Haut de la Garenne care home couple 'abused children'

Anthony and Morag Jordan The couple were abusive to children at the home in a variety of ways, the court was told

A married couple who were house parents at a former Jersey children's home assaulted children in their care over several years, a jury has been told.

The Royal Court heard Morag and Anthony Jordan, both 62, routinely abused their position at Haut de la Garenne.

They inflicted physical violence, forced soap into children's mouths and rubbed their faces in urine, the jury was told.

The couple, from Kirriemuir, Angus, deny all the charges against them.

Mrs Jordan faces 36 charges of assault, dating back to the 1970s and 80s, and Mr Jordan faces 12 charges, alleged to have taken place between 1981 and 1984.

The jury of six men and six women is due to hear from a succession of witnesses who will claim to have been subjected to assaults described by Crown Advocate Stephen Baker as "frequent and callous".

Start Quote

They used their job to inflict frequent and callous assaults on the children”

End Quote Stephen Baker Crown Advocate

The children's home was the subject of a high-profile police investigation into allegations of abuse.

'Torture and shackles'

Before the opening of the prosecution's case, Commissioner Sir Christopher Pitchers, presiding over the trial, warned jurors against being swayed by what they thought they knew about the police inquiry.

He said the investigation had been "bedevilled by lurid suggestions" relating to torture, shackles, and children's body parts.

Sir Christopher said: "The truth was there was never any basis of fact for these allegations."

Mr Baker told the jury that Mr and Mrs Jordan's behaviour was often abusive.

"Their job was to look after the children as if they were her own.

"However they used their job to inflict frequent and callous assaults on the children."

Mrs Jordan, originally from Dundee, is accused of assaulting 11 children aged between one and 17, while Mr Jordan faces charges involving two children aged eight to 16.

The trial continues.

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