Deserted by his mother and abandoned by his father at just three months old, Jerry Coyne was sent to live in a Catholic children's home run by nuns of the order of the Sisters of Nazareth. Life soon settled into a rhythm and then, one day, the beatings started. Harsh, vicious punishments became part of everyday life for the bemused little boy as the nuns attempted to beat the Devil out of him. Jerry began to hide behind bad behaviour and at the age of 12, his defiance resulted in him being sent to a boarding for boys with behavioural problems. Life then got worse when his housemaster, the man whose job it was to take care of him, began a regime of mental, physical and sexual abuse. Years of self-hatred and guilt led to Jerry suffering from a severe stammer and, eventually, he tried to hang himself.