She still scares me, says care home accuser

Former residents of a children's home told a court of how they were force-fed, had soap rammed into their mouths and were beaten by those supposedly responsible for their care.

Now in their forties, the alleged victims claim their suffering was part of a routine of violence inflicted by Morag and Anthony Jordan, former houseparents at the Haut de la Garenne home on the island of Jersey. The married couple, both 62, from Kirriemuir, Angus, face a combined total of 48 counts of common assault, dating from the 1970s and 1980s.

At the Royal Court of Jersey yesterday, one victim - referred to as witness A - described how she was kept in a "cell" and had her face rubbed into a puddle of urine overflowing from a potty.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Giving evidence, the woman said she was taken to the detention room by Mrs Jordan after running away from the home, where she was placed due to serious family problems.

Witness A said: "I was screaming, I wanted out. Because I had weed over the toilet she wouldn't let me out."

She added: "I remember having my head placed in urine, and smelling of urine. I wasn't allowed to shower."

On other occasions she was force-fed, and even made to eat food she had spat out, the court heard.

The former resident said Mrs Jordan, known by her maiden name of Kidd at the time, "scares me and she still scares me now".

Referring to Mrs Jordan, witness A said: "She would hit me with a wooden spoon, and she punched me in the back for not sitting up straight at the table.

"If we swore, we had Fairy liquid and soap placed in our mouths."

The abuse took place throughout the woman's time at Haut de la Garenne, it was claimed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A second former resident, witness B, also gave accounts of having soap forced into his mouth by Mrs Jordan. "The bar was right in, I felt if I didn't bite it, it would slip down my mouth."

The male former resident also alleged that he was hit on numerous occasions by Mr Jordan.

He recalled one occasion when he was slapped across the face for not eating food originally served the previous day.

The impact of the slap left the young boy with a blood blister on his face, the jury heard.

In cross-examination, defence advocate Michael Preston claimed both witnesses had exaggerated and lied about the events. He accused witness A of blaming Mrs Jordan for all of her difficulties as a child.

But witness A said she only blamed Mrs Jordan for the things she did to her at Haut de la Garenne."We were put in there to be loved, not to be treated like that," she said.

Another witness said her time at Haut de la Garenne was made a "lifetime of hell" by Mrs Jordan.

The woman, who was about 14 when she stayed at the centre in the early 1980s, said the defendant treated her like a "piece of dirt".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She added: "It wasn't just me, it was most of the children."

Mrs Jordan, originally from Dundee, was employed by the care home as a housemother between 1970 and 1984. She is accused of 36 counts of common assault. Her husband, originally from south Wales, joined the centre in a similar role in 1978. He faces 12 counts of common assault.

Both deny all charges. The trial continues.