Former Choirboy, 76, Claims Nun Raped Him When He Was 12 And Had His Baby

A former choir boy claims he was raped by a nun when he was aged 12 who later went on to have his baby. Edward Hayes says he was abused for three years at the former John Reynolds Home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. The home was run by The Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph – a Catholic congregation of nuns – with Edward believing his story could be the “tip of the iceberg”.He told the Daily Express he was raped by then 27-year-old Irish nun Sister Mary Conleth, real name Bessie Veronica Lawler, in the 1950s. Edward, now aged 76, said the nun fell pregnant and was sent back to Ireland in disgrace and he never discovered what happened to child. He has now waived his anonymity to expose the abuse and encourage others to come forward. Edward told the newspaper: “I went through hell for the majority of my life, trying to hide what happened to me. Nobody should go through that.” The grandad, who now lives in Carlisle, was aged just ten when he was sent to the home after being neglected by his parents. He settled in and joined the choir and played football for local clubs but his new life turned sour when Sister Conleth, who has now died, arrived in 1953.Edward said: “I had barely started work there when it happened. I was still 12. She’d pull my trousers down. She’d push me to the floor and would lay on top of me. I hated doing it but she said she’d tell on me if I didn’t, that I’d been a bad boy and I’d be punished. She’d talk dirty to me. I would not let her kiss me. I thought babies were made by men kissing women.” When he was 14, Edward was assigned his own room and claims the nun started paying him visits at night. But he says the abuse came to an end in April 1956 when she declared she was pregnant and he was sent to live in Cumbria. He blocked what had happened to him but in 1998, he decided he had to confront his past after reading about clerical abuse and launched a legal battle. Edward was offered £20,000 compensation in 2016 but most of it was subsequently lost in legal fees.Photo Credit: Getty

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