September 2009

Justice – after 40 years

FORTY years after indecently assaulting three young girls in his care at Haut de la Garenne, Gordon Claude Wateridge has been sent to jail.

Yesterday, the 78-year-old was sent to prison for two years having been convicted by a jury last month of eight counts of indecent assaulting the girls by touching them over their clothing and one of common assault on a boy.

The former house parent at the St Martin home showed no sign of emotion as the sentence imposed by the court was read out by Royal Court Commissioner Sir Christopher Pitchers. The assaults took place at Haut de la Garenne over a three-year period from about 1970.

Although the judge said the court recognised that the offences were at the lower end of the scale in terms of indecent assault, they were made more serious because of the parental role that the defendant held. He said that the victims were ‘vulnerable’ and ‘without the support of their parents’.