Sisters terrorised and abused for years despite warnings from social workers and teacher
A MAN who continued to beat, terrorise and sexually molest two little sisters – even though social workers and a teacher expressed their concerns – was jailed for ten years yesterday.
Judge Lord Kinclaven told Norman Carden: "The word abuse is barely adequate to describe the despicable conduct set out in these charges."
A court heard how Carden made the sisters fight each other, made them dance naked for his friends, thrashed one girl with a belt and subjected them to a variety of other horrors – including rubbing their faces in dog dirt before making them clear it up.
Carden also exposed himself to the girls and made them perform sex acts. Social workers frequently visited the girls – who were three when the abuse started – and expressed concerns. Advocate depute Hugh Irwin, prosecuting, said that although the visitors' worries were logged in a social work file, no action appeared to have been taken.
On another occasion, Carden banged a girl's face against a hard plastic mat on the floor – imprinting the diamond pattern on her forehead. A teacher at school the next day commented on the mark but the girl remained silent on what had caused it. At an earlier hearing, Carden, 61, of Paisley, Scotland pleaded guilty to five charges, admitting assaults and indecent behaviour going back to 1973. Judge Lord Kinclaven called for a psychiatric examination, and other background reports.They concluded Carden now suffered from dementia brought on by years of heavy drinking, which would make a prison term tougher for him.
When Carden appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh to be sentenced yesterday, solicitor advocate Denis Coffield said he should have faced justice a long time ago.
The lawyer went on: "Without criticising other people, these matters were being raised by the girls a good many years ago and, for some reason unknown, the police were not informed."
Mr Irwin described how when one girl was seven years old, she was "overwhelmed" by Carden giving her Christmas presents. While she was playing with the colouring book and doll and eating a tangerine, Carden spilled a cup of tea which he felt she should have removed. For punishment, she was hit on the shoulder and back of the legs. Mr Irwin said: "She spent the remainder of that Christmas Day under her bed."
The girls were also made to watch late-night TV horror films with Carden. One of them would be so terrified she would start crying. "This resulted in Carden sending her out to stand alone in the dark hallway of the house which caused her to become even more upset as she could still hear what was happening in the films, but was standing terrified in the dark," said Mr Irwin.
One girl was taken into care at the age of 11. When she was 17, she disclosed the abuse to her social worker but the social work department took no action and did not contact the police to report the allegation.
The second girl was even sexually assaulted when she was in care. The sisters continued to tell of their ordeal but the allegations were never passed on to the police for further investigation. Carden was eventually unmasked as a monster in June 2006 when the youngest victim contacted police herself. The court heard that both girls were still struggling to come to terms with what had happened in the past. The youngest victim was still getting counselling, and the oldest was suffering from clinical depression.