DENYING the “orchestrated” abuse which took place in child care homes across Scotland should be a crime, an inquiry has heard.

A former resident of Smyllum Park in Lanark made the claim before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh.

He described his time at the orphanage as a “Holocaust of developmental trauma” and said Scotland has to “face up” to its past.

The witness, who lived in the Catholic-run home between 1961 and 1965, said his head had been left “spinning” after reading an article suggesting abuse claims about such places were exaggerated.

He added: “What was happening there was a crime against humanity. It was orchestrated.

“It went on for years. I think it was a Holocaust of developmental trauma, inflicted upon thousands of children over decades.

“In Germany it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust and I would like it to be a crime for academics to deny these years and years of abuse.

“Scotland has to face up to this – if you don’t know your own country’s history, you don’t know anything.”

Now in his 60s, he said he still has a recurring nightmare about his time there and wakes up screaming.

The witness added: “Being in a place like that was about survival, if you came out there alive you were lucky – many didn’t.”

He then referenced a mass grave near to Smyllum, thought to have hundreds of children from the home buried in it.

Colin MacAulay QC, counsel to the inquiry, put it to him that nuns described the home as a “happy place”, but this was rejected.

The inquiry before Lady Smith continues.