed to have died.

The trial continues.