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Independent Jersey Care Inquiry

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is investigating the abuse of children in Jersey's care system over many years.

The Panel hearing the evidence wants to build up as full a picture as possible so that it can then make recommendations, ensuring that the Island's care system is fit for its purpose of caring for vulnerable children and young people.

 

The Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, has promised a "robust and fearless" examination of what went wrong and to find answers for people who suffered abuse as children.

The hearings are being held in public at 11 -15 Seaton Place in St Helier.

Where agreed in advance, some witnesses will be giving their evidence in private. Arrangements are in place to guarantee their confidentiality.

Transcripts of the hearings will be placed on the website.

Meanwhile, anyone with information about the care system in Jersey, or direct experience of it, is invited to get in touch with the Inquiry.

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03/03/2015
The IJCI begins the final week of Phase 1a with evidence from four former residents of Jersey's care system.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry began the final week of Phase 1a today (Tuesday 3 March) with evidence from four former residents of Jersey's care system.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, told the Panel that they would be hearing evidence relating to different homes over the coming days from witnesses who had come forward during the course of the hearings.  He stated that the IJCI had taken the view that it would hear from anyone who wanted  to come forward and share their experiences.  

Mr Sadd then took anonymous witness, Mr 'T' (Witness 145), through his evidence about Les Chenes Residential School in the early 1980s. He also stayed with different aunts and uncles at various times until finally being discharged from care in 1989.  

A second live witness spoke about his 12 years at Sacre Couer in the '50s and 60s. Michael Renouf was sent there aged two, along with his older sister, after their mother died in 1953. He left aged 15 to move to the boys' hostel in Clarendon Road.  Counsel was Harriet Jerram.

In the afternoon, Counsel to the Inquiry, Paul Livingston, read into the record statements from two female residents given to the States of Jersey Police about the mid 2000s.

Witness 752 gave a statement to SOJP in January 2004 which included allegations of sexual abuse by Roger Hatte, who was 45 years older than her, whilst residing at Heathfield children's home. Hatte initially denied the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse, but pleaded guilty when indicted before the Royal Court in June 2004.

In a statement to SOJP, Witness 749 recalled an incident of violence against her by a regular visitor to La Preference in 2004. Mr Livingston also referenced statements given at the time by other members of staff who witnessed the incident.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be uploaded onto this website in due course.

The Public Hearings will resume tomorrow (Wednesday 4 March) at 0930 with a witness giving evidence by video link from Australia.

  
27/02/2015
The IJCI hears evidence from four former residents of Jersey's care system and an Opening Statement about foster care and bording out on the island.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (27 February) heard evidence from four former residents of Jersey's care system and an Opening Statement about foster care and bording out on the island.

Counsel to the Inquiry Harriet Jerram took witness, Luis de Abreu, through his evidence. Supporting documents showed that the Children's Department first got involved in March 1976 after Mr de Abreu's mother, who had been resident in Jersey for five years, made a formal application for him to join her from Madeira. In January 1977 she became terminally ill and Mr de Abreu went into care. During his evidence Mr de Abreu reflected on his and others' experiences at Clos de Roncier family group home, with foster parents and Haut de la Garenne between1978-83, after which he went into lodgings and was discharged from care in 1986 on his 20th birthday.

Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston then read three witness statements and supporting documents regarding Heathfield children's home into the record.

Witness 216 lived at HDLG and Heathfield in the 1980s because of an unstable home life. He made allegations of sexual abuse against a Heathfield staff member in a statement to SOJP in 1991 and the Redress Scheme in 2012.

Witness 80 was on the "at risk" register because his mother was mentally ill and went to La Preference on several occasions totalling nine months between1979-1985. He went to live at HDLG in 1986, followed by Heathfield and Les Chenes.  He gave a statement to the SOJP in 2009  

Witness 633 gave evidence about his experiences at La Preference and Heathfield in the 80s and 90s to SOJP in 2009.

Council to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, gave an Opening Statement about fostering and bording out in Jersey, culled from a vast amount of documentation made available to the Inquiry, and briefly revisited the legislation and policy that lay behind the States' approach  to fostering and boarding out that was outlined at the start of the IJCI.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be uploaded to this website in due course.

Public hearings resume 0930 on Tuesday 3 March.

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Chair: Frances Oldham QC
Frances Oldham QC
Alyson Leslie
Alyson Leslie
Sandy Cameron CBE
Prof. Sandy Cameron CBE

Witnesses Appeal

The Inquiry would like to hear from anyone with information about care homes or foster care in Jersey. This includes senior managers, support staff such as cooks and cleaners, police officers, teachers -
indeed anyone coming into contact with children in the care system. People who
were in care at anytime since the war are also asked to come forward and tell
their story.  A free and confidential support scheme is available on and off Jersey.

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