Elderly monk sentenced to seven years for ‘horrifying’ abuse of boys over two decades
A victim of a monk who was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of sexually abusing boys over two decades has said the sentence “couldn’t ever be long enough”.
Michael Murphy, who was also known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, carried out the assaults against 19 boys between 1961 and 1981.
On Wednesday he given seven years in prison following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in September, the Crown Office said.
One victim of the now 88-year-old said: “I know he’s getting old now but what he did needs acknowledged and as far as I’m concerned the jail time he gets couldn’t ever be long enough – if he dies behind bars then so be it.”
The Catholic monk was convicted of 29 charges, including indecent assault and assault to severe injury and permanent impairment, which took place in residential schools in Stirlingshire and East Lothian.
Murphy (pictured in 2003) regularly whipped boys and subjected them to painful and frightening electric shocks, the Crown Office said, and one child lost a finger after the monk told him to put his hand in a vice.
He was also convicted of lifting a boy by the ears and then kicking him in the face, causing his teeth to fall out. The Crown Office said Murphy also threw a billiard ball at the same child and struck him in the face with laces.
Murphy also grabbed a child by the neck and threw him against the wall.
The victim, who spoke after the sentencing but wished to remain anonymous, said Murphy would not look at him as he gave evidence, and this showed “just how weak he really is”.
He added: “Although he was already in jail I knew I still had to step forward because of me, I don’t think I’d ever be able to move on properly without expressing what happened.
“So if other people out there are still wondering what to do, then just start by speaking about it.
“It can help you today and help improve the wider care and justice systems tomorrow.”
Fraser Gibson, High Court procurator fiscal for sexual offences, urged anyone who had been the victim of similar offences to report them to police and seek support.
“Michael Murphy grossly abused his position of power to inflict a series of horrifying attacks on children in his care,” he said after the sentence.
“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 co-operation and complex work by police and specialist prosecutors.”
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