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21 January 2015

​The Inquiry has heard that a shortage of adequate social housing was one reason why children were taken into care, only to be abused at Haut de la Garenne.

One witness, known as 192, sent to the home with her siblings said: "The staff and States of Jersey let us down as a family." She described the home as "like a prison."

She said she had not been believed when she complained about abuse to Jim Thomson, head of Haut de la Garenne.

192 remembered seeing a child being thrown down stairs by Morag Jordan, resulting in a broken limb. The injury was confirmed by medical records.

In what he said was "an exceptional move", Counsel Patrick Sadd showed a range of documents to the Panel "which are unusual for what they show."

The records included  a note from her child care officer in which it's clear 192's parents were not told that she was being fostered.

Concern was also expressed about whether to put 192 on the pill for fear it might encourage sexual activity. The head of Children's Services Anton Skinner later instructed staff to do so after 192 had become pregnant while living at a hostel. This resulted in a termination "on medical grounds", against her wishes and those of her family.

Another witness, 197, described how Haut de la Garenne's superintendent, Jim Thomson, "loved" caning children. After one beating, 197 described "struggling to sit down" for his dinner.

He said the effects of his childhood were longlasting. He had been "in and out of prison and institutions", find it "nearly impossible to trust people."

Hearings will start tomorrow at the later time of 11:30 am. A witness is due to give their evidence via videolink from the mainland.

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