Couple jailed for abusing vulnerable youngsters at notorious children's home

A married couple were jailed yesterday for a string of physical assaults against vulnerable children at the Haut de la Garenne care home in Jersey in the 1970s and 1980s.

Morag and Anthony Jordan, both 62, from Kirriemuir, Angus, were both found guilty in November last year of eight separate charges.

During the two-week trial at the Royal Court of Jersey the Jordans were accused of inflicting "casual and routine violence" while working as houseparents at the children's home.

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

They were arrested after a multimillion-pound police investigation into suspected abuse at Haut de la Garenne.

Yesterday at the Royal Court of Jersey Mrs Jordan was jailed for nine months and her husband for six months, the court said. They were sentenced by the trial judge, Commissioner Sir Christopher Pitchers.

Some of the couple's victims sat in the public gallery of the court to hear the sentences being passed. Some wept as the verdicts were announced.

Morag Jordan, originally from Dundee, was employed as a housemother between 1970 and 1984. She was convicted of charges relating to assaults on four children. One had her face pushed into urine-soaked sheets after she wet the bed.

The couple were convicted of the charges after more than eight hours of deliberation by a jury last year.

Mrs Jordan was acquitted of a further 28 counts and Mr Jordan of four.

The jury cleared Mrs Jordan of allegations of force-feeding and pulling a child around by the ears.

It also rejected accusations by witnesses relating to other children having their faces rubbed in puddles of urine.

The jury did, however, convict Mrs Jordan of hitting residents with her hand and with a wooden shoe.

Her husband, originally from south Wales, was found guilty of common assault against two children.

Mr Jordan's convictions relate to hitting residents with a metal spoon, a knife or with his hand.

He was acquitted of counts relating to squeezing the face of another boy and hitting him in the stomach.