A woman forced to undergo an abortion after being raped by notorious care home paedophile Ian Samson, is suing the Church of Scotland in a joint action with her two brothers.

The three were sexually abused by predator Samson while he worked at the Kirk’s Lord and Lady Polworth Children’s House in Edinburgh.

Two brothers and their sister, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said they could never escape the torment of the abuse, and even struggled to cope with the memory of the “snarl on his face” as he carried out his crimes.

Care home superintendent Samson, now 78, was jailed for 14 years in 2013 after being found guilty of 22 serious sexual offences spanning three decades.

Eight of the offences happened at the Kirk-run care home, which closed in 1982, with others occurring at different locations across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The siblings have now raised a civil action against the Kirk and called for others affected by abuse at the home to come forward.

In a statement released by their lawyers Digby Brown Solicitors, they said: “That man was nothing short of evil. He robbed us of our childhood, our happiness and our future.

“He might have been jailed but we will never escape the torment of it all and it’s possible we never will.

“There’s no avoiding the memories of what we experienced… even trying to forget the snarl on his face.

“The Church is meant to protect lost and frightened children like we were and they had every chance to protect us yet did nothing.

“We know we weren’t the only ones affected so if there’s anyone else out there then I hope you find the courage to step forward too.”

Samson, who worked at Lord and Lady Polworth alongside his wife who was a matron, carried out a campaign of abuse between the 1970s and 1990s.

As well as sexually assaulting children at the Kirk-run home, he abused young customers of his ice cream van and children employed at his Musselburgh shop.

Some of his care home victims were said to have hid in cupboards or in dog baskets to avoid abuse.

The caretaker kept his role at the care home despite being suspected of taking obscene photos of a child.

Kim Leslie, specialist abuse lawyer and Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors, said: “Ian Samson was rightly jailed for abuse he inflicted upon children after exploiting his position with the Church of Scotland.

“Now that time limits on historic abuse cases have been lifted we are leading a number of civil actions on behalf of survivors who have bravely stepped forward.

“These claims are being rigorously pursued on the grounds of vicarious liability however it would inappropriate to disclose further details at this time.”

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said: “The abuses perpetrated by Ian Samson at Lord and Lady Polworth Home in the 1970s are matters which have been examined by the criminal courts and by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and for which we have already expressed our deep regret.

“We take the safeguarding of children and adults in our care very seriously and after Ian Samson's crimes were uncovered and prosecuted, we opened an independent inquiry to see what we could learn from this tragic episode so that we could ensure that we are doing everything we can to follow the best current practices in Safeguarding.

"We cannot comment on the substance of the civil action but would want to reiterate our full and heartfelt apology for the harm experienced by the actions of this individual to any child in our care at that time."