Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:01 UK

Jersey witness 'ashamed of abuse'

Gordon Wateridge arriving at a previous hearing
Gordon Wateridge denies all the charges against him

A witness has broken down during the trial of a carer at a former children's home in Jersey who is accused of abuse.

The woman, who cannot be named, was giving evidence against Gordon Wateridge, 78, at Jersey's Royal Court.

She told the court she had been too "ashamed" to tell her husband about the alleged sexual abuse she suffered.

Mr Wateridge, who worked at the Haut de la Garenne home, denies 19 counts of indecent assault relating to five victims between 1970 and 1974.

The defendant, who lives in the parish of St Clement, is also charged with one count of assault against a 12 or 13-year-old boy and one count of incitement to indecent assault against a 12 or 13-year-old girl.

'Ashamed'

The female witness gave evidence for a second time on Thursday after being recalled to court because of new material.

She denied an accusation by defence advocate Michael Preston that she had made extensive contact with other witnesses before the trial.

Mr Preston also put to her that she had engaged a lawyer in order to make a compensation claim.

She replied: "I just wanted this all to go away. I'm not fighting for compensation - I don't need it."

She also denied make false claims about Mr Wateridge.

Haut de la Garenne
Haut de la Garenne is now a Jersey youth hostel

The witness broke down during cross-examination by prosecutor Steven Baker when she was asked why she had not disclosed any of her alleged abuse to her husband.

"Because I was ashamed," she replied.

On Monday, the court was told that Mr Wateridge was a "persistent sexual bully" who repeatedly abused children in his care.

Prosecutors said he would grope girls' breasts, kiss them on the neck and, in one instance, forced his hand inside an alleged victim's underwear.

Mr Wateridge, who was born in Croydon, south London, worked as a house-parent at the home and lived in a flat there with his wife and two children at the time of the alleged offences.

The trial continues.



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