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CHILD ABUSE COUPLE CAGED; Carers inflicted casual and routine violence at home for children.

Byline: Charlie Gall

A CRUEL couple were behind bars last night for a string of phys ical assault s against vulnerable children in their care.

Morag Jordan and her husband Anthony, both 62, inf licted "casual and routine violence" at the former Jersey children's home Haut de la Garenne.

The couple, from Kirriemuir, Angus, were described as "intimidating bullies" at Jersey's Royal Court.

Morag Jordan was jailed for nine months on eight charges of assault against four children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Anthony Jordan, was given six months, for eight charges involving two boys.

The court had heard how Morag Jordan rubbed one girl's face into urine-soaked sheets after she had wet the bed.

She also hit residents with her hand and with a wooden shoe while her husband hit children with a metal spoon, a knife or with his hand.

Sentencing the twisted pair, judge Sir Christopher Pitchers said: "All children from Haut de la Garenne have said what they needed was love, care and sympathy, not cruelty and violence."

But he added it was violence they received at the hands of the Jordans.

Wept Some of their victims sat in the public gallery of the court to hear the sentences.

Several of them wept as the verdicts were announced.

The couple were found guilty in November.

During the two-week trial prosecutors said they acted like "intimidating bullies" and had carried out "frequent and callous" assaults on vulnerable residents.

They were arrested after a pounds 4.5 million police investigation into suspected abuse at Haut de la Garenne.

Morag Jordan, originally from Dundee, was employed as a housemother between 1970 and 1984.

Her Welsh-born husband also worked there in the 70s and 80s.

Haut de la Garenne was dubbed the "house of horrors" in February 2008 after police claimed they had found fragments of a child's skull there. They later claimed excavation work found secret underground "punishment rooms", shackles and teeth.

But allegations of murder and children being chained in underground "torture rooms" fell apart as the probe continued.

The new police chief found the skull f ragment was likely to be a piece of coconut.

Shackles were merely rusted pieces of metal and the milk teeth found could have been shed naturally.

However criminal charges were later brought against the Jordans which left the community of Kirriemuir stunned.

One former resident of the care home, now in her 40s, told the court how she suffered at the hands of Morag Jordan.

She said: "She used to pull my face into the sheets and let the other children know what I had done, called me 'pissybed' and 'pissypants'."

But af ter more than eight hours of deliberation, the jury cleared her of 28 al legat ions, including force-feeding children and pulling them around by their ears.

Former residents said later in a joint statement they had "mixed viwes" about sentences but could now "draw a line" under their experiences at the home.

CAPTION(S):

BULLIES: The Jordans at court TERROR: Children were attacked at the Haut de la Garenne home on Jersey
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 7, 2011
Words:514
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