Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lifetime of Hell

The jury at the trial of Anthony and Morag Jordan have today been hearing evidence from the first witnesses who say they were abused by the couple.

One woman described her time at the Haut de La Garenne children's home as a 'lifetime of hell'.

This morning another woman wept as she told the court how she was locked in a room known as the cell, and had her face rubbed in urine.

Twenty-six year old Witness A was at Haut De La Garenne between the ages of four and seventeen and was placed there because of a turbulent home life.

She's responsible for bringing eleven of the thirty-six charges that relate specifically to Mrs Jordan.

Witness A was asked by the prosecution to describe how Morag Jordan treated her, she said: "Horribly, she punched me in the back, hit me with a wooden spoon and if we swore she'd put fairly liquid and soap in our mouths."

She went on: "It was when I used to slouch or wouldn't do as I was told.

She hit me with a fist, quite regularly. None of the other staff there touched us."

Witness A said she used to run away from Haut De La Garenne fairly regularly because she hated living there. When she was brought back she'd be locked in a room overlooking the car park known as "the cell", which contained a wooden bed and a potty.

She told the court that once "because I'd overfilled the potty I was screaming 'let me out'.

"That's when she came in and pushed my face in the urine."

Under cross examination Witness A couldn't face the Jordans - and they were moved to another part of the courtroom.

She admitted that she had been sexually assaulted between the ages of five and fifteen while her mother apparently did nothing to stop it.

Advocate Mike Preston said to her: "You now seek to blame this one individual for all your troubles, don't you?"

"No", she said.

Advocate Preston said: "She's become the sole figure that you centre your hatred upon?"

Witness A replied: "I hated her when I was young because of what she did to me."

Advocate Preston said: "I suggest to you, you've made Morag the scapegoat for all the disappointments in your early life."

Witness A, simply replied: "No."

This afternoon the court heard from three more witnesses.

The first described how when he'd come home from school, he had to polish his shoes. He'd done this three or four times but it wasn't enough to satisfy Anthony Jordan, who hit him on the head with the heels.

Another witness described how he stole a sausage, but was caught by Morag Jordan who kicked him in the groin. He said he ran upstairs and was physically sick.

When the last witness was called she was asked to sum up her her time at Haute de La Garenne and simply described it as a 'lifetime of hell'.

The defence pointed to perceived inconsistencies in the witnesses' Police statements and said Morag Jordan couldn't have kicked anyone because of her disabilities brought about by childhood polio.

Both the Jordans deny all the charges.

The trial continues tomorrow, with another six witnesses still to give evidence.