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'Perv' preyed on care home girls.

A FORMER carer at a Jersey children's home was today facing jail after being found guilty of a string of sex attacks on teenage girls.

Gordon Wateridge, nicknamed "the Perv" by his victims, repeatedly sexually assaulted the teenagers at the Haut de la Garenne home during the 1970s.

The 78-year-old, described as a "persistent sexual bully", was found guilty of eight charges of indecent assault and one charge of assault following a trial at Jersey Royal Court yesterday.

Wateridge was the first person to be charged in connection with a multi-million-pound abuse investigation on the island, police said.

The court heard he would repeatedly grope girls' breasts, hug the teenagers inappropriately and kiss them on the neck.

He indecently assaulted three teenage girls and assaulted one teenage boy while working as a house parent at the home.

Youngsters sent to Haut de la Garenne were vulnerable and suffered from a variety of problems, the court heard.

But Wateridge, then in his 40s, abused his obligation to care for them and instead used his position to carry out the attacks.

He was warned by Judge Christopher Pitchers to expect a prison term when he is sentenced next month.

Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell, from the States of Jersey police, said: "Gordon Wateridge, a house parent at Haut de la Garenne, was a sexual bully towards vulnerable young girls in his care. We hope the complainants involved in this trial have received some comfort from the decision reached by the court."

Wateridge, who was born in Croydon, south London, and now lives in the Jersey parish of St Clement, was released on bail and will be sentenced at Jersey Royal Court in September.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 21, 2009
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