January 2010

British pair jailed for Albania orphanage abuse

Two British men have been jailed for abusing children while working as caretakers at an orphanage in Albania.

Dino Christodoulou, 45, from Blackburn, Lancashire, was jailed for 20 years by judges in Tirana.

Robin Arnold, 56, a salesman from Cromer, Norfolk, was given a sentence of 15 years and six months.

Both men were convicted after denying “sexual relations with minors” on four children between 2003 and 2005 at His Children Orphanage.

One seven-year-old boy was said to have wept as he gave evidence via videolink that both men had abused him when he was aged four.

In evidence, Christodoulou, a social therapy nurse who quit his job at Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn on a mission “to help the needy in eastern Europe”, told the court the allegations were “fantasy”.

The court ordered that both men be deported on completion of their sentences.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that two Britons were jailed today for 20 years and 15 years and six months.

“They are being provided with consular assistance.”

In November 2008, the founder of the orphanage, 58-year-old David Brown, from Edinburgh, was jailed for 20 years for sexually abusing children.

He was arrested during a police raid in May 2006 and the orphanage was subsequently closed.