The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has today (Wednesday 18 February) heard seven witness statements being read into the record about former residents' experiences of Jersey’s care system.
Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston started proceedings with a statement given to the redress scheme from Witness 205 about Brig-y-Don and La Preference in the '60s and early '70s.
Witness 201 gave statements to the States of Jersey Police and the Redress Scheme, in which he detailed his experiences at La Preference in the '70s. Supporting documents also showed he also spent a brief period at Sacre Coeur because his family were unable to cope with his behaviour.
Witness 206’s statement to the SOJP accorded with case history and social service records confirming multiple admissions to Haut de la Garenne, Brig-y-don and La Preference between 1967 and 1978 during which time he said he suffered abused. A subsequent application to the redress scheme outlined further instances of abuse at HDLG.
Witness 616 told the SOJP about his experiences living at La Preference, a boarding school in England, HDLG, Heathfield and the Child Psychiatric Unit from the late ‘70s.
Witness 617 also spoke to the SOJP about life in care at HDLG, La Preference, Les Chenes and Heathfields between 1979-89.
Mr Livingston concluded this morning’s reading in to the record with evidence from Witness 618 who gave statements to the SOJP about his experiences at La Preference in the 2000s.
This afternoon, Inquiry Counsel Harriet Jerram provided an opening statement about Les Chenes residential school which was open between 1977-2003. She told the Panel that they could expect to hear evidence from 20 witnesses who had come forward in recent weeks. Some were making allegations of abuse against seven members of staff.
Ms Jerram then read into the record a statement recently given directly to the IJCI by Witness 36. He was first put into care at HDLG aged 4 months because he was considered “at risk” from a violent father. He then went to Norcott Villa, temporary foster care, before returning to HDLG (where he remained until it closed when he was 18), Heathfields and Basil Lodge youth hostel, before finally being fostered out with a family he still remains in contact with.
All transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.
Public hearings will resume 1000 tomorrow (Thursday 19 February). Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston will be reading in to the record four witness statements relating to Les Chenes. At 1145, a live anonymous witness will be taken through his evidence about Les Chenes in the early 2000s by Council to the Inquiry Patrick Sadd.