A CARE home boss has been jailed for 19 years for abusing two children after one of his victims secretly taped him making a confession.

Stephen Hyland, 55, ran seven children’s homes in Somerset and abused his position to impose a reign of fear in which he treated girls in his care like slaves.

Hyland, who was jailed at Exeter Crown Court on Friday (October 19), abused one girl repeatedly after taking her to an outhouse and claiming that he was counselling her to help her cope with previous abuse.

The pervert, of Aller Road, Langport, was led away from the dock shouting “you have just sentenced an innocent man to die in prison” after being sent to prison.

Hyland had denied all the offences but was found guilty by a jury at Taunton Crown Court at an earlier hearing of four rapes, another serious sexual assault, three indecent assaults, and two counts of child cruelty.

Defending, Ignatius Hughes said Hyland continues to protest his innocence and will find it hard to serve a jail sentence because he has a long history of heart disease and other medical problems.

Judge Erik Salomonsen told Hyland his victims were already vulnerable as a result of abuse at home which led them being moved into care in Somerset.

He told him:”The first victim did not complain because she had nowhere else to go and she was in fear of you. The girls felt dirty and disgusted as a result of your abuse.

“You punched, slapped and kicked these children and they described beatings. One said you were so violent she almost jumped out of a window."