Twisted Edinburgh foster mum tied children to their beds and beat them with wooden spoons

A cruel foster mother assaulted children in her care by beating them with wooden spoons and tying them to a bed.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:56 pm
Cromar was found guilty of assaulting three children in her foster care at an address at Craigmount, Edinburgh, between September 1, 1992 and December 30, 1995.
Cromar was found guilty of assaulting three children in her foster care at an address at Craigmount, Edinburgh, between September 1, 1992 and December 30, 1995.

Elspeth Margaret Cromar also assaulted the three children by striking them with a slipper and shutting them in a cupboard at her former home in Craigmount, Edinburgh.

The catalogue of abuse went unpunished until one of the victims bravely came forward and contacted the Scottish Child Abuse Tribunal for advice.

The assaults, which took place between 1992 and 1995, were then reported to the police in April 2017 and Cromar was subsequently charged six months later.

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Cromar, 72, denied the historic allegations but was found guilty following a trial at the capital court earlier this year.

The former pub landlady, now of Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire, returned to the dock on Monday where she escaped a jail sentence and was instead ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Sheriff Adrian Fraser added: “These are undoubtedly serious offences involving children in your care and which had a significant impact on the complainers.

“I have taken into account all that was said in evidence by the complainers who gave evidence, and that painted a very clear picture of that impact.”

Sheriff Fraser said due to no injury being caused and the fact that Cromar is a first offender he could deal with the case by way of an alternative to a custodial sentence.

Cromar was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community as punishment for the three offences.

Following the sentencing two of the victims described Cromar as a “cruel monster” who “seemed to enjoy” the regular beatings she dished out to the children.

One victim, now in their 30s, said: “I can’t really believe the sentence she got for what was years of abuse and assaults against us.

“We were just young children at the time and what she put us through has lived with us for decades.

“It is difficult to get rid of the mental images of how she would beat us with spoons and also when she would tie us by our hands to our beds with rope.

“I was only six-years-old when I first went to live with her and everything seemed fine at first. But then her husband left her and she started to drink heavily - that is when things got really bad.

“She would tie us to the bed for hours at a time and she also shut us in a dark cupboard if she thought we had misbehaved.

“Unpaid work in the community is just not good enough as a punishment for what that cruel monster did as far as I am concerned.

“We will never forgive her for the years of abuse she put us through but hopefully now we have been believed after years of being told we are making things up it will help us get on with our lives.”

Cromar was found guilty of assaulting three children in her foster care by striking them on the body with wooden spoons and slippers, shutting them in a cupboard and tying two of the children to a bed at an address at Craigmount, Edinburgh, between September 1, 1992 and December 30, 1995.

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