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14 January 2015

The Inquiry is to hear from around 50 witnesses who will say they were abused at Haut de la Garenne between 1970 and 1986 when it closed.

Patrick Sadd, Inquiry Counsel, told the Panel that 21 alleged abusers were employed at different times at the home during those 16 years. They included Morag and Tony Jordan who were later convicted of multiple offences against children.

Drawing on a variety of historical documents including two reports for the UK government, Mr Sadd described a "cultural difficulty" at Haut de la Garenne which meant it was expected to cater for children with contrasting needs.

The home was used both as a remand centre for adolescents with difficult behaviour and as a temporary foster facility.

Some children were placed at Haut de la Garenne for a short time because their families couldn't cope and concern was raised with the Children's sub-committee about the impact on them of difficult older children who might live at the home for many years.

HDLG was described as a bleak place, isolated and lacking stimulation. It could house upto 60 residents, including babies, and was said to be "much too large" and many children "must feel overwhelmed."

Throughout the period, there was a high staff turnover. The lack of appropriate training was highlighted in two inspections for the UK government, carried out in 1970 and 1981.

The need for more experienced staff, trained to deal with difficult teenagers, was also brought to the attention of Jersey's Education Committee by those running the home.

Patrick Sadd raised a series of questions for the Panel to consider, including why this issue did not appear to have been addressed.

He said some witnesses would give positive accounts of their experience at the home, but the majority will allege physical and sexual abuse by staff, other children and visiting adults.

The first witness will appear in private this afternoon.

Public hearings begin again tomorrow at 10 am.





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