Boy, 7, died after 'vicious' beating for taking too long in the toilet at top Catholic school

A SEVEN-year-old boy died after a "vicious" beating when he took too long in the toilet at a top Catholic school, an inquiry heard yesterday.

Aldo Moroni died after an assault by a religious brother at St Columba's College in Largs, Ayrshire in 1980, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was told.

Brother Germanus – David McKell – is said to have punished him for spending too long in the loo, a former pupil claims.

The Scottish Daily Mail reports the man, known only as Edward, told the hearing his nephew said Aldo was "killed".

He also said he was abused by McKell numerous times while he was at the prestigious Scottish school in the 1960s.

He told the hearing his nephew, a former pupil, revealed in 2014 the young boy had been killed.

Edward said: "Aldo Moroni, a little boy, was getting a vicious beating on the landing outside the toilet for supposedly being in the toilet too long.

"[My nephew said] there was screaming and holy murder going on; it got worse, and the next thing we [the nephew and his classmates] knew, there’s an ambulance there, and the next thing we knew we are at a funeral in Dunoon – Aldo was dead."

The hearing was told the pupils had been told the boy had died of a heart attack at the time.

Senior counsel to the inquiry Colin MacAulay QC said Edward's nephew "drew a link between the beating happening and the death".


The inquiry was told Edward felt guilty for not reporting his alleged abuse at the hands of McKell, claiming he told the Marist Brothers – who ran the school – and they told him not to tell the cops.

Edward said: "I thought about my cowardice – could I have stopped that boy being killed?"

He told how he ran away from the school in around 1964 or 1965 while living in "fear and horror".

The former pupil said he would be woken in bed my McKell and abused, being beaten if he made a noise.

He told the inquiry: "I would describe myself as being zombified… I wasn’t able to speak."

Edward also told how McKell broke the news to him after his brother had died in 1965, saying he had "gone to heaven" and if he ever told anyone about the abuse he would never see his brother again.

Another brother later told him another boy had been abused by McKell, but urged him not to contact the police and said the Marist Brothers would do it for him.

Edward later found out the police were never told, and McKell died in 1998.

The inquiry, before Lady Smith, continues.

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