Highlands & Islands

Former Fort Augustus Abbey school pupil 'hit with golf shoe'

Father Benedict Seed
Image caption Father Benedict Seed denies the charges against him

A former pupil of Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands has told a court he was hit with a spiked golf shoe by a priest.

Clark Baxter, 51, accused Father Benedict Seed, 83, of hitting him "more than once" with the shoe.

Appearing under the name Thomas Michael Seed, he is charged with assaulting eight pupils in the 1970s and 1980s.

Father Seed, who is on trial at Inverness Sheriff Court, denies all the charges.

Mr Baxter, from the Wishaw area, told the court that he was frequently belted and caned by the former priest in his four years at school in Fort Augustus, which has since closed.

He said: "Sometimes I would pull my hand away and I knew I would get hit harder the next time.

"I would get caned on my bare bottom until I was bleeding as well as on top of clothes.

"He had a spiked golf shoe and he used that on my bottom more than once. I didn't tell anyone about what happened to me. I didn't like the school from the start and was a loner.

"I didn't feel there was anyone I could confide in. I didn't want to tell my parents in case I let them down."

Another former pupil, Sean Stone, 52, from Angus, accused Father Seed of beating him "in a rage" with a cane until he was bleeding after he retaliated against a school bully.

The trial before Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood continues.

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