In a landmark ruling, the Roman Catholic Church faces having to pay millions to sex abuse victims after the court ruled it could be liable for priests’ crimes.

The woman claims she was assaulted by Father Wilfred Baldwin during two years at The Firs, in Waterlooville, Hampshire, which has now closed, after being sent there with her three siblings.

She said the priest would sexually assault her as ‘punishment’ for misbehaviour, adding: ‘The nuns knew. He was allowed to take any child and rape them. It was always my fault. He would even make me give money afterwards, tuppence in the poor box. He said God had told him to do it.’

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