Cruel foster carer torturing victims from beyond the grave with ongoing appeal against conviction

A cruel foster carer is continuing to torture her victims from beyond the grave with an ongoing appeal against her conviction.

Sandra Harper and her husband Andrew were convicted last year of physically and emotionally abusing five kids at their house in Cairnbulg, near Fraserburgh in ­Aberdeenshire.

The majority of the abuse, carried out between 1985 and 2002, was inflicted by Sandra Harper, who forced one child from the age of three to eat her own vomit, poured soap into her mouth, dragged her across a room and hit her on the head. The abuse spanned 16 years.

Sandra Harper, 63, died in an unexplained fall at her home in December 2023 and her victims thought that would be the end of their nightmare.

But now they have been told by the Crown Office that the appeal against conviction she had begun before her death would still go ahead.

It is understood the appeal will be held on July 17 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Last night one of the victims said: “I am utterly dismayed to learn instead of accepting the truth and the overwhelming verdict of the jury we are faced with more hurt and pain. This feels like more torment and abuse.

“The trial has had a ­significant impact on my well-being, I gave up my career in social work after almost two decades due to the struggle coming from what I was exposed to at the trial. Their deceit and lies was exposed and will be again.

“I endeavour to rebuild my life and hopefully support others going through similar.

“I must not allow them to ruin my adult life as they did with my childhood.”

Among other charges, Sandra Harper was convicted of repeatedly refusing to let another child use the bathroom from the age of four, causing her to wet herself, shouting and swearing at her, and uttering offensive remarks over a six-year period.

She also repeatedly struck one boy on the head and body from the age of five, repeatedly rubbing his face in urine-soaked bedding and pushing him, causing him to hit his head on a wardrobe as well as repeatedly shouted, swore and uttered threats and offensive remarks at him over a period of 14 years.

Her husband was also found guilty of assaulting children.

They were both given community service sentences. Sandra Harper was sentenced to 300 hours and was subject to a 12-month restriction of liberty order. Her husband was sentenced to 180 hours.

At Peterhead Sheriff Court, Sheriff Ian Wallace accused them of spouting a pack of lies to cover up their vile crimes and told them: “As a foster carer you were entrusted to look after these children, you were their second opportunity in life, an opportunity for a childhood full of love and care… you clearly denied them that childhood, being nasty, verbally abusive, vindictive and violent.”

A spokesman from the Crown Office said the “investigation is ongoing” into Harper’s death.

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