Danny O'Brien
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Shefford St Francis orphanage abuse legal action

A dozen former residents of an orphanage in Shefford, Bedfordshire, are taking legal action against the Catholic Church, claiming they were beaten and abused there.

Danny O'Brien, 65, of Bury St Edmunds, attended St Francis Boys Home between 1957 and 1962.

He recalled being punched and beaten by Father John Ryan, who died in 2008.

Mr O'Brien said he only suffered physical abuse, but the BBC has heard of a number of cases of sexual abuse.

Bedford lawyer Tracey Emmott is representing a group of former residents in a legal action against the Church.

A spokesman for the Northamptonshire Diocese of the Catholic Church, which ran the home, said it "deeply regrets" any hurt caused, but stressed the "claims are not proven".

  • 12 Aug 2013