Couple jailed for Channel Island child home abuse

6th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

A married couple were jailed Thursday for a string of assaults on vulnerable children at a care home on the Channel Island of Jersey in the 1970s and 1980s, after a high-profile investigation.

Morag and Anthony Jordan, both 62, from Angus in Scotland, were found guilty in November last year of eight separate charges as part of a huge probe into allegations of widespread abuse at the Haut de la Garenne home.

Police took nearly 1,800 statements from 192 victims in a three-year probe which led to the successful prosecutions of seven people.

The Royal Court of Jersey heard during the two-week trial that the Jordans were accused of inflicting "casual and routine violence" while working at the children's home.

Prosecutors said they had acted like "intimidating bullies" and had carried out "frequent and callous" assaults on vulnerable residents.

Morag Jordan was jailed for nine months. One child in her care said she had had her face pushed into urine-soaked sheets after she wet the bed.

Anthony Jordan received a six-month sentence for charges related to striking children with a metal spoon, a knife and his hand.

During the investigation, police carried out extensive digging at the home -- now converted into a youth hostel -- after allegations that residents had been mistreated in an underground cellar.

Daily bulletins were issued to a media pack which had travelled to the island to cover the story and police found what they originally believed was a human skull, but later said it was actually wood or a piece of coconut shell.

Jersey, situated between France and England, is a British crown dependency, which relies on the Britain for defence but pays no taxes to London and retains its own legal code dating from Norman times.

Once predominantly agricultural, it is now a major offshore finance centre.

© 2011 AFP

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