Search site for

​​​​​​Latest Updates

  
  
Rollup Image
  
  
Page Content
  
collapse Month Lookup : 2017-04 ‎(2)
  
28/04/2017
IJCI Final Report to be published Monday 3 July, 2017201

​The Panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (28 April) made the following announcement:

"The Inquiry Report will be published on Monday 3 July, subject to any other unforeseen circumstances.

"Arrangements for the launch of the report will be published in due course."

2017-04
  
26/04/2017
IJCI Panel reaffirms evidence received will not be destroyed.200

​The Panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (26 April) issued the following statement:

"The Inquiry wishes to reaffirm that the evidence it has received will not be destroyed. Arrangements for securing and preserving Inquiry data are under active consideration."

2017-04
collapse Month Lookup : 2017-03 ‎(1)
  
09/03/2017
IJCI Panel advise of delay to publication of report after receiving new information relating to Phase 3 of their work.199

​The Panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Thursday (9 March) released the following statement:

"The Panel has received new information as part of Phase 3 of its work, in respect of recommendations for the future of Jersey's childcare system.

"The Panel has advised the States of Jersey that there will be a delay to the publication of the report pending examination of the new information as to whether it affects the recommendations we intend to make.

"We do not anticipate extensive delays. We will announce the date of the report's publication in due course and advise on the arrangements that will be in place for its launch."

2017-03
collapse Month Lookup : 2016-11 ‎(1)
  
22/11/2016
IJCI final report to be published in first quarter of 2017. 198

The Panel Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is progressing with the drafting of its report into the abuse of children in Jersey's care system over many years. It confirms that the report will be published during the first quarter of 2017 and not at the end of 2016 as previously published. Further information in respect of the publication will be provided in the New Year.

 

2016-11
collapse Month Lookup : 2016-06 ‎(1)
  
22/06/2016
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (22 June) concluded the final Phase 3 of its investigation into the abuse of children in Jersey's care system over many years.197

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (22 June) concluded the final Phase 3 of its investigation into the abuse of children in Jersey's care system over many years.

In her closing statement, Panel Chair, Mrs Frances Oldham QC, recalled the April 2014 preliminary hearing in which she had said that the IJCI’s aim was to be open and transparent, acting independently of the States of Jersey, the police and any other organisation of individual in Jersey or elsewhere. Its purpose was to establish the truth about what happened to children in residential and foster homes, how mistreatment of children remained hidden for so long and what was done when concerns were raised.

She said it was only through the determination and hard work of all those participating in their various ways with the work of the Inquiry that the Panel had been provided with the material which will form the basis of its report.

“We thank everyone who has contributed to the work of this independent Inquiry. The Panel acknowledge in particular the contribution of those who gave evidence of their childhood experiences in residential and foster care,” she said.

Mrs Oldham stated that the Panel would not be making findings of fact in relation to individual allegations as it was not part of their remit.

“We will analyse the evidence as a whole to determine the culture of the relevant institutions and establish whether there were any patterns of abuse or systemic failings that can be identified.”


She added that the Panel noted the questions raised by Counsel to the Inquiry and Interested Parties during the course of submissions. However, they were not bound by those questions alone and will have their own questions to address.

Mrs Oldham responded to a suggestion from a number of parties that there would be benefit in engaging again with the Panel before the report is finalised and in particular that there should be "early dialogue" with the Panel to ensure "realistic and achievable" recommendations.

“The Panel recognise that those parties are motivated by a desire to assist the Inquiry. However, all parties have in fact had the opportunity to engage with the Panel and make recommendations when giving evidence, taking part in public consultations and when making closing submissions. Public sessions have been held with key stake-holders, members of the public, managers and senior politicians.

“The Panel has decided therefore, that any further engagement would be inappropriate prior to publication of the report. We will therefore adhere to what we set out in our protocols at the outset of the Inquiry with regard to the arrangements for the publication of the report.”

She said the Panel also considered that a "Maxwellisation" process in which parties are given notice of potential criticisms before publication and invited to respond was unnecessary. Criticisms had been put to the parties and they had had the opportunity to address those criticisms during the course of the hearings.

Mrs Oldham concluded by reassuring Witnesses that the arrangements for their support via the Northern Ireland Victim Support Unit and a local independent support unit, which had been in place since 2014, would continue. Details are available here.

Transcripts and Final Submissions will be available on this website in due course. The Panel’s final report is expected to be published at the end of the year.


2016-06
collapse Month Lookup : 2016-05 ‎(3)
  
19/05/2016
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry hears final submissions from Interested Parties.196

​The Independent Jeresey Care Inquiry adjourned on Thursday (19/5/16) after two days of hearing final submissions from Interested Parties. 

Transcripts and the Final Submissions will be available via this website in due course.

Proceedings  will resume at 0930 on Monday 20 June at the St Paul's Centre. The Panel will hear Interested Parties' responses to the final written submissions made by Counsel to the Inquiry, and will conclude with Counsel making their oral submissions.

2016-05
  
12/05/2016
IJCI hearings resume 0900 Wednesday 18 May, 2016195
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry hearings during the week commencing 16 May 2016 will start at 9:00am on Wednesday 18 May 2016 and not at 2:00pm on Monday 16 May 2016 as previously advertised. The detailed timetable will be available on the Inquiry website before next week.
2016-05
  
09/05/2016
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry response to the Data Commissioner’s Report194

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has provided a detailed response to the issues raised in the Data Commissioner's Report.
It is a matter of regret that the Inquiry did not have sight of the draft report prior to it being submitted to the Chief Minister as this would have allowed the many inaccuracies in the report to be corrected at an early stage.
No formal complaints have been made to the Data Commissioner.
The Inquiry is satisfied that the data protection systems in place are as robust as is required in handling sensitive material.
The Panel do not intend to make any further statement on this matter.

Executive Summary to the Response to Data Commissioner's Report - pages 1 and 2

Executive Summary to the Response to Data Commissioner's Report - pages 3 - 12

The IJCI response, along with appendices, can be found from P.397 to the end of the Data Commissioner's Report document published on the States' website.

2016-05
collapse Month Lookup : 2016-03 ‎(1)
  
18/03/2016
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will sit again to hear final submissions during the week of May 16th. 193

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will sit again to hear final submissions during the week of May 16th. ​The Seaton Place offices are now permanently closed. The hearings in May will take place at St Paul's Centre in St Helier.

2016-03
collapse Month Lookup : 2016-02 ‎(2)
  
17/02/2016
Phase 2 ends with the IJCI having heard evidence from more than 600 witnesses 192

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has received more than two million pages and heard evidence from more than 600 witnesses since starting in April 2014.

Speaking at the end of Phase 2 on Wednesday (17 February), Panel Chair, Frances Oldham QC, thanked all those who had contributed to their work.

“When the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry commenced we promised that we would listen to anyone who had a contribution to make. We have kept that promise over the 138 hearing days that the Panel has received evidence at Seaton Place,” she stated.

“More than 200 witnesses have given evidence directly to the Inquiry and the evidence of more than 450 residents and those who worked in care services has been read into the record. The Inquiry received more than two million pages – 66,000 of which have been used to facilitate our work.”

Ms Oldham explained that the work of Phase 3 is continuing.

“The Panel has already had 62 meetings and visits with agencies and people concerned with services for children. We have received submissions from more than 40 individuals and organisations on how services for children in Jersey should develop.

“During 1st-4th March and on 18th March, round-table discussions will be held in public with some of these contributors, with politicians and experts on the future of child care services in Jersey.”

She reminded Interested parties that they were advised in December that the following timetable will apply in respect of written submissions to the Inquiry. She said submissions should be focussed (bullet points acceptable) and address the Terms of Reference.

Friday 11th March: Estimate provided of length of written submissions (number of pages)
Friday 18th March: Submissions provided to the Inquiry in electronic form to
info@jerseycareinquiry.org
Tuesday 22nd March: Submissions released to all other Interested Parties via Magnum (the Inquiry’s document management system)
Friday 8th April: Brief written responses to the submissions of other Interested Parties
Tuesday 3th May: Interested Parties receive Counsel to the Inquiry’s written review
Monday 16th May: Oral submissions begin at St Paul’s Centre. 1300

Ms Oldham’s directions to Interested Parties on the format for written submissions and the timetable for oral submissions will be emailed to all parties this week.

2016-02
  
02/02/2016
The Chair of the Inquiry, Frances Oldham, has invited submissions for Phase 3d from organisations and individuals with expertise in the care of young people.191

​The Chair of the Inquiry, Frances Oldham, has invited submissions for Phase 3d from organisations and individuals with expertise in the care of young people.

Some of these will be heard in public between March 1 - 4.

Details can be found here.​

2016-02
collapse Month Lookup : 2016-01 ‎(2)
  
15/01/2016
The next hearing will be on Tuesday 26 January, starting at 10 am.190

​The next hearing will be on Tuesday 26 January, starting at 10 am.​

2016-01
  
14/01/2016
The Inquiry will be sitting at 9 tomorrow morning so that Jersey's former Chief Minister, Frank Walker, can complete his evidence. 189

​The Inquiry will be sitting at 9 tomorrow morning so that Jersey's former Chief Minister, Frank Walker, can complete his evidence. 

Hearings will then resume on Tuesday 26 January.


2016-01
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-12 ‎(2)
  
16/12/2015
The people of Jersey have until the end of this month (31 December 2015) to help shape the future of care services for the island's children.188

​​

The people of Jersey have until the end of this month (31 December 2015) to help shape the future of care services for the island's children.

With public hearings now ending for this year, all islanders have the chance to suggest ways in which the care system can be overhauled for future generations.

Opinions are being sought as the Inquiry prepares to move into the final phase of its work.

Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC says: "Improving the way in which vulnerable children and young people are looked after on the island is something that concerns everyone. The third phase of our work gives an opportunity for people to offer their ideas and opinions. As well as investigating what has gone wrong in the past, the Inquiry is committed to making recommendations so that Jersey has a world class care system it can be proud of."

Views can be given either online via our website or in writing. 

All submissions relevant to the Inquiry's terms of reference will be published. Anonymous submissions won't be considered, but names can be withheld from the website on request.

The Panel has also sought a wide range of views from experts, meeting around 50 staff from more than 30 organisations who work with or support work with children.

Phase 3, which has been running in parallel with hearings and preparation for several months, has five strands.

Phase 3a: understanding the context of child care in Jersey and exploring developments in research, policy and practice.

Phase 3b: evidence from expert witnesses.

Phase 3c: public consultation.

Phase 3d: contributions from organisations in and beyond Jersey who have expertise in the care of children and those within Jersey who provide services for children and young people. These concern three areas:

  • current and anticipated future trends in the areas of work/ expertise that should influence policy and practice
  • challenges which will face services for children in Jersey in the coming decade
  • aspirations for services for children in Jersey and how they can be met

Written submissions should be received by​ 29 January 2016. Representatives of some of the organisations will be invited to discuss their views with the Panel, in person or via video-link. These stakeholder meetings will be open to the public and will take place during February 2016. Transcripts for these sessions will be made available on the website.

Phase 3e: Interested Parties and Counsel to the Inquiry will be invited to make submissions in writing by 4pm on Wednesday 16 March. There will be time to submit and exchange brief responses to the other parties' submissions before the Panel hears oral submissions  during the week commencing 16 May 2016.​

The next public hearing will take place in the New Year on 12 January - details tba.


2015-12
  
03/12/2015
There's been a change to the timetable which means there'll be no hearings tomorrow.187

​​There's been a change to the timetable which means there'll be no hearings tomorrow. They'll resume next Monday, 7 December, at 2pm. Next week's timetable is here.

2015-12
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-11 ‎(1)
  
20/11/2015
IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham QC, appeals to the people of Jersey for their views on how Jersey could deliver a high quality system of care for children that would set an example to the world. 186

​The Chair of the IJCI, Frances Oldham QC, has appealed to the people of Jersey for their views on how Jersey could deliver a high quality system of care for children that would set an example to the world.
In a statement, Mrs Oldham explained that the IJCI had been asked by the States of Jersey to determine "what lessons can be learned for the current system of residential and foster care services in Jersey and for third party providers of services for children and young people in the Island".
She described how, over many months, the Panel had been listening to suggestions of former care home residents, staff and others for improving services for young people in Jersey. They had also visited and spoken with organisations and individuals with expertise in working with children and seen and learned about good practice.
“As the Inquiry enters Phase 3, we now want to hear from the people of Jersey - from any member of the public - whether they have had contact with care services or whether they are simply concerned citizens with aspirations for care services for Jersey’s children,” she stated.
Mrs Oldham invited them to tell the IJCI what would be required, what would need to change and what role they could play via the website or by post by December 31 2015 to:
Inquiry Submissions
PO Box 551
St Helier
Jersey JE4 8XN


Notes:
00:00 SLATE

00:05 "The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has been asked by the States of Jersey to determine "what lessons can be learned for the current system of residential and foster care services in Jersey and for third party providers of services for children and young people in the Island.
00:24 "Over many months we have been listening to the suggestions of former care home residents and staff, and others for improving services for young people in Jersey. We have also visited and spoken with organisations and individuals with expertise in working with children and seen and learned about good practice.
00:46 "As the Inquiry enters Phase 3, we now want to hear from the people of Jersey - from any member of the public - whether they have had contact with care services or whether they are simply concerned citizens with aspirations for care services for Jersey's children.
01:04 For Jersey to deliver a high quality system of care for children that would set an example to the world, I invite you to help us by answering three questions: What would be required? What would need to change?        What role could you play?
01:42 You can submit your views online at our website (www.jerseycareinquiry.org) or by post to PO Box 551, St Helier, by the 31st December. Thank you.
01:47 END SLATE

This video is also available via Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook.

2015-11
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-10 ‎(2)
  
21/10/2015
IJCI hears evidence on Day 103 from two witnesses who worked with States of Jersey Police185

​The Independent Jersey Care inquiry on Wednesday (21 October) heard evidence from two witnesses who worked with States of Jersey Police.

Summarising his career, Mr Brian Carter said he joined the SOJP in August 1988 and held a variety of posts until retiring in 2007. He spent a few months with the Housing Department before working as a Civilian Investigator on Operation Rectangle.

His first experience of working with the Child Protection Team came in 2002 with a secondment to assist with an investigation into an incident of historic child abuse in Jersey. He then joined the team on a permanent basis.

Inquiry Counsel, Ms Cathy McGahey, asked Mr Carter about his experiences and day-to-day tasks. He described what it was like working with victims of abuse and how information needed to be coaxed out of them in a sensitive manner.  He stated that there was no initial training - but there was the intention to send officers on appropriate courses within their first few months both in the UK and in Jersey.

He described some of the challenges the team faced regarding resources, including staffing; they could not visit every case and just had to deal with situations as they arose. One year they had 400 referrals as well as major cases. There were also difficulties getting cases to court because of the need for corroboration. He stated that many of the older cases they came across would make it to a courtroom today.

He said he was disappointed with some of the decisions not to bring prosecutions, but accepted the reasons given by legal advisors and the need to do what was best for the child. He said that the SOJP are far better equipped and trained to deal with safeguarding matters today.

He detailed the investigation and successful 2006 prosecution of Thomas Hamon, a member of St John Ambulance, who was [convicted] of 12 counts of indecent assaults involving children between 1964-1989. He praised St John Ambulance for all their help with the investigation and mentioned the support he received from his sergeants. He said he did not know why a similar investigation was not carried out in 2001 when disclosures of abuse were made by a former resident of Haut de La Garenne.

Mr Carter also recounted how he dealt with allegations of physical assault against members of staff at Les Chenes, issues regarding the lack of staff training in restraint and of possible malicious complaints.

He described his approach to a case in which a dependent was charged with a sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in private foster care. Mr Carter also described the procedures for when complaints were made and how strategy meetings were held within the police.

He said the relationship with Children’s Services and others such as paediatricians and mental health was good. All would have their own thoughts on cases and whether it was deemed appropriate whether or not to prosecute. They all wanted what was best for the child and had to work together to come to a professional agreement about what was right. Children’s Services would go down the line of protecting the family and decisions were made when it was not in the public interest to prosecute.  

Mr Carter spoke of the shortage of foster parents and how a lot of children were placed at La Preference and Heathfield.

He was positive about the changes implemented by Alison Fossey in 2006 after she became DI in charge of the FPU – including structural, staffing, recording systems, Jersey’s children’s law, training and improved supervision.

He recalled how in the early 2000s they did not hear of any direct complaints from children at Haut de la Garenne except in relation to two specific abusers and recalled in detail how the investigation into their activities came about and was undertaken.

He talked about the concerns forming in the back of his mind that a pattern was emerging regarding abuse and suicides at HdlG and was particularly struck by the amount of people he knew. Having reviewed all the personal files he realised something was not quite right. Following a conversation with acting DI Peter Hewlett he wrote a report asking for an investigation to be considered into child abuse concentrating on HdlG which he submitted to the Chief Inspector of Crime Services, DCI Andre Bonjour. He became frustrated when he did not hear anything for nine months and recalled telling Mr Bonjour on a couple of occasions that he did not think he was supporting the Child Protection Team.

Mr Carter decided to retire and a few months later DCI Lenny Harper offered him a role as a Civilian Investigator on Operation Rectangle.  

One of the first things was to set up a major incident room and his role was initially as an investigator and then in intelligence. He described the way the investigation expanded and it became clear that abuse may have been happening in a number of other institutions in Jersey which also needed to be thoroughly investigated.

Operation Rectangle visited the case of Witness 195, but it needed corroboration. Mr Carter recalled that Witness 264 was too unwell which closed off the possibility of interviewing him. Mr Carter talked about the difficulties in relying on some of the evidence given by children and being able to corroborate it.

Mr Carter responded to criticism that very few prosecutions came out of Operation Rectangle, making the point that many alleged abusers were dead at the time. He stated that the legal process was transparent, and with so many people were involved there was no room for a cover up.  

Mr Carter told the Inquiry that Mr Harper appeared to convince himself that many senior SOJP were untrustworthy and that people in positions of authority within the States were responsible for covering up child abuse. He never saw evidence himself and denied there was any form of police corruption connected with investigations into child abuse.

After lunch, Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, took the day’s second witness, WPC Emma Coxshall though her evidence about working with the Family Protection Unit. Ms Coxshall joined the SOJP in 1990 and initially went on secondment to the FPU in 1995. She was assigned there permanently between 1997-2006. She now works in SOJP Events Planning.

Ms Coxshall told the Inquiry that she did not recall any initial guidelines given to her when she joined the FPU, but did shadow an officer. The first guidelines she saw were given in 1997 in tandem with Children’s Services.  That same year she did a two-week course in interviewing children.

She explained that her role was to investigate cases of current and historic child abuse and described her experiences in the Unit, colleagues, day-to-day tasks and how the filing system worked prior to computerisation.

She gave an account of the weekly Friday meetings which were recorded in a hard-back book. FPU and Children’s Services would go through the cases and prioritise them. This was also the method by which cases were referred to the unit.  On rare occasions information was not shared, usually because Children’s Services had not yet done anything with it. She described this as “unhelpful” but not concerning and it never stopped an investigation. She described some of DCI Harper’s recollections of meetings with her about these incidents as “inaccurate” but recalls raising concerns about procedures.

Ms Coxshall explained that CID not the FPU would deal with allegations against members of Children’s Services but she was asked to sit in on the interviews as she was interview trained.

She said the success of working with Children’s Services depended on which DS was heading the team at the time and praised DS Barry Faudemer because he was passionate about the importance of working closely with other agencies.

She stated that some members of Children’s Services had frustrating attitudes to people in some parts of the island and that there were double standards in dealing with them, ignoring signs of neglect.

She talked about how Children’s Services often relied on an FPU investigation to apply for a court order and said the police took the lead in providing evidence. She described the processes around ABE (Achieving Best Evidence) interviews.

Ms Coxshall was critical of case conferences where the person who was putting the child at risk was in attendance. Sometimes Children’s Services would ask the FPU to share details of the investigation to identify why the child was at risk. She would refuse and some regarded this as obstructive, but it would be dealt with at the Friday meetings.

She was also critical of a former Senior Children’s Officer, who was deemed as not being completely independent as chair of case conferences because of her previous involvement with Children’s Services. She gave an example where there was criticism of the SOJP and was shown a report she had written complaining about the situation. She said she must have been very angry at the time and had had a growing sense of unease.  She commented on a number of documents outlining increasing concerns about how cases were dealt with and gave examples of case histories where corroboration was needed.

She concurred with some concerns raised in a memorandum from Force Legal Advisor, Bridget Shaw, to the Attorney-General, William Bailhache in 2007 after she had left the Unit, but said they would have been dealt with at a high level.

She provided an account of Children’s Services not removing children from a violent home setting because Children’s Services did not have sufficient availability to take the children into care.  In her eyes this was giving the abuser the go-ahead to continue. She raised it straight after but was told there was nowhere for them to go.

Ms Coxshall was then asked about the 1998 investigation into Alan & Jane Maguire. She described how she went about taking statements from residents at Blanche Pierre, how difficult the experience was for some of the residents and how it took a long time to gain their trust. She said they had enough evidence to arrest the Maguires and the matter went to the Magistrates Court. She said she was very disappointed when the charges relating to sexual offenses were dropped and that the Criminal Justice System might be perceived by witnesses to have let them down.

She described the role of the Force Legal Advisors, the procedures and systems used to bring cases to court and what lessons had been learned.

She gave an account of DS Roger Pryke who was in charge of the FPU in 1997 and how she discovered that a number of files had gone relating exclusively to the work of the unit. She was also concerned about the way he conducted video interviews. At the time she and two other officers expressed their concerns to DCI Kevin McKerrell. She had not expected Mr Pryke to be removed from his position and after making the complaint things became very difficult for the three officers as Mr Pryke had been a popular officer. In retrospect she said she thought his behaviour may have been due to a brain tumour as he did not do those things before.

Ms Croxshall said she had no suspicions that there was any form of sexual abuse going on in Jersey’s children’s care homes. She recalled her impressions of Les Chenes and interviewing young people there and how CID took over the investigation. She also commented on a number of documents relating to other cases involving allegations of abuse.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public Hearings resume Thursday (22 October) at 1000.

2015-10
  
05/10/2015
The next phase of hearings will start on 20th October.183

​The next phase of hearings will start on 20th October.​ They have been put back a week to allow the team to deal with the large amount of documentation that's been disclosed. Full details will be published on the timetable shortly.

2015-10
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-09 ‎(7)
  
11/09/2015
The Chair of the IJCI Frances Oldham QC has made a statement on the progress of the Inquiry at the close of Phase 1 of the hearings.181


​The Chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (11 September) made a statement on the progress of the Inquiry.

Mrs Frances Oldham QC was speaking at the close of Phase 1 of the hearings during which evidence was heard from former residents of Jersey's care system, those who worked in child care services and those accused of abuse. She said there was still further evidence to be heard relating to working in child care services.

She explained that Phase 2, which will begin in October, will look at the decisions taken in relation to the timing of the police investigation, subsequent decisions to prosecute alleged abusers, whether or not those responsible for deciding which cases to prosecute took a professional approach and was that process free from political or other interference at any level.

Mrs Oldham went on to outline how Phase 3, the final phase of the Inquiry, will examine whether the child care system since the war was adequate, what went wrong, has the system changed for the better and what is the way forward.

"As part of that process the Panel will invite views and recommendations from the community at large about the future of Jersey's children," she said, adding that details would shortly be published on the website.

 “Let us have your views on what needs to change. What are the barriers to change in Jersey? What could you or your agency contribute to that process? We want to ensure that Jersey has a high quality and cohesive care system for its children and your contribution will assist us."

Video Notes

00:00 SLATE
00:05 "I explained at the start of this inquiry that the intention was to hear the evidence in three phases, each of which would aim to cover specific terms of reference.
00:14 “In Phase 1 we heard evidence from those who gave accounts of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. We heard from those who worked in, or were in contact with, child care services - there will be some more evidence to hear on that. We also heard in Phase 1 from those accused of abuse.
00:32 “In October the Inquiry will begin hearings in relation to Phase 2. At that stage we will look at the decisions taken in relation to the timing of the police investigation and subsequent decisions to prosecute alleged abusers. Did those responsible for deciding which cases to prosecute take a professional approach? Was that process free from political or other interference at any level?
01:12 “Phase 3 is the final phase of the Inquiry. We will examine whether the child care system since the war was adequate. What went wrong? Has the system changed for the better and what is the way forward? As part of that process the Panel will invite views and recommendations from the community at large about the future of Jersey's children - details will shortly be published on the website.
01:40 “Let us have your views on what needs to change. What are the barriers to change in Jersey? What could you or your agency contribute to that process? We want to ensure that Jersey has a high quality and cohesive care system for its children and your contribution will assist us."
02:01 END

This video is also available via Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook

2015-09
  
11/09/2015
​A former governor at Les Chenes school has given evidence to the Inquiry.182

​​​A former governor at Les Chenes school has given evidence to the Inquiry.

Ron McLean, who moved to Jersey to work in insurance in 1966, later joined the Board of Visitors at Greenfields. Both positions were voluntary.

Answering questions from Counsel Patrick Sadd, Mr McLean said that he'd joined the honorary police in 1987 before being appointed as a centenier. He believes that this experience led to his being asked to join Les Chenes' Board of Governors in 1995. He was appointed as Chair a year later.

He told the Inquiry the principal role of the Board was to ensure Les Chenes ran well, particularly from a financial perspective. He added ​there were "no policies or guidance which set out what our duties were."

When he joined the Board Mr McLean became aware of Les Chenes' dual purpose: it operated as a residential school as well as a remand centre. There was an increase in the number of remand admissions to the school which led to it becoming increasingly overcrowded.

In 2000, the Board wrote to the Director of Education, Tom McKeon, to express their "extreme concern" at the overcrowding. But he felt the issue was not addressed until the 2002 report by Kathie Bull led to the opening of Greenfields.

The minutes from a meeting in Jan 2001 described the staffing situation at Les Chenes as a 'nightmare'. But Mr McLean did not recall that being the case. He said staff "coped very well" and, in his opinion, the atmosphere was "quite relaxed."

In his witness statement, Mr McLean descrcribed children at Les Chenes as "young villains." He told the Inquiry this had been a "poor" phrase and accepted there was a difference between children who attended the school as pupils and those who had been charged with an offence.

He added that: "With hindsight, the staff were probably not sufficiently equipped to deal with children on remand."

Mr McLean described the Board as being "reliant" on the school's Principal and staff to keep them informed: "We felt we did provide good oversight." He added that: "Our opinions were not always acted upon" and there was "a limited amount we could do....To a certain extent, the Board was toothless."

When Greenfields opened as a remand centre in 2006, Les Chenes' Board of Governors became its Board of Visitors, modelled on the prison system. Mr McLean's view was that the "Board was renamed and forgotten about."

It had a duty to look after the welfare of the children at Greenfields and visited once a month. One-to-one visits with children were not allowed - a Child Care Officer had to be present - but Mr McLean did not recall such meetings happening.

The effectiveness of the Board of Visitors was criticised in a report by the Howard League into Greenfields. But Mr McLean said he: "...would have liked to have thought...that the children felt they had the confidence to approach us should they wish to do so"

In 2009, the Board resigned after hearing that young offenders from La Moye prison might be sent to Greenfields as it did not feel that staff were sufficiently trained to deal with them.

Mr McLean said to the Inquiry that there was a "general lack of co-ordination within Social Services and I believe that this fundamentally prevented us from being more effective."

Before Mr McLean's evidence, the Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, returned to the issue of disclosure of States' documents to the Inquiry, which she'd raised on Tuesday this week. Mrs Oldham said that Advocate Lacey, who represents the departments involved, had provided an update and a meeting will be held next week to discuss the timetable.

A full transcript and supporting documents will be put on the website as soon as they're available.

​There will now be a break in hearings to allow for preparation of the next phase of the Inquiry; they'll resume in mid October.


2015-09
  
10/09/2015
​A former Jersey politician who served on the Health and Social Services Committee has given his evidence to the Inquiry.​180

A former Jersey politician who served on the Health and Social Services Committee has given his evidence to the Inquiry.​

Paul Le Claire was elected in April 1999 and held roles as a Deputy and Senator until December 2011.

Counsel Patrick Sadd asked Mr Le Claire to describe how the committee system of government, in place until 2005, worked, in particular to outline what was done to ensure liaison between the different committees involved with a child in care.

Mr Le Claire said he'd had "no expertise" in the remit of health and social services, but believed he'd been appointed to the committee to prevent him speaking out on controversial issues. He told the Inquiry it was: "...deemed inappropriate for one to be speaking out of harmony with the committee."

When Mr Le Claire joined the committee, Stuart Syvret was a member and Dick Shenton was its President. He said there were "numerous occasions" when clerks were told not to minute parts of the meeting. One example was about a case where children were feared to be subject to abuse. Mr Le Claire said: "This usually happened when something controversial was being raised, or something that could potentially damage the reputation of the States."

Mr Sadd asked about the way in which policies were formulated in Jersey and whether there had been annual reviews in relation to children on the island, in the way that there was over health. Mr Le Claire remembered briefings about the Jersey Children Law that came into force in 2005.

He described Children's Services as the "poor brother or sister of the committee", behind health services, when it came to the allocation of funds.

Mr Le Claire described a culture of "fear, control and cover-up" in Jersey politics. He was asked how that might impact on the oversight of Children's Services and said: "...speaking out is not done. If you want to look after your own career, you shouldn't do it.....you and your family members will all feel the wrath of the States if you decide to reveal things that are embarrassing to them publicly."

The former Senator recalled a committee meeting in which the head of Children's Services told members about the abuse of children in what was called "an open house" for paedophiles. Mr Le Claire had wanted to call the police and for the children to be taken away from their parents. He'd been told the police were informed and that "the last thing" Children's Services wanted to do was to take the children from their parents.  Explaining why he'd taken no further action, Mr Le Claire said that, as laymen, "we always referred to our officers, who were paid highly to give us advice."

He told the hearing that "oversight of the committee at the time in relation (to child protection) was certainly insufficient and poor at best."

Mr Le Claire said he believed Stuart Syvret's career as a politician was ended not because of abuse or the safeguarding of children but because he had fallen foul of the establishment by speaking out on issues of finance, Jersey's dominant industry. He also suggested that former Chief of Police, Graham Power, and Deputy Chief, Lenny Harper, were "effectively got rid of" over concerns about Operation Rectangle.

When invited to comment on how child protection procedures might be strengthened, Mr Le Claire called for the appointment of a Children's Minister, along with improved accountability. He said the message needs to be communicated that: "This sort of culture of cover up, concealment, bullying and intimidation is no longer the way we do things."

The full transcript and supporting documents will be uploaded to the website as soon as they're available.

Tomorrow's hearing will begin at 11 am.​




















2015-09
  
09/09/2015
A former member of the island’s Education Committee has been giving evidence to the Inquiry.178

A former member of the island’s Education Committee has been giving evidence to the Inquiry.

Former Deputy Patricia Ann Bailhache served on the committee from 1988 until 2002. She also chaired the Children’s Sub Committee until the early 1990’s when it was disbanded.

Mrs Bailhache, answering questions from Counsel Patrick Sadd, said that when she entered politics, a primary reason people voted for her was that she was known as secretary of the Jersey Deaf Children's Committee. She explained that she had no family connection to Philip and William Bailhache, well-known public figures, but: "Personal contacts and family reputations are significant in Jersey."

Mrs Bailhache told the hearing how Children's Services were funded by the Education Committee directly. It also had responsibility for schools and she felt Children's Services were the "poor relations."  She described how child care officers were extremely busy and there was difficulty in obtaining additional funding.

Mrs Bailhache was taken around the different children's homes by Anton Skinner, then in charge of Children's Services. She recalled meeting Jane Maguire at Le Squez home and remembered sitting on a settee and chatting, but Mrs Maguire "did not raise any particular concerns." However Mrs Bailhache viewed her as strict: "I felt she came across as rather overbearing."

At Les Chenes, Mrs Bailhache found its principal Mario Lundy "very enthusiastic" and said the children didn't seem to be intimidated by him.

Explaining how Children's Services never had enough staff, Mrs Bailhache said one of the reasons she eventually decided to disband the Children's Sub Committee was that officers were spending three days writing reports for it, and that time "could be better spent taking care of troubled children."

Mrs Bailhache also told how it was difficult to recruit foster parents. She said that one reason was the lack of pay. A further challenge was that banks in Jersey were on a recruitment drive and Children's Services couldn't compete with the salaries on offer.

In 1993 a report to the Education Committee from the Child Protection Team recorded an increase in the number of abuse allegations and referrals. Mrs Bailhache said: "perhaps we could have been stronger in getting money to assist the service" but she thought money would have been a "sticking plaster...not likely to solve the underlying problem."

Mrs Bailhache remembered the allegations of abuse at Clos de Sables sgainst Les Hughes, who was subsequently convicted and imprisoned, but said that once he was removed from his post, the committee had no further involvement.

At Heathfield home a member of staff known as Witness 335 was given early retirement following allegations of sodomy. Mrs Bailhache said that the committee would have gone along with this approach. Noting that it would be handled differently in 2015, she said it was "the way things were done in those days."

In the mid 1990's, Children's Services was moved to the Health and Social Services Department. Mrs Bailhache thought this move would give the service "more input". 

Full transcript and supporting documents will be published on the website as soon as they're available.


2015-09
  
09/09/2015
A former Health and Social Services minister has described his time in charge of the department that ran Children's Services.179

A former Health and Social Services minister has described his time in charge of the department that ran Children's Services.

Ben Shenton told how he was elected to the role in 2007 after a brief period serving as former Minister Stuart Syvret's assistant.

Mr Shenton was taken through his statement by Counsel Patrick Sadd. He said that his background was in the finance industry and that until his appointment his only experience of the department had been as a foster parent.

Within weeks of being appointed as Assistant Minister, Mr Syvret was removed from his post. Mr Shenton described his dismissal as "100% political." He said the former minister had been considered "too outspoken, and challenged things publicly."

As minister, Mr Shenton appointed a deputy, Jim Perchard, and put him in charge of Social Services. He sent Mr Perchard to Council of Ministers' meetings whenever Social Services were under discussion.

Mr Shenton also supported the appointments of child protection experts to key roles within the department. He described it as the "first step to making the States of Jersey a little bit more professional, but it upset a lot of people."

When asked about funding, Mr Shenton said the departments were expected to operate on budgets that were set historically: he called this "the Jersey way."

He said there was a culture of closing ranks whenever a States department was criticised: "For this reason, serious problems have been kept from the political establishment and those with ultimate responsibility." He claimed this culture was still prevalent in the public sector.

In November 2007 the States of Jersey Police launched Operation Rectangle to investigate historical child abuse. Mr Shenton, whose wife had been brought up in care on the mainland, said that he had been angry when it turned out that the announcement that the remains of children had been found at Haut de la Garenne was unlikely to be true. He said he was "extremely angry that the police had been misleading both the public and the politicians."

Mr Shenton told the Inquiry he had wanted the police to stop speculating and to report the facts.

Mr Shenton also covered other major issues that cropped up during his time as minister, including the controversial use of the 'Grand Prix System' of behavioural control at Greenfields secure unit, which he described as "out-dated."

When Terry Le Sueur became the new Chief Minister, Mr Shenton was asked to step down when his tenure expired. He said he felt the reason was that he had put too much pressure on the Chief Officer to get things done. Mr Shenton then served as chair of the Public Accounts Committee before leaving politics in 2011.

Full transcript and supporting documents will be published on the website as soon as they are available.

Hearings continue tomorrow morning at 10.



2015-09
  
08/09/2015
​​The latest phase of the Inquiry is to hear evidence about the oversight of Jersey's children's services and care homes. 176

​​​​The latest phase of the Inquiry is to hear evidence about the oversight of Jersey's care homes and fostering services, as well as other establishments run by the States. 

Counsel Patrick Sadd told the Panel it would primarily ​address the Inquiry's third term of reference which calls for an examination of political and other oversight of children's homes and fostering services run the by the States. 

The Inquiry will hear from witnesses who'd served on education as well as health and social services committees, along with two former ministers.

Outlining the evidence heard so far, Mr Sadd said that as well as live witnesses who'd worked in care homes, the Inquiry had considered more than 100 written statements from former staff at care homes or elsewhere in children's services.

At the beginning of the hearing, Inquiry Chair Frances Oldham asked for an update on the disclosure of certain documents from the States. Advocate Lacey said that outstanding Serious Case Reviews requested by the Inquiry in June were being prepared. She said they were delayed because they had not been States' documents. Mrs Oldham said she was concerned to adhere to the Inquiry timetable, but:  "....if we need to recall witnesses, I will have no hesitation in so doing."

2015-09
  
08/09/2015
​The Inquiry has heard from a former member of the Children's Sub Committee, at the start of the latest phase of evidence.177

​The Inquiry has heard from a former member of the Children's Sub Committee, at the start of the latest phase of evidence.

 

Keith Barette, who's lived in Jersey all his life, was co-opted onto the committee as a volunteer in 1977 for a three-year term.

 

He explained that committee members would be asked their opinions but "we did not have a lot of clout." 

The Education Committee would decide upon a course of action and Mr Barette said: "We accepted we were not childcare professionals and so key decisions should be left to those who were."

 

He added that the  Sub Committee was not told about child protection issues or investigations.

 

Mr Barette was taken through his evidence by Counsel Cathryn McGahey from Temple Garden Chambers.

 

He described how he was given responsibility for Haut de la Garenne and said he was interested in the home because it was the largest childcare institution on the island.

 

He visited HdlG every Thursday and did not get the impression it was an unhappy place: "I never saw anything that caused me any concern."

 

In 1978 Mr Barette was asked to report to the Education Committee on the home. He reached the conclusion it was "not fit for purpose", mainly because of its size, but also the high staff turnover. He felt there were too many children and they weren't getting enough individual attention. He suggested they would benefit from being fostered or placed in smaller homes.

 

His report was not looked upon favourably by the Committee and he was told his criticism could imply it was not doing its job properly. When his three-year term on the Sub Committee ended, he was not invited to stay on and he told the hearing he suspected this was because of his criticisms of Haut de la Garenne.

 

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be uploaded when they're available.

 

Hearings resume tomorrow morning at 10.

 


2015-09
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-08 ‎(8)
  
13/08/2015
IJCI Chair, Mrs Frances Oldham QC, makes statement at end of Phase 1b of Public Hearings.174

​The Chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Mrs Frances Oldham QC, on Thursday (13/8/15) made the following statement at the end of Phase 1b of Public Hearings:

“During this phase of evidence, the Inquiry has received excellent cooperation from the vast majority of witnesses, who have assisted the work of the Inquiry.

“However, we have been hampered by the late and non-disclosure of important documents, largely by the various States’ Departments, but also from the Law Officers Department. These include HR records, disciplinary and other investigations, policies, procedures, reports and emails, which have either failed to be disclosed, or have been disclosed after the relevant witness has given their evidence. Over the coming weeks, the Inquiry will review the recent disclosure and any documents which are forthcoming and will consider whether witnesses need to be recalled as a result.

“Furthermore, in relation to specific disclosure requests that have been outstanding for a number of months, the Inquiry will consider setting a final date for the provision of these documents or written confirmation that the documents do not exist.  Failure to provide documents may lead to adverse inferences being drawn by the Inquiry in its final report.”

Public hearings will resume on Tuesday 8 September with four days of hearings to hear evidence from various members of committees of the States of Jersey.

A detailed timetable will be made available at the beginning of September.

In the meantime the Inquiry team will continue their intense preparation for the next phase of the Inquiry.

Hearings will recommence in earnest the week beginning 12 October with the Panel hearing any outstanding evidence relating to Phase 1b of the Inquiry. They will also hear evidence relating to Phase 2 where they will look at the decisions taken in relation to the timing of the police investigation and prosecutions of alleged abusers.

2015-08
  
13/08/2015
The IJCI hears evidence about Children's Services through from the 1980s on the final day of Phase 1b.175

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Thursday (13 August) heard evidence about Children’s Services through from the 1980s.

Mrs Dorothy Woods qualified as a teacher and worked in two secondary schools in the UK. She subsequently qualified as a social worker in the UK in 1977 and worked for Durham and then Gateshead Social Services. She moved to Jersey in 1980 to work as a Child Care Officer, then Play Therapist and finally a Senior Practitioner until 2007.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Mr Patrick Sadd, took Mrs Woods through her witness statement.  She recounted how, before her interview she was shown around some of Jersey’s care institutions, including Haut de la Garenne, and remembered being unsettled and shocked by what she saw and felt the island was not up to standard.

She initially turned down the position over concerns about residential provision and the size of the caseload, but changed her mind after the Children’s Officer, Charles Smith, told her he was "hell-bent on making changes".

Mrs Woods said there was an acknowledgement that HdlG was not a good model and the hope was to move on and provide smaller units of accommodation, develop fostering and take the service forward.  She said there was no indication it would happen overnight, but she was asked to be part of that process.

Her first caseload was about 100 children and she described how she managed it and did the best she could.

She talked about the system of welfare support for families in Jersey, how some children were taken into care simply to enable the family to survive financially and the merits of the Parish welfare system. She spoke of the institutionalisation of children at HdlG, the demarcation between those working in residential settings and field workers and the need to understand each others' roles better - which she said did happen over the years.  

Mrs Woods a;lso gave details about management, training, how children were cared for and developed, and how in 1980, she felt HdlG should be shut down as children were not being managed properly. She said she focussed her efforts on trying to move children away from HdlG via fostering and adoption. She said there was a lack of vacancies at Family Group Homes.

She outlined her concerns about the approach and attitude towards the use of detention rooms at HdlG and cited examples of when it was used and the reasons why children would run away.

She commented on various aspects of some of the external reports that had been generated when reviewing Children's Services - including the Pilling and Lambert & Wilkinson Reports.

Mrs Woods stated there was a change to the system in the 1990s when it became far more accountable, things were set in stone and it was far more inclusive in that it included other professions, parents, foster parents and the child.

She talked about how the department she'd joined in 1980 did not reflect the department by the end of the 1980s. There had been an expansion and a development in all different avenues of the Service and that was down to the management of the time responding to the needs.

She explained that more and more emphasis was placed on training – particularly for residential workers. This, she said, was the beginning of breaking down of some of the barriers and helped everyone to look at different ways of working with children. She was asked to comment on other witnesses telling the IJCI there was no or very little training provision for residential care staff by Children's Services.

She reflected on two cases involving young girls who were pregnant and decisions made by the Education Committee for terminations to go ahead on medical grounds. At the time terminations were otherwise illegal in Jersey. On other occasions, she said young girls in care were supported with their pregnancies.

Mrs Woods also mentioned her dismay at the way migrant communities were regarded at the time and how racist comments were directed against non-Jersey-born residents.

She listed some of the changes in the 1980s; the introduction of a Fostering Officer and changes to the management system including the appointment of Anton Skinner as Children's Officer. She outlined the establishment and work of the Child Protection Team (CPT) of which she was a member. She said the team worked very well together and talked about what they did when they came across a suspected case of abuse or disclosure made to that individual.

She recalled events in 1990 surrounding the abuse allegations by two members of Blanche Pierre staff against Alan and Jane Maguire. She said she was absolutely horrified and quite shocked by what she heard and immediately went and saw the Children’s Officer, Mr Anton Skinner. He said to leave the matter with him and he would deal with it. She said there was no mention to her of involving the CPT, the Police or whether the children were safe.

She recalled that Child Care Officers were horrified by the decision to redeploy Jane Maguire and were outraged by newspaper coverage praising the Maguires. She described a brief informal formal meeting between some of the Child Care Officers and Mr Skinner, in which they voiced their concerns and feelings about the matter. There was an equal feeling of dissatisfaction and disbelief amongst the Child Care Officers about the decision to allow the Maguires to foster a child and those directly involved with the process expressed their concerns. She said she had no involvement in the criminal trial that was aborted but was interviewed by Dylan Southern in 1999 as part of the internal disciplinary investigation into Jane Maguire.

Mrs Woods went on to talk about her career in the late 1990s and courses that she went on concerning child protection - some of which she funded herself. She left the service in 2007.

She was also given the opportunity to respond to evidence pertaining to her that had been provided by other witnesses to the Inquiry.
In conclusion, she denied a suggestion that she had a "rose-tinted view" of the Jersey care system. She said she had a long and varied career with lots of different experiences. She said she believed Children's Services had endeavoured to provide children with the best possible service within the constraints of political and legislative resources, budget and the culture of the time.

She said: "My career as a Child Care Officer in Jersey spanned 27 years. I have had the privilege of working with colleagues who are enthusiastic, supportive, committed to the children and young people and have embraced change."

She asked the Inquiry Panel to remain child focussed and to try and endeavour to ensure that the voice of the child is heard and that Jersey invests in its children for as long as they need it – not just until they are 18.

Later,  Inquiry Counsel, Mr Paul Livingston, reminded the Panel that over the past four months they had heard live witness evidence from those working in all of the children’s homes operating in Jersey over the relevant period, visitors to those homes, Child Care Officers, senior members of Children’s Services and Directors of Education. This had included those accused of abuse, those who say that they saw or were told of abuse and those who say that they were not aware of abuse.

He said that in addition to this oral evidence, the Inquiry had collated the most relevant non-oral evidence in relation to this phase. This primarily consisted of witness statements given to the police by individuals working within the care system, as well as some other documents.

The evidence was largely in relation to those deceased, those who the Inquiry were not able to call because they live outside of Jersey and were unwilling to give evidence and those who the Inquiry had considered that the most efficient and proportionate way of hearing their evidence was to do so in purely documentary form.

He said it would allow the Panel and the public to consider the breadth of evidence received from those working within the care system and will enable the use of these documents in the final report.

All of this documentation will be made available to the public via this website, along with an index for each batch that sets out the documents contained within.

Full transcript and supporting documents of the day's proceedings will be available in due course.​

2015-08
  
12/08/2015
On Day 96 the IJCI hears evidence from two witnesses about working at La Preference and Les Chenes. 173

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (12 August) heard from two witnesses about their experiences working in care homes.

Mrs Christine Wilson spent 15 years at La Preference between 1968 and 1983 when it was still run by The Vegetarian Society. After a brief stint as a secretary after school she joined the home with a view to assisting her aging grandmother, Mrs Flora Walden. Her husband also joined her but not on a salary or contract.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Mr Patrick Sadd, took her through her witness statement about how the home was run, staffing levels and the layout of the home and grounds.

Mrs Wilson recalled how children responded to her grandmother’s gentle manner and explained how the characteristics of this approach enabled them to manage a group of children. She said many of the children had been there a long time and loved her.

Mrs Wilson said she was driven to continue making La Preference as homely as possible when she took over the running of it in 1971, and management was put on a formal setting by The Vegetarian Society.  A local committee was set up and there were more visits and support provided.

She explained that the philosophy was that they loved children and wanted to help them. She said staff, often non-qualified, were recruited on the basis that they shared that philosophy.

She outlined how the home was funded, how children came to be placed there and the significance of vegetarianism in the home. She described the environment as “loving” and that the older children would help with the younger ones and with chores, contributing to their keep as they would in any normal family setting.

Mrs Wilson described her relationship with Children’s Officers, the admissions process and how she never felt the need to refuse admission to a child.  She said she just did what she could to cope with numbers and inadequate staffing levels.  She talked about how they dealt with difficult children, saying they needed clear guidelines.

She recalled that the threshold for children coming into care for this period was low compared to what was happening in the UK. She described the tension between trying to create a stable and permanent home for children by giving long-term placements and trying to ensure that children returned to their families as soon as possible. The shift to the latter in the late ‘70s meant the damage was greater each time they returned because of the disappointment of not being able to stay at home.

Mrs Wilson talked about the differences in behaviour between children in La Preference, many of whom had been there for a long time, and those who came in from Haut de la Garenne.  She said she understood that HDLG staff were keen to protect themselves, so it was difficult for them to be tactile with the children.

She described her approach to discipline and restraint as fairly informal and that looking back it worked regardless of the absence of written procedures and guidelines.  Although she would never advocate the use of the cane, at that time it was the accepted form of punishment. She recalled two serious incidents which led to it being used but didn’t witness them.

She said that children needed clear guidelines - but some were too damaged to respond to the trust given to them. On two occasions they had to give up on children and it was suggested they move elsewhere.

She talked about the relationship with staff from other homes and how she and Mrs Margaret Holley at Brig-y-Don saw themselves as slightly different in their approach because they shared the same philosophies. She recalled being invited to a social gathering at Haut de la Garenne by the Superintendant, Mr Jim Thomson. She thought it inappropriate holding that sort of event when there were children around. She did not attend another one.  

She described the day-to-day management of La Preference and recalled the changes in policy regarding placements. She admitted the work was taking its toll on her and how the Director for Education, Mr John Rodhouse, had intervened and said it needed sorting out.

She outlined how Mr Ernie Mallett was recruited in the early 1980s to provide immediate help. She said it made a huge difference as he was very keen to do anything he was asked to do and the children loved him. She said he was the right person at that time to bring a lot of fun and laughter back to the home and fitted in with the philosophy, the ethos of the home.

She described her decision to leave La Preference for personal reasons as heart wrenching and a very difficult decision.

Looking back, Mrs Wilson said that La Preference was generally a success. With hindsight, staffing levels may have been too low and she may have given the children too much trust. She admitted that things would be done differently now, but in the past there was no training and it was all instinctive.  She said many of the children who were in her care have gone on to become highly successful people in stable relationships - and she hoped that the stability they were given had helped that situation.

When asked about what should be done to help children in the future, she said she felt strongly that children were often moved at the wrong time in their lives, and cited moving from permanent care when they started college. She advocated an extended period of care or halfway house which meant they could turn to a responsible adult to help them into independence. She said helping school leavers to find employment and encourage them to go for something they wanted to do was a natural part of what happened at La Preference.

After lunch, Mr Derek Carter gave evidence about his experience teaching at Les Chenes and Greenfields for more than 26 years.
Mr Sadd took him through his early career after qualifying as a teacher in London where he initially worked for six years. During that time he also took part in a befriending scheme for children from a National Children's Home in Essex. He also spent six years working at Moortop Boarding School for Maladjusted Boys in Yorkshire.

Mr Carter said he applied for the post at Les Chenes because it was similar to what he had already done in terms of teaching and caring and the shift pattern would allow him more time with his family.  His first impressions were that it seemed friendly, homely and had good facilities.

He recalled that the Principal, Mr Tom McKeon, ran a very tight ship, and lead by example. He also talked about the other six teachers and domestic staff.

He said that overall, Les Chenes was a good place to work and he always looked forward to going in. He enjoyed the job and found it challenging, although it was certainly difficult at times.

Mr Carter described his responsibilities and how they were to care for the children in the sense of a parental role; looking after their welfare out of lesson times, making sure they were comfortable and that they looked after themselves.

He said the philosophy was to get the children back into mainstream education as soon as possible; however this was not achieved to a large extent particularly with children who were there too long.

He described the routine as fairly strict and detailed the sleeping arrangements and how beds were allocated.

He recalled a sense of community amongst the staff and between the staff and young people, saying it was like an extended family most of the time. He described activities they would get involved with as a school such as gardening and decorating.
Mr Carter explained how staff handovers, meetings and record keeping were carried out and what they did if they needed to voice concerns. He spoke in detail about how Les Chenes was staffed, shift patterns, responsibilities and staff turnover. He said staff shortages and the use of supply teachers often made it difficult to maintain continuity for the young people.  

He said it was not compulsory to read children's files when they arrived. He preferred not to read them so his perceptions about them would not be clouded and he took them as he found them. He described how staff would record incidents in a book and how they would deal with bad behaviour.

As a teacher he had very little interaction with outside agencies such as Children’s Services, the Education Committee and the Probation Services.

When asked about the points system Mr Carter said it was probably a means of control. He explained it was the Principal’s decision as to who went home at the weekends and who didn't, but it was quite rare for a child not to go home. He described how current residents who were coping well with being at the school were paired up with new arrivals to give them guidance on what to do.  

He recalled corporal punishment only ever being used sparingly and he was asked to act as a witness on only one occasion. If he had seen a member of staff hit a child he would have reported it to the Head or Deputy Head. He said he didn't receive any formal training and even when he did, he did not think it equipped him very well. He just did the best he could to try and guard against using too much force and followed a common sense approach. He didn't recall there being any policies for dealing with aggressive or violent situations.

He explained how remand and non-remand children were organised and the use of the secure cells. Occasionally there were too many things to do and not enough staff.  He said they would try to reason with residents who were misbehaving. He was asked about the use of a small storeroom being used to secure young people.

Mr Carter described events surrounding what he termed as a “major incident” in 2003 when two residents smashed up a recreation room where he had been supervising them. On this occasion they refused to go to bed when asked and "started going mad" throwing things around. He locked the door and called the police, and moved the nearest group of children away from the area to safety. He also called a colleague, Peter Waggott, to help.  He said he did not know what the trigger was.

He said the transition of Les Chenes to Greenfields and the introduction of more specialised care staff was relatively well received. He talked about the different Principals he had worked under over the 26 years and compared and contrasted their styles.  He was positive about the Alternative Curriculum and its impact on the children.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume 0930 tomorrow (Thursday 12 August) with further evidence about working in Children’s Services.

2015-08
  
11/08/2015
Day 95 of IJCI public hearings focussed on evidence from three witnesses about their time working with Children’s Services.172

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (11 August) heard evidence from three witnesses about their time working with Children’s Services.

After qualifying as a Social Worker in 1984, the first witness, Mr Phil Dennett, worked in Bristol until 1989 when he moved to Jersey and took up a post as Senior Residential Care Officer at Heathfield Children's Home. In 1991 he became Joint Officer in Charge of Heathfield before moving into other managerial roles in 1999. He was eventually appointed Children's Executive Coordinator in 2004 and Director forChildren’s Services in 2011. He took voluntary redundancy in 2014.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, took Mr Dennett through his witness statement in which he talked about what it was like to work at Heathfield, where he took the lead in preventative work. He described the years he worked there as the happiest of his professional life.

He talked about some of the challenges of community care work, the detailed training needs, budgets, and the relationship he and his team had with the courts and schools in doing their preventative work.  He described how the magistrates dealt with persistent offenders and the resulting impact on Les Chenes and commented that the Parish Hall system deflects a number of young people from the Criminal Justice System.

He also talked about the relationship between residential staff and field workers, referrals, child placements, workloads and how volunteers and former residents came to work in the home.

Mr Dennett told the Inquiry about some of the developments and policies he and a colleague introduced at Heathfield, particularly with regards to child protection in the late 1980s and 90s and how staff were supervised and supported. He described the Key Worker System, the handling of complaints and how case histories were chaired.

He described how he was promoted to Children's Service Manager during what he said was an intense period of change for Children's Services. He outlined the changes to management structure, the inception of the Placement Panel, funding and budgets, children’s homes inspections, lack of resources, complaints against staff, IT, the appointment of Simon Bellwood at Greenfields and his observations on the Bull, Breckon and CAMHS reports. He also explained how he dealt with certain internal complaints and allegations against staff.

He admitted there were frustrations and at times felt isolated and lacking in support. He described how he felt as though he was fire-fighting whilst trying to step back and do some clear strategic thinking.

In conclusion, Mr Dennett stated that going forward, it was vital for Jersey to continue to look at how it dealt with its most vulnerable population. He said that it started at the top and there had been a missed opportunity in not appointing a Minister for Children to stand up for them.   

In the afternoon, Witness 729, Mrs ‘M’ responded to allegations made against her and other staff working at La Preference when it was a voluntary home.

Speaking anonymously, Mrs ‘M’ said the allegations against staff were implausible because if anything as serious as this had happened, there were enough staff around to have known about it.

Moving on to allegations made against her, Mrs 'M', who worked at the home for more than ten years, denied hitting a child with a cane. She said they certainly smacked bottoms but for older children punishments were more likely to include stopping them from going to the youth club.

She said she would have certainly raised her voice many times but refuted allegations of shouting and using food as a punishment.

Mrs 'M' said she did not remember children disclosing to her that they had been abused, but if any had done she would have reported it immediately. Since leaving the home, her work has involved her working closely with abused children and the more recent disclosures are the only ones she can now recall.

The former Director of Education, Mr John Rodhouse, resumed giving his evidence via video link from London. He began by clarifying some of the evidence given last Wednesday (5 August). He said he saw it as his duty to inform and advise the Education Committee on all areas of their responsibility and to lead and manage their staff. He said he had never claimed any expertise in social work but had some understanding of the situation of the children in care.  He also said members of the Education Committee did not undervalue the work of Children's Services and fully recognised the status of the professional staff; in residential care, they wanted what they thought were the qualities of good parents - a liking for children, common sense and empathy.

He commented on the use of corporal punishment both in schools and children's homes, complaints of the use of excessive force from parents and some staff and the 1980 guidelines for the use of secure rooms.

Mr Rodhouse spoke about how moving towards the closure of Haut de la Garenne was a major political undertaking - and it took the weight of the Lambert & Wilkinson Report to drive the political effort.

He explained that the primary force in persuading the Education Committee of the need for a separate remand facility home like Les Chenes was because the Magistrate at that time was making considerable critical comments about children on remand going on to commit further offences.  

He talked again about the relationship between the former Head of Children’s Services, Mr Charles Smith, and the Superintendent at HDLG, Mr Jim Thomson.

Mr Rodhouse outlined the issues concerning housing, staff recruitment and dealing with members of the Children's Sub-Committee.
He said he thought many of the weaknesses in the Children's Service in Jersey were the result of its history and the way it developed - largely in isolation from the United Kingdom. He spoke of the difficulty in getting all the agencies to work together,

Mr Sadd asked him about an incident concerning the death of a child in private foster care, his role in the development of a response to non-accidental injuries and budget management.

He also asked him about his knowledge of abuse. Mr Rodhouse registered his shock and disbelief at the allegations of abuse at HDLG and noted that no-one had brought anything to his attention even though he was easily accessible. He cited several examples of incidents involving abuse in schools and said if he had received any suggestion of child abuse at HDLG or elsewhere in Children's Services he would have dealt with them in a similar way. He detailed one particular incident about which he still felt very uncomfortable involving a volunteer youth worker who was fired but not reported to the Police on the direction of the Attorney General.

On retiring he recommended that steps should be taken to set up an integrated Social Services Department bringing together social work done by Public Health and Education.

In conclusion Mr Rodhouse said: "I have thought long and hard about my responsibility for what has happened. I trusted the people who worked under me and what I have read so far in the transcripts of this Inquiry indicates that my trust was misplaced. I am truly sorry."

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume 0930 tomorrow (Wednesday 12 August).

2015-08
  
07/08/2015
The IJCI on Day 94 heard evidence from Tony and Morag Jordan about working as Residential Child Care Officers at Haut de la Garenne. 171

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (7 August) heard evidence from Mr Tony and Mrs Morag Jordan, about their time as staff at Haut de la Garenne.

Speaking via telephone link, Mr Jordan spoke about what it was like working as a Residential Child Care Officer between 1978 and 1984.
Prior to moving to Jersey, he had served in the Army, the Police Force in Gibraltar and moved back to Wales in 1974. In 1977 he moved to Jersey with a friend, obtained a job with the Channel Island Yacht Services and was invited to volunteer at HDLG, mainly taking the boys to play snooker or supervise them swimming.

He met his future wife, Morag Kidd, through attending Youth Service functions. She was working as a residential member of staff at HDLG and told him they were looking for more staff.  He said he applied on the off-chance even though he had no qualifications - and was surprised when invited for an interview and appointed as Residential Child Care Officer.

Taking him through his witness statement, Inquiry Counsel Patrick Sadd, asked Mr Jordan to describe the systems in place at the time, how the home was managed and how he contributed to the care of the children.  

He explained how he would discipline the children and that he was never told his manner was inappropriate or that he'd crossed the line. He always believed it was with the Superintendent, Jim Thomson's blessing.

He stated he never received any training, but took the lead from colleagues who had been there longer.  When HDLG closed, the couple decided to leave Jersey as it was too expensive to buy a house.  Mr Jordan said he continued working with children and undertook a course in Social Services, which he described as “illuminating” and that looking back they could have done a lot more for the children.

Mr Sadd asked Mr Jordan about his trial and conviction in 2010 on eight counts of assault of children at HDLG. He was acquitted on four further counts. Mr Jordan maintained, as he did at the time, that the assaults did not happen and that he was wrongly convicted.  He refuted being a bully.

He said he and his wife felt they had been scapegoated and let down by the States who he believed had a lot of questions to answer and perhaps had wanted to cover up other offences they did not want in the public domain. He also cited the Police investigation, how the Press had obtained the original report which named the Jordans, how the case was proceeded with, the way the trial was conducted and that their Advocate did not represent them effectively.

Mrs Jordan gave her evidence via a video link and spoke about her time working at HDLG as a Residential Care Worker at HDLG over a 14-year period from 1970.  

After gaining a NNEB nursing qualification, she worked with young children at a local nursery in Dundee, Scotland. On returning from a holiday with her parents in Jersey, she saw an advert in Nursery World magazine and decided to apply for the position. She was offered the job at HDLG on October 1970.She said she was not given any guidelines or handed any policy booklets that set out what was expected of her as a member of staff or what the home's policy was. She took the lead from colleagues around her. She said they were given no training whatsoever.

She described various members of staff and Child Care Officers, detailing the lack of communication. She also spoke about visitors and volunteers at the home and the use of detention rooms. She detailed how she dealt with the different kinds of children in terms of care, discipline and meeting their emotional needs.  She also talked about dealing with bedwetting

She said she worked for three different Superintendents during her tenure and that things did not change much during that time.
She said she and her husband were really shocked by the allegations of abuse made by residents when they were arrested by the Police in 2009.  She was convicted of eight counts and acquitted of 21. Mr Sadd gave her the opportunity to respond to each of them, as well as other allegations received by the Inquiry from former residents and former members of staff. She denied each of them.
Mrs Jordan said the prosecution was flawed and they wondered why they were the only ones prosecuted as their behaviour was no different to other members of staff. She told the Inquiry she had loved her job – even though it was not what she originally thought she was going to do – and she would do it all again.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course
Public Hearings resume 1000 on Tuesday 11 August. Please see Timetable for details

2015-08
  
06/08/2015
The IJCI hears from three witnesses about Jersey's care system on Day 93 of public hearings. 170

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Thursday (6 August) heard from three witnesses about Jersey’s care system.

In the morning, Mr Tony Le Sueur, returned to conclude giving his evidence about his experience with Children’s Services since the 1980s.
He spoke about the issues around HR and recruiting staff, political and departmental structures, fostering, detention of children, children's rights,children’s referrals, parish constables, welfare and the impact of changing demographics on Jersey.  He contrasted the development of the international finance sector with the lack of development of social policy on Jersey.  

Answering questions from the Panel, he reiterated his view that there was a need for political commitment and a shift needed for all politicians to understand the needs of vulnerable children on Jersey.

He said a Children's Minister or central figure was needed to promote the young people and family agenda on Jersey - along with regular external inspections.

Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, then began taking the second witness through his statement.  Mr Richard Jouault originally worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in the UK for two years and then in Jersey for eight years until 2003, when he moved into various managerial roles within Health and Social Services.

During that time he was involved in the drafting of new legislation and worked with the former Minister of Health and Social Services, Mr Stuart Syvret, on restructuring the 'corporate parent'.  He also had involvement with staff disciplinary investigations. Later, as Deputy to the Chief Officer of the health and Social Services dept he worked on the implementation of the first Andrew Williamson Report, the development of the Redress Scheme and the formation of the Child Policy Group. In September 2014 he was seconded to the Chief Minister's Department to coordinate their response to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Mr Jouault provided a picture of what was happening on the ground in Children's Services following the Bull Report in 2003 and subsequent  reports in order  to help the IJCI establish a better understanding of the mechanisms of change taking place within Children's Services during this period. He talked about why some proposals worked and others did not. He also talked about the issue of political will in seeing through the changes in the department.

He recalled events surrounding the sacking of Iris Le Feuvre as Independent Chair of the Jersey Child Protection Committee. Mr Joault described this as highly unusual and he and the Chief Officer of Health, Mr Mike Pollard, advised the Minister, Stuart Syvret, that it was inappropriate to dismiss her.  

He said that the impact of critical emails sent to him and departmental staff by Mr Syvret after he was dismissed as Minister for Health and Social Services was such that Mr Jouault felt obliged to make a formal complaint against him to the Police. He explained that it was a terrible time for the department as they also had to deal with Operation Rectangle and an 18-month period of Ministerial instability. He gave details as to how this was managed.

Mr Joault was asked about the issues drawn from the various reports that had been published during his more recent career in administration - including “Laming Compliance” which he considered to be about the caseloads of social workers, the issue of the creation of a Minister for Children, the development of a child advocacy service, staff training and increased leaving care provision.

Mr Joualt was appointed Acting Chief Officer in September 2009 to replace Mr Pollard until they could find a permanent replacement.  Before he left, Mr Pollard had asked him to develop plans for dealing with potential civil liabilities from former residents and psychological support issues in the wake of Operation Rectangle.

He talked about issues surrounding lobbying for funding, appointments made to assist with the development of the service and described his role in setting up the Redress Scheme, the difficulties getting legislation through in Jersey and changes in policies and work practices in Children’s Services in recent years.

In concluding, Mr Joualt said he anticipated that the majority of people recognise how fundamentally important the IJCI is to assisting the island to improve its performance in a highly important area; and that it was important to recognise the journey that the island has had.

Mr Joualt added he was proactively looking forward to improving services in a sustained and sustainable way, making sure improvement was embedded in structures going forward. He stated it would require the continued investment of all those people who cared about the services in the island.

The third witness of the day was Mr ‘Y’, who gave evidence regarding his time working at Les Chenes School over a number of years.

Mr Sadd asked him for his response to various allegations of violence and being drunk whilst on duty that were made to the States of Jersey Police by a number of former residents and staff.

Mr Y said he did drink but if had thought he was incapable of doing his job he would not have gone to work.  He said in retrospect he probably did not do his job very well, that perhaps he would not have had the children’s best interests on his mind and that he may have unknowingly put children at risk.

He said he was not a violent man and rejected all allegations of physical abuse, bullying or of using food as a form of punishment.  He said he did not remember being reprimanded by his boss, Mr Tom McKeon, over pushing a child up against a wall, but accepted that if Mr McKeon said it had happened, it had.

He said he had not heard of the term “pinballing” until reports of the IJCI.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

Public hearings resume at 0900 tomorrow (Friday 7 August). See Timetable.

2015-08
  
05/08/2015
The IJCI begins hearing evidence from former Director of Education, John Rodhouse.169

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (5 August) began hearing evidence from former Director of Education, Mr John Rodhouse.

Speaking via audio link from Norfolk, Mr Rodhouse was taken through his statement by Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd.  During his 16-year tenure, Children’s Services was part of the Education Department.

Mr Rodhouse worked as a teacher and in educational administration roles in Essex and Bedford before being appointed as Director of Education in 1973. He continued until 1989 and then went on to write a report about the content of a new law for education in Jersey.

He described his first impressions and noted that the island was not affected by the 1944 Education Act which had brought enormous changes in education in the UK.  He also stated that comparisons with the UK were not fair and that some of the problems Jersey experienced could be attributed to the difference in scale between Jersey and UK.

Mr Rodhouse set out what he described as the unique system of government that he found in Jersey and gave an oversight of the various services being carried out by committees and how decisions were made. His role, he said, was to carry out the will of the Committee, the people who worked in the services and the people who used them.

He described the relationship between the committees and the parishes and factors that contributed to delays in getting policies changed or implemented. He talked about his failure to convince any of the presidents of the Education Committee he served (apart from the last), that a new education law was necessary.  He observed that there was a great emphasis on knowing people and connecting with them.

He talked about his duties as Director of Education, how staff were recruited, the role of the Children's Officer, issues of confidentiality and budgetary allocation.

He recalled visiting Haut de la Garenne, the standard of child care provision, staffing and discussions around the Education Committee closing the home.

Mr Rodhouse said he was astonished when he heard of the allegations of abuse at HDLG and did not recognise the negative descriptions of the home given to the IJCI by at least two people who worked in Children’s Services.

Mr Sadd asked about staff performance and drinking issues, their treatment of the children, residential staff visitors to HDLG and the relationship between the former head of Children’s Services, Charles Smith, and Jim Thomson, a Child Care Officer and then Superintendent at HDLG.

Mr Rodhouse will resume giving his evidence at a later date.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume 0900 tomorrow (Thursday 6 August) with Mr Tony Le Sueur concluding his evidence about Children’s Services.​

2015-08
  
04/08/2015
IJCI hears evidence from Marnie Boudains about her experiences working in Children's Services and Social Services during 1985-2011.168

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (4 August) heard evidence from Mrs Marnie Boudains about her experiences working in Children's Services and Social Services during 1985-2011.

Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, took her through her witness statement outlining her career which began with various child care and supervisory roles in the UK before returning to Jersey in 1985 as a bank Residential Child Care Officer and Houseparent assigned mainly to Haut de la Garenne and Clos de Sables Family Group Home.

Mrs Boudains worked as a Child Care Officer between 1986 and 1993 and recalled what it was like working under certain managers, caseloads and her impressions of the various homes she was involved with.

She described the restructuring of fieldwork services in 1988, the level of supervision of Child Care Officers in Jersey, the development of the family Support Service, welfare benefits, fostering and adoption, record keeping and the storage and destruction of those records. She also talked about the impact of the 1989 Children’s Act and other legislation on service provision in Jersey.

Mrs Boudains explained how in early 1989 a long-term resident of Clos de Sables reported abuse by the Housefather, Les Hughes, who was later convicted on five counts of sexual offences against three former residents at the home.

She also recalled events surrounding allegations of abuse against Blanche Pierre Houseparents, Alan and Jane Maguire, first as a Child Care Officer in 1989 and later, in 1997, as Manager of the Children's Service Child Protection Team. She talked about the considerable developments made in identifying victims of abuse over the ten years and her surprise at the decision to drop the prosecution against them.

Mrs Boudains detailed how the 1995 restructuring of administration and government impacted upon Children’s Services and the move towards multi-agency working.

She said criticisms of services and individuals by former Minister, Mr Stuart Syvret, were erroneous and that his actions increased the risk to those children who required protection from abuse on the basis that public confidence was needed.  She said it was not so much the content of what he said, but the manner in which he raised the issues.

Mrs Boudains also gave evidence about the department’s relationship with the States of Jersey Police and her observations about Operation Rectangle.

Mrs Boudains, who retired four-and-a-half years ago as Directorate Manager of Social Services, told the Panel she hoped the IJCI would be a powerful enough vehicle for there to finally be ownership of responsibility for at least implementing some of the many recommendations that will arise.

Transcriptsand supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public Hearings resume tomorrow (Wednesday 5 August) at 1400. See the Timetable for details.

2015-08
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-07 ‎(9)
  
31/07/2015
The IJCI continues to hear evidence about the workings of Children’s Services from the 1990s, as well as evidence from two anonymous witnesses.167

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (31 July) continued to hear evidence about the workings of Children’s Services from the 1990s, as well as evidence from two anonymous witnesses.

In a detailed account, Children’s Services Officer, Mr Tony Le Sueur, covered a range of topics from the Key Worker System and training provision, the use of detention rooms and child placement policies through to staff assessments and social workers’ caseloads.

Taking him through his statement, Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, asked Mr Le Sueur about the impact of these organisational practices on residents and on staff morale.

Mr Le Sueur described the formation of the Health and Social Services Department and the Jersey Child Protection Committee.  He spoke about the problems that arose around funding and budgets, issues around communication between staff and departments, police involvement and how this all played out against the backdrop of deep-seated cultural issues and Jersey's political system.

He recalled Jersey’s failure to implement the recommendations of other external inspections and said he sincerely hoped that the Inquiry’s recommendations would be taken on as there were hugely committed professionals working on the island who wanted better services.

Mr Le Sueur will conclude his evidence next Thursday.

In the afternoon, anonymous witness, Mr ‘A’, described how he had starting taking children from Haut de la Garenne for days out at the beach and cinema, on a voluntary basis, in the 1960s. In 2003 one of the children, Witness 195, repeatedly asked him for money, and when faced with threats, Mr ‘A’ reported him to the police. During the police investigation, Witness 195 made significant allegations of sexual abuse against Mr ‘A’ in relation to these trips out during the 1960s.

In 2004, police interviewed Mr  ‘A’ about the allegations, which he denied. During evidence today, Mr ‘A’ also denied allegations in relation to other former residents of Haut de la Garenne that he had taken for days out during the 1960s.

Earlier, anonymous witness, Mr ‘K’, refuted allegations of sexual abuse during visits to Haut de la Garenne whilst working for Children’s Services.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be made available in due course.

Public hearings resume 1000 on Tuesday 4 August. Please monitor the Timetable for up-to-date timings

2015-07
  
30/07/2015
IJCI hears further evidence from the former head of Children's Service and starts hearing evidence from Health & Social Service Officer, Tony Le Sueur.166

The former Head of Children’s Services, Mr Anton Skinner, on Thursday (30 July) continued giving evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Speaking for a third day, he recalled the circumstances around Jane Maguire being transferred to the Family Centre Service after being removed as House Mother at Blanche Pierre following abuse allegations. Her new role included running under-fives groups alongside an experienced nursery worker. Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, asked Mr Skinner to comment on how much he was aware of the extent of involvement that Mrs Maguire would have had with young children.

Mr Skinner went on to describe his actions in the investigation into disclosure of abuse made by a young person originally resident at Heathfield about a member of staff, Witness 335. He talked about the involvement of the Police and the newly formed Child Protection Team (for which he had been responsible for setting up), as well as discussions about the case with the Education Committee. Witness 335 was given early retirement and an enhancement to his pension.

He also outlined what the disciplinary procedures of the States of Jersey were in 1991 and the issues around trying to fire people.

Mr Sadd then asked Mr Skinner about political interest and involvement in Children's Services, funding, and his relationship with Senator Stuart Syvret, in his role as President and latterly Minister of Health and Social Services.

​Mr Skinner explained his department's retention policy with regard to destroying documents and archiving and talked about issues arising out of the Operation Rectangle Police investigation.

Mr Skinner spoke of the lessons learned both personally and professionally, some of the improvements achieved within Children's Services and the difficulties of getting laws passed in Jersey.

His concluding statement included apologies to all children affected by decisions made by himself and Children’s Services. He said there was no question of a cover-up as he did act on complaints as quickly as possible - but that there were lessons to be learned.  

Mr Sadd also started to take Day 89’s second witness through his evidence. Mr Tony Le Sueur first appeared before the IJCI Panel last year to outline the history of Jersey’s Children’s Services since 1945 as part of his current role as Programme Associate on behalf of Health & Social Services in the States’ own Inquiry team.  He confirmed that the appointment was not made on behalf of the IJCI nor was in any way related to the IJCI team.

Mr Le Sueur detailed various aspects of training, development and disciplinary policies and practices as well as child protection legislation during his varied career within Children’s Services since starting as a worker in a Youth centre in the 1980s, working at Heathfields and La Chasse in the 1990s and moving into senior management roles in the 2000s.

He talked about what he wanted the IJCI final report to achieve, and his fears that the funds wouldn’t be made available to implement any recommendations which he regarded as being a priority in order to protect vulnerable children.

Public hearings start at 0900 tomorrow (Friday 31 July) and Mr Le Sueur will continue giving his evidence from 1000.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

2015-07
  
29/07/2015
Former Children’s Officer, Mr Anton Skinner, continued  to give evidence about his time with Children’s Services on Day 88 of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.165

​Former Children’s Officer, Mr Anton Skinner, on Wednesday (29 July) continued  to give evidence about his time with Children’s Services to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Taking him through his witness statement, Counsel to the Inquiry, Mr Patrick Sadd, asked him about how he dealt with allegations of abuse, including those against Les Hughes, the Housefather at Clos de Sables Family Group Home, who was convicted in 1989 of sexual offences against three young girls.

He also gave detailed evidence about his and Children's Services' involvement with the Blanche Pierre Family Group Home and how he affected the removal of the Houseparents, Jane and Alan Maguire, following allegations of abuse against the children in their care by two members of staff.  

Mr Skinner described the investigations and his dealings with the Children’s Sub-Committee and Education Committee regarding the allegations and how the Maguires were subsequently resettled into new accommodation, whilst Mrs Maguire was moved to a role within the Family Centre Service.

Mr Sadd also asked him to explain the process whereby the Maguires were allowed to foster one of the children from Blanche Pierre.

Mr Skinner will resume giving his evidence to the IJCI at 0930 tomorrow (Thursday 30 July).

Full transcript and supporting documents will be available in due course.

2015-07
  
28/07/2015
Former Children's Officer, Anton Skinner, gives evidence to the IJCI on Day 87 of public hearings. 164

​Former Child Care Officer and Children’s Officer, Mr Anton Skinner, on Tuesday (28 July) began giving evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry about his experiences of the department’s work from 1973 onwards.

Mr Skinner joined Children's Services in 1973 as a trainee Child Care Officer and attended Nottingham Trent Polytechnic in 1974 in order to obtain formal training and qualify as a social worker. He was promoted to Senior Child Care officer in 1978. In 1984 he was seconded to Berkshire Social Services as Principal Assistant as preparation for him to assume the role of Children's Officer and become Head of Children’s Services between 1986 and 1995. Between 1995 and 2002 he was Director of Community and Social Services, and from 2002, Chief Executive of Health and Community Services before retiring in 2005 and working as Director of Jersey Focus, a mental health charity, before retiring in 2010.

Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, took Mr Skinner through his witness statement in which he described the day-to-day set-up, management and workings of the Child Care field team; how they dealt with children who they considered needed to be in care and their relationship with the Children’s Sub-Committee and the Education Committee.

He commented on the 1981 Lambert and Wilkinson report into the reviews conducted by Child Care Officers, the options available for child placements, former colleagues and various incidents involving children at Haut de la Garenne.

He told the Panel that Haut de la Garenne could never have met the complex needs of the children there and that a generation of children between 1970-1985 were failed by the system as the standard of care was “unimpressive”.  He stated the detention rooms were used for children that were absconding - not as punishment facilities - but as somewhere to cool down and not abscond again.  Mr Sadd asked him to comment on reports and memos from other Child Care Officers.  Mr Skinner said he did not know about specific incidents of abuse or of specific people abusing children during that period but accepted that it would have occurred in an institution of that size. He also gave evidence about the closure of Haut de la Garenne and commented on the effectiveness of the Family Group Home system.

Mr Skinner talked about the use of corporal punishment, the setting-up of the Child Protection Team in 1985, the establishment of Childline in 1986 and responded to questions about how he dealt with allegations of abuse against various care home staff.  

He described the need for training opportunities in the 1990s and the training initiative set up with the National Children's Home.

Mr Skinner will continue giving evidence from 0930 tomorrow (Wednesday 29 June). See Timetable.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

2015-07
  
10/07/2015
A former trainer with Jersey's Child Protection Committee has been giving evidence to the inquiry today.163

A former trainer with Jersey's Child Protection Committee has been giving evidence to the inquiry today.

Janet Brotherton was appointed in 2002.

She described child protection practice in Jersey as "at least 10 years behind that of the UK" and said this was down to an "absence of systems." The UK was influenced by the 1989 Children Act and the Working Together guidance of the early 90's. Jersey had nothing similar.

Answering questions from Counsel Patrick Sadd, Mrs Brotherton said that the lack of multi agency policies and procedures made it difficult for anyone to challenge poor or inappropriate working practices. Island-wide multi agency policies were eventually adopted in 2011.

Referring to the numerous reports into Jersey's Children's Services over the years, Mrs Brotherton, who left her role in 2012, said she hoped the inquiry would establish why, in her opinion, so few recommendations had been implemented.

Transcripts from the hearing will be uploaded to the website as soon as it's available.

Hearings will resume after a short break to prepare further evidence.

2015-07
  
09/07/2015
The IJCI hears evidence from two former Children's Services employees about their experiences of the care system.162

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Thursday (9 July) heard evidence from former child care and fostering officer, Mr David Castledine.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Mr Patrick Sadd, took him through his statement starting with his early career as a qualified social worker in Leicester.  He took up a post as a Child Care Officer in Jersey in 1974 and worked in a variety of roles until retirement in 2005. He then worked part-time for a further five years as a Child Care Officer doing matrimonial and out-of-hours work.

Mr Castledine described the day-to-day activities of the six-strong Child Care Officer team during the 1970s and 1980s and compared the organisation to that of Leicester. He spoke about the relationship between Children’s Services and the Honorary Police, staff training, private foster arrangements, child welfare management and the admissions process for children going into care. Mr Castledine also gave evidence about various children’s homes, his role as the island’s first fostering officer from the 1980s and his time as a foster parent.

Mr Sadd also asked Mr Castledine about a number of specific cases and reports of abuse within the care system.

Earlier, the Panel ruled that a document containing details of a complaint against a former colleague of Mr Castledine fell within the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and could be put to him for his response.  The ruling can be read here.

Later, the Inquiry heard evidence from Mrs Pauline Vautier about her experiences working for Children’s Services between 1978-2009.  She told the Panel that she undertook several placements with Children’s Services in 1975 in order to gain the experience needed to qualify as a social worker.  She spent the next three years gaining experience during holidays before graduating from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978.

Mrs Vautier then took up a role as Child Care Officer with Children’s Services. She described her work which she said had spanned the history of Children’s Services; during which time she had seen a real change in child services provision.  She told the Inquiry that things needed to change and she described some of the major developments in the child protection team, fostering, adoption, supervision and training and the introduction of good protocols and procedures. She added that for change to happen there had to be a willingness on the part of the politicians to effect change quickly – and this had not always been a priority for Jersey’s politicians.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume tomorrow (Friday 10 June) at 1000. See Timetable for updates.

2015-07
  
08/07/2015
​The IJCI hears evidence from two former staff members about their experiences of Jersey’s care system on Day 84.161

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (8 June) heard from two former staff members about their experiences of Jersey’s care system.

Witness 335, Mr ‘V', joined Heathfield residential care home in 1987 and became a Senior Child Care Officer whilst working at Home.  Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd asked him about allegations of sexual abuse made by former Heathfields residents.  Mr V responded to each of them, spoke about being suspended whilst the allegations were investigated by police and then being reinstated after it was decided that there were no grounds for prosecution. He left Jersey a few months later.  

Mr Sadd also took the second witness, Mr Simon Bellwood, through his evidence.

Mr Bellwood began by describing his experience as a social worker dealing with children with challenging behaviour in England and Wales. In 2004 he became the Operational Manager at a secure children’s home in Essex and explained that the concept was similar to Greenfields.

On the basis of this experience he applied for a managerial post at Greenfields in 2006 and spent six weeks there before moving across to the new building. Mr Bellwood described some of the changes he thought were needed to bring Greenfields up to UK standards.  He also spoke about how the children were managed, staff dynamics and training, Jersey’s political structure, scrutiny, governance and how complaints were dealt with.

Mr Bellwood recounted how the relationship with his superiors deteriorated and he was subsequently told he had failed his probationary period. He said various internal investigations resulted from him having raised his concerns but questioned their process and disputed their findings. He said that there was a need for external scrutiny in order for Jersey to move forward and make the changes that were needed.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume 1000 on Thursday 10 May. See the Timetable for details.

2015-07
  
07/07/2015
The IJCI hears evidence from a former care worker employed for more than 15 years at La Preference Children’s Home.160

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (7 July) heard evidence from a former care worker employed for more than 15 years at La Preference Children’s Home.

Speaking anonymously, the witness, known as Mr ‘A’, talked about how the night shifts worked and other operational details. He also responded to allegations of abuse which were put to him by the Police during Operation Rectangle in 2009.

The transcript and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume 1000 on Wednesday 8 July.

2015-07
  
01/07/2015
Former Blanche Pierre worker, Mrs Sue Doyle, gave evidence to the IJCI on Wednesday 2 July.159

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (1 July) heard evidence from a former member of staff from Children’s Services, who worked at Blanche Pierre Family Group Home, Heathfield and then in the fostering and adoption team.

Mrs Sue Doyle, who previously worked as an auxiliary nurse before moving to Highlands College, told the Panel that she was first approached to work on a temporary basis at Blanche Pierre in 1989 by Brenda Chappell.  Six weeks later she accepted a part-time job – but was already concerned about the way the children were treated by House Parents, Alan and Jane Maguire.  

IJCI Counsel Patrick Sadd took Mrs Doyle through her statement as she described some of the physical and emotional abuse suffered by the children. She explained how she reported it to Children’s Services and eventually the Maguires were asked to leave Blanche Pierre.

In 1991, Mrs Doyle moved to Heathfield and she described events leading to the criminal proceedings against the Maguires in 1997 - and her surprise when the case against them was dropped. She also helped with the subsequent internal investigation into what happened at Blanche Pierre and subsequently with Operation Rectangle.

Since 2001 Mrs Doyle has been working with the fostering and adoption team and explained how the recruitment process had changed to involve more vetting and assessments.

The transcript and supporting documents will be available in due course.

The IJCI has now adjourned for the week and public hearings will resume 1000 on Tuesday 7 July.
2015-07
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-06 ‎(12)
  
30/06/2015
Two former child workers give evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Day 81.158

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (30 June) heard evidence from two former child care workers.

Miss Marilyn Carre worked as a Child Care Assistant and Officer in Jersey between 1977 and 1990 before moving to the probation service. 

Counsel to the Inquiry, Mr Patrick Sadd, took her through her statement in which she described her role working with young people in the community and working occasional night shifts in various residential homes – mainly Heathfield and La Preference, in order to supplement her income. She detailed the referrals process by which children were sent to Children’s Services, how she developed a specialism in dealing with suspected sexual abuse cases and training provision by the States.

 Miss Carre also described what she saw during visits to Les Chenes, Blanche Pierre and Haut de la Garenne before explaining how she stopped working as a Counsellor on Operation Rectangle due to a conflict of interest.

 After lunch, Mr Sadd took Mr Ernest Mallet through his statement, in which he detailed being brought up in Jersey’s care system and subsequently becoming a volunteer at Haut de la Garenne between 1969-1974.

 He then went to England to work as a residential Child Care Officer in Surrey where they used the key worker system, before returning to Jersey in 1981 as Assistant Director at Les Amis. He joined Haut de la Garenne nine months later and then spent 20 years working at La Preference until 2002.  Mr Mallet recalled various members of staff, management, records, care of the children, discipline and relationships with the States. He also responded to two allegations of assault made against him, which were investigated by Children’s Services in 1992 and 2000 respectively.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public Hearings resume tomorrow (Wednesday 1 July) at 1000 with another former care worker speaking about their experiences of Jersey’s care system.  

2015-06
  
25/06/2015
A former Principal of Les Chenes has been giving evidence to the inquiry.157

A former Principal of Les Chenes has been giving evidence to the inquiry.

Kevin Mansell joined the home in 1991 as a teacher and became Principal in 2000.

He said that Les Chenes was "severely under-resourced" and struggled to deal with the rising numbers of young people who needed secure accommodation after being referred by the courts.

Answering questions by counsel to the inquiry, Patrick Sadd, Mr Mansell said he was not given adequate support by the Education Department.

New management was appointed when Les Chenes became Greenfields and Mr Mansell returned to a teaching role.

The transcript of today's hearing will be published on the website as soon as it's available.

Hearings will resume next week.

2015-06
  
24/06/2015
Day 79: Two former employees of Jersey care homes give evidence to the IJCI..156

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (24 June) heard from two former employees of Jersey care homes.

Witness 108, Mr ‘E’, responded to a number of allegations of abuse from former residents of Les Chenes Residential School.  

The second witness, Witness 287, known as Miss 'H', worked for a number of years in various capacities within child care. She responded to an allegation in respect of her time working at a Family Group Home.

Counsel to the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

Public Hearings resume 1000 tomorrow (Thursday 25 June) with a witness giving evidence about working at Les Chenes and Greenfields. Please see Timetable.

2015-06
  
23/06/2015
A former night nurse at Haut de la Garenne has been giving evidence to the Inquiry this afternoon.155

A former night nurse at Haut de la Garenne has been giving evidence to the Inquiry this afternoon.

 

Wendy Castledine was employed on one or two nights a week during the late 1970's and early 80's, when Jim Thomson was in charge of the home.

She told Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, that she never saw or heard anything that caused her concern.

Mrs Castledine also provided short-term placements for children needing foster care, along with her husband David, a fostering officer.

She said that she felt adequately supported by children's services throughout her time as a foster parent.

A full transcript of the hearing will be available in due course. Hearings resume tomorrow  at 10 am.

2015-06
  
22/06/2015
The IJCI Public Hearing scheduled for Monday 22 June has been cancelled.  154

​The Public Hearing scheduled for today, Monday 22 June, has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

2015-06
  
19/06/2015
A former Principal of Les Chenes Residential School & Director of Education, Mr Tom McKeon, gave evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Day 77.153

​A former Principal of Les Chenes Residential School & Director of Education, Mr Tom McKeon, on Friday (19 June), Day 77,  gave evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Taking him through his witness statement, Inquiry Counsel, Patrick Sadd, asked Mr McKeon questions about his  early teaching career in the UK where his work in special education led to him being asked to apply to be the first Principal at Les Chenes. Mr McKoen described his role in helping to set up the school which opened in 1977.  He also talked about management, staffing, the relationship with the Education Committee and the approach used when dealing with children sent to Les Chenes.

Mr McKeon left Les Chenes in 1988 to become head teacher of La Quennevais School. He was appointed Deputy Director of Education 1992 and Director of Education in 1997 before retiring in 2007. He commented on various official reports about Les Chenes and Greenfields and on Education Committee decisions made about the school during that period.

After lunch, Mr ‘R’, a former teacher at Les Chenes, responded to allegations of abuse made by former residents and subsequent statements given to the States of Jersey Police.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public Hearings resume 1400 on Monday (22 May). See the Timetable for details of all next week’s proceedings.

2015-06
  
17/06/2015
The IJCI hears evidence from two of Jersey’s former child care workers on Day 76 of public hearings.152

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (17 June) heard evidence from two of Jersey’s former child care workers.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram, took Mrs Marion Robson  through her statement in which she described her time at Haut de la Garenne, La Preference and Family Group Homes, Blanche Pierre and Clos de Sables. She also commented on three allegations against her and spoke about allegations of abuse against her late father and former Superintendent, Jim Thompson, as well as allegations against Tony and Morag Jordan.

The second witness at Day 76 of public hearings, Marilyn Dunford, described coming to Jersey in 1968 to work at Brig-y-Don children's home for 11 months. She also worked at Haut de la Garenne, Norcott Villa and Don Road Family Group Homes and as a Child Care Assistant.  She talked about her various roles and what she saw with regard to allegations of abuse in the homes. Counsel to the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public Hearings resume on Friday (19 June) at 0900. Please see the Timetable for details.

2015-06
  
16/06/2015
IJCI hears evidence from former staff of Heathfields, Les Chenes and Greenfields on Day 75 of public hearings.151

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (16 June) heard evidence from a former care worker at Heathfields.

Geoffrey Spencer talked about his training and career in social work on the mainland before joining Heathfields as Principal Officer in 1987. He went on to describe staffing and management arrangements at Heathfields and at a hostel set up to help residents transition to life in the community.  He also commented on events at Le Squez Family Group Home, which he supervised on a temporary basis in 1990. Counsel to the Inquiry was Harriet Jerram.

The Panel then heard evidence from Mr ‘J’, who worked as a teacher at Les Chenes and Greenfield. He responded to various allegations of abuse against him and colleagues from former residents.  Counsel to the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.

Mr Sadd also took Day 75’s final witness through his evidence about Les Chenes and Greenfield.  Peter Waggott explained how he trained as a teacher and worked in a Newcastle school for about ten years before moving to Jersey and Les Chenes in 1989, and now teaches at Greenfields as required. He described his experience of working practices, daily routines, resources, management and the relationship with Children's Services.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume tomorrow (Wednesday 17 June) at 1000.​

2015-06
  
11/06/2015
Former Les Chenes employee and Director of Education, Culture and Sport for the States of Jersey, Mario Lundy, gives evidence on Day 74 of the IJCI. 150

​The IJCI on Thursday (11 June) heard evidence from a former Les Chenes employee and Director of Education, Culture and Sport for the States of Jersey.

During Day 74 Counsel for the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram, took Mr Mario Lundy through his witness statement in which he ran through working practices, staffing and policies at the various places he worked in Jersey.

Mr Lundy joined Les Chenes in 1979  as Deputy Principal and became Principal in 1987. In 1985 he spent a few months on secondment at Haut de la Garenne. In 1997 he became Head Teacher of Grainville Secondary School, before becoming Assistant Director for Schools and Colleges in 2004 and Director of Education Culture and Sport in 2008. He retired in August 2014.

Mr Lundy also responded to 27 allegations of physical abuse.

The transcript and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

Public Hearings are due to resume on Tuesday 16 June. Please see the Inquiry Timetable for details.

2015-06
  
10/06/2015
ICJI hears evidence from residential care and social worker on Day 73.149

The IJCI heard on Wednesday (10 June) heard evidence from residential care and social worker, Audrey Mills.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, took Miss Mills through her witness statement recounting her  career and experiences in childcare services from 1956 onwards at Haut de La Garenne, in England, Clos de Sables, Blanche Pierre and as a foster parent.

The transcript and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public hearings resume at 1000 Thursday (11 June).

2015-06
  
09/06/2015
 IJCI hears witness statements from two careworkers involved with Les Chenes/Greenfields on Day 72 of public hearings. 148

The IJCI on Tuesday (9 June) heard evidence from ‘Mr M’, a former employee of Les Chenes between 1982-2002, who subsequently also worked at Greenfields. IJCI Counsel Harriet Jerram took him through his evidence about how the school was run and his responses to six allegations of abuse by former residents.

During the afternoon session the Panel heard evidence from Mr Joe Kennedy who described the systems in place when he worked at La Moye Prison. Led by IJCI Counsel Patrick Sadd, Mr Kennedy also spoke about policy, events, building, staff and resident matters that arose during the time he moved to Les Chenes, later Greenfields, from 2002.  Mr Kennedy was subsequently appointed Head of Service for Residential and Support Services and most recently Manager of the Greenfields Campus in May 2015.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Please note the change to the Timetable - public hearings resume 1400 Wednesday (10 June).

2015-06
  
02/06/2015
Jonathan Chinn, a former PE teacher at Les Chenes, has been giving evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.147

Jonathan Chinn, a former PE teacher at Les Chenes, has been giving evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

He worked at  Les Chenes between 1982 and 2002, remaining there when it became known as Greenfields.

Inquiry counsel Harriet Jerram asked Mr Chinn about all aspects of life at Les Chenes including education, activities, discipline and the keeping of records.

He said he had not been aware of complaints by children at Les Chenes about their treatment by staff.

The transcripts from today's hearing can be read on the website as soon as they are available. The next hearing will be on Tuesday 9 June at 10am.

 

 

2015-06
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-05 ‎(3)
  
28/05/2015
A former member of staff at Les Chenes Residential School has given evidence to the Inquiry about her time there. 146

​A former member of staff at Les Chenes Residential School has given evidence to the Inquiry about her time there. 

Monique Webb worked at the school from 1979 to 1994.  Inquiry Counsel Harriet Jerram questioned her about life at the school.


There will be no more hearings this week; they begin again next Tuesday morning.

2015-05
  
27/05/2015
Two witnesses have given evidence about their time looking after children in care in Jersey.145

Two witnesses have given evidence about their time looking after children in care in Jersey.

Janet Hughes worked as a Houseparent at the Clos de Sables Family Group Home from 1964 to 1989. She had previously worked as a foster carer for a brief period. She was taken through her witness statement by Inquiry Counsel, Harriet Jerram.


Sean McCloskey has given evidence about his time working at Heathfield from 1989 to 1999 and his later work for the States of Jersey Police. He was questioned by Counsel Patrick Sadd.

There will be a further hearing tomorrow at 2pm.
2015-05
  
26/05/2015
A former member of staff at Brig y Don home has been giving evidence to the Inquiry this afternoon.144

A former member of staff at Brig-y-Don home has been giving evidence to the Inquiry this afternoon.

Margaret Holley worked as Matron at the home between 1973 and 2005 and Patrick Sadd took her through her evidence.

The Inquiry will hear from two former members of staff at other homes tomorrow.

2015-05
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-04 ‎(4)
  
16/04/2015
Danny Wherry, a former child care officer with Jersey’s Children’s Services, has been giving evidence at today’s hearing.143

Danny Wherry, a former child care officer with Jersey’s Children’s Services, has been giving evidence at today’s hearing.

Mr Wherry was employed by Children’s Services as a child care officer from 1981. He had a variety of roles including the supervision of foster homes in Jersey and liaison with family group homes.

He told Counsel to the Inquiry Patrick Sadd that he only became aware of reports of abuse within children’s homes in later years. He said he had no firsthand experience of receiving complaints or of hearing it from others.

Mr Wherry no longer works in childcare.

The Inquiry team is now preparing for the rest of phase 1b. Hearings will resume during the last week of May.

 

2015-04
  
15/04/2015
The former care worker at Haut de la Garenne, known as Mr K, has finished giving his evidence to the inquiry.142

The former care worker at Haut de la Garenne, known as Mr K, has finished giving his evidence to the inquiry.

Mr K was at the home between 1975 and 1981. He was reminded by Counsel Patrick Sadd that he was not being cross-examined on his evidence: it "is your opportunity to respond to what has been said in evidence or presented in evidence to the inquiry in the last few months."

Mr Sadd listed a series of at least nine allegations from former residents of abuse by Mr K. They included claims of physical and sexual assault.

He denied each accusation and suggested at least some of the allegations had been made to secure compensation: "'All the allegations against me I would have thought the vast majority were to get compensation. Others could have been misinterpreted as what they actually believe….people may have mistaken identities."

Mr Sadd pointed out that five of those who made allegations did not apply for compensation from  the island's Redress Scheme.

Mr K answered: "'That doesn't surprise me because they were false allegations in the first place."

In 2008 when police launched Operation Rectangle to investigate allegations of abuse at Haut de la Garenne, Mr K was arrested.

He told the inquiry he felt bitter at his treatment by the police: "They have a duty to investigate…but not to raid people's houses at 6.30 in the morning."

The Attorney General at the time, William Bailhache, later decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr K.

Mr K said he had asked for help from people including Senator Le Marquand who was in charge of Home Affairs. But he and another influential person, who was not named, had chosen not to assist.

Following a complaint about his treatment by the police, Mr K received three and a half thousand pounds in compensation. He told the Panel he felt "demoralised" at the way he was treated and believes the manner of his arrest was "unnecessary and disproportionate" given the strength of evidence against him.

After Mr K had finished, Counsel Paul Livingston presented evidence from Witness 64. She had been abused by her father and said she'd been offered a bribe, which she'd declined, by a former honorary policeman not to give evidence against him. She stated that her father was imprisoned twice for sexual abuse, most recently in 2014.

Hearings resume at 10 am tomorrow. A former employee of Children's Services will be giving evidence.

2015-04
  
14/04/2015
The next phase of evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has begun with Chair Frances Oldham saying the process is not a trial.140

​The next phase of evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has begun with Chair Frances Oldham saying the process is not a trial.

Mrs Oldham said some witnesses will be facing allegations of abuse but the approach taken will be "inquisatorial, not adversarial". She added that the final report will "undoubtedly make conclusions."

Counsel to the Inquiry Harriet Jerram outlined the type of witnesses that will be seen during the next phase, which begins in earnest at the end of May.

They include those who worked in children's homes but are not facing allegations of abuse; former staff, foster carers and visitors who are accused of mistreating children; doctors and psychologists who came into contact with looked after children and those who worked in children's services.

Ms Jerram said the purpose of the next phase of evidence was for the Panel to understand the context in which abuse is said to have occurred and the systems which were in place and might have failed.

Counsel Paul Livinsgston is reading statements from former children in care, some of whom came forward in response to evidence from other witnesses.

The hearing continues at 1300 this afternoon with the first evidence from a witness who had worked in the care system.

2015-04
  
14/04/2015
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard the first evidence from a witness who is facing allegations of abuse of children in care.141

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard the first evidence from a witness who is facing allegations of abuse of children in care.

Mr K was employed at Haut de la Garenne as a residential care worker between 1979 and 1981.

He first came into contact with the home when he was 17 and on a work placement. He had two spells there.

Counsel for the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, asked if he'd received any formal training. Mr K, speaking anonymously from behind a screen, said that he had not.

After his work placements, Mr K continued to visit the home regularly to help out, with the knowledge of staff. He would be in charge of children for activities like swimming and meals. He would also be involved at bedtime and reading stories.

Asked about discipline, Mr K said that if a child was misbehaving, he might "give them a tap on the bottom or the legs with the back of the hand."

Mr Sadd asked how he knew the limits of what to do. Mr K replied that he "followed the role models of other members of staff and they always practised, not frequently can I add – the flat on the hand on the bottom or the back of the legs."

Mr K was later read a list of staff working at Haut de la Garenne whom he might see as role models. The listed included Morag Jordan, later convicted of offences against children. Mr K told Mr Sadd that he was never aware of her carrying out any assaults.

Asked if he had heard allegations of bullying, Mr K replied that "it never came on my radar".

Mr K said in his witness statement that "…the overriding atmosphere at Haut de la Garenne was that everything was for the good of the children. It was very philanthropic. I certainly never heard or saw anything there that I did not like or had concerns with."

He accepted that some children ran away from the home on a regular basis and there were "concerns about promiscuity of some of the children within the home."

Mr K will continue giving his evidence from 9.30 am tomorrow.

2015-04
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-03 ‎(5)
  
25/03/2015
​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry notes the decision by members of the States to approve further funding.139

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry notes the decision by members of the States to approve further funding. Preparations are continuing for the next phase of hearings. These will include evidence from some of those who have worked in the island's care system.

2015-03
  
06/03/2015
Panel Chair, Frances Oldham QC, says the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard evidence  from more than 200 witnesses about their experiences of Jersey’s care services since 1945.138
 


The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard evidence from more than 200 witnesses about their experiences of Jersey’s care services since 1945.

Speaking on Friday (6 March) at the end of Phase 1a, IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham, thanked everyone who has come forward and contributed to the work of the Inquiry.

She said the first challenge had been to gain the confidence and trust of victims.

“Whilst there have been some positive accounts, most of what we have heard has related to painful and damaging experiences.  The first Phase of the Inquiry has been slow and painstaking, - not least because of the difficulty many of the victims have had to wrestle with emotionally in terms of firstly giving a statement - and then deciding whether to give evidence in public.”

She stated it was important to now move on to the next stage of the Inquiry, Phase 1b, when the Panel will hear evidence from those who worked in Children’s Services or were in contact with child care on Jersey, and from some of those accused of abuse.

“We must establish the truth about how mistreatment of children remained hidden for so long and what was done when concerns were raised. We must also consider whether appropriate decisions were taken in deciding whether to prosecute individuals - and whether there was political or other interference in those decisions.”

Ms Oldham explained that the Inquiry team would now begin an intense period of preparation for this phase.  The IJCI will sit for three days during the week beginning April 13 to hear evidence from a witness who won’t be available at a later date.  It will then begin a full timetable of hearings from the week beginning May 4 and sit Tuesday through to Friday each week.

Ms Oldham concluded: “The Inquiry is grateful for the assistance and co operation of all Interested Parties and other agencies in Jersey.”

Earlier, Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd took two live witnesses through their evidence. Mr Alan Tadier spoke about his son’s experience at Aviemore residential care home in the 1990s. Speaking anonymously, Miss "K", told of her experiences at Les Chenes in the 1980s.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Paul Livingston, read into the record a statement given directly to the IJCI by Witness 140 who wanted to give evidence about his stays in foster care and at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Video Notes

00:00 Slate
00:05 "So far the Inquiry has heard from 203 witnesses who have given evidence about their experiences of Jersey’s child care services since 1945. Our first challenge has been to gain the confidence and trust of victims. Whilst there have been some positive accounts, most of what we have heard has related to painful and damaging experiences. The first Phase of the Inquiry has been slow and painstaking, - not least because of the difficulty many of the victims have had to wrestle with emotionally in terms of firstly giving a statement - and then deciding whether to give evidence in public.
00:43 "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has come forward and contributed to the work of the Inquiry. It is important that we now move to the next stage. We must establish the truth about how mistreatment of children remained hidden for so long and what was done when concerns were raised.
We must also consider whether appropriate decisions were taken in deciding whether to prosecute individuals - and whether there was political or other interference in those decisions. We now begin therefore an intense period of preparation for the next phase of the Inquiry.
01:23 "This is when we will hear evidence from those who worked in Children’s Services or were in contact with child care on Jersey. We will also hear from some of those accused of abuse. The Inquiry will sit for three days the week beginning April 13th. We will hear evidence from a witness who is not available at a later date.
We will then begin with a full timetable of hearings from the week beginning May the 4th and sit four days each week Tuesday through to Friday. The Inquiry is grateful for the assistance and co operation of all Interested Parties and other agencies in Jersey."
01:57 End

Further video of the Panel & Inquiry Room on Vimeo & YouTube

2015-03
  
05/03/2015
The IJCI hears evidence from three former care home residents and overviews of family group homes.137

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Thursday (5 March) heard evidence from three former residents of Jersey Care homes.

Counsel to the Inquiry Harriet Jerram took Witness 673, “Mr B”, through his statement about his experiences in care. Speaking anonymously, Mr B described a brief stay at Brig-y-Don in the 1970s, and Haut de la Garenne and Les Chenes between 1980-84.

Witness 624, “Mrs X”, also stayed for a short time at Brig-y-Don as a young child in the 1970s. Ms Jerram then took her through her statement about her experiences at Les Chenes in the 1980s.

Witness 634, “Mr L”, spoke about Brig-y-Don and La Preference in the 1960s. Counsel was Patrick Sadd.

An addition to the witness statements, Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston gave the Panel an overview of the history of Brig-y-Don, a voluntary residential children’s home which was run between 1925-2009 before re-opening at a States’ home in 2011. He also gave overviews about two  family group homes, 46 Nicholson Park/Clos de Roncier between 1960-1977, and Norcott Villa/Le Squez between 1968-1980.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

The hearings resume tomorrow (Friday 5 March) at 0900 with a witness giving evidence in public.

2015-03
  
04/03/2015
The IJCI heard evidence from three former care home residents - one speaking via live video link from Australia.136

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (4  March) heard evidence via live video link from  Australia.

Speaking from Perth, Edward Walton, who was born in Jersey in 1966, explained how as a child he often found he had to fend for himself and ended up getting into a lot of trouble. Eventually he was sent to La Preference aged 12, spent a month at Haut de la Garenne, before going to Les Chenes in 1979 for three years.   He left aged 15. The Education Committee approved him going to Australia where he became a successful athlete, ballet dancer and businessman. Counsel to the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Paul Livingston, then read into the record a statement recently given directly to the IJCI by Witness 254. He gave evidence about his time in Jersey Home for Boys and the very early years of HDLG between the ages of 6-11 in the 1950s.

Live witness, William Dubois, was in care for 8 years from the age of 11 and told the IJCI about abuse he and others experienced at Haut de la Garenne, La Preference and Heathfield in the 1980s.  Counsel to the Inquiry was Harriet Jerram.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

Public hearings will resume at 0930 Thursday (5 March) with a live anonymous witness.

2015-03
  
03/03/2015
The IJCI begins the final week of Phase 1a with evidence from four former residents of Jersey's care system.135

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.

2015-03
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-02 ‎(10)
  
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. 134

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.

2015-02
  
26/02/2015
The IJCI hears more evidence about Don Road family group home, various other care homes and an opening statement re Heathfield children's home.133

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry public hearings resumed on Thursday (26 February) with Counsel Paul Livingston reading into the record the remaining witness statements about Don Road family group home. 

Witness 320 gave two statements to States of Jersey police in 2008. He spent his early childhood at Brig-y-Don, Westaway Crèche and Haut de la Garene as well as living for a period in the UK with his father. He moved to Don Road in 1965 and stayed there ten years before being discharged to Basil Lodge. 

Witness 278 did not live in the family group home but gave a statement to the SOJP in April 2008 about her visits to siblings who were resident there. Witness 319 detailed his treatment at Don Road between the ages of 7-11 in a statement to the SOJP in 2008. He also described other residents and the premises. Witness 318 was placed at the family group home in 1967 aged 3. In a statement to SOJP, she described her time there as “horrible”.


Witness 322 was the daughter of the house parents of Don Road and told SOJP in 2008 that her childhood memories are happy and they were “all kids together”. In her statement to SOJP, another daughter, Witness 323, noted she wasn’t even born when some of the alleged incidents were said to have taken place, and was a baby during others, so her recollection was fairly limited. She said she classed all the children living at Don Road as part of her family.

Counsel Harriet Jerram then read in to the record a statement given directly to the IJCI in July 2014 by Witness 3, who was unable to attend the hearing due to ill health. She spent almost her entire childhood in care (HDLG, Brig-y-Don, La Preference, foster care and a girls’ hostel) and decided to share for the first time her experiences in the hope it would help her personally and enable lessons to be learnt for the future.

Mr Livingston then went on to read into the record a further nine witness statements from former residents of Jersey’s care system.
Witness 150’s evidence was read into the record on Day 24, but has since come forward to give a statement directly to the IJCI about two stays at Sacre Coeur children’s home in the 60s.  Mr Livingston was also able to reference two further supporting documents.

Witness 348 was born in 1956 and is a sibling of 150. He also gave statements to SOJP in 2008 about his experiences as of HDLG between the ages of 9-17, when he was discharged pending prison and borstal training.

Mr Livingston then asked the Panel to consider evidence about Witness 592. The Inquiry had already heard evidence about other members of her family on Days 36 and 40. An Officer’s report from 2008 contained her recollection of her time in care at HDLG.

Witness 200 is a younger sibling of Witness 592 and was in voluntary care between 1972 and 1981. She recalled being in foster care for about a year before being admitted to HDLG due to her foster mother’s inability to cope. She also spent a week at La Preference.

Witness 594 spent three months in HDLG in 1976 before being transferred to another facility on remand.  Witness 187 was born in 1957 and gave SOJP statements 2000, 2005 and 2008 about La Preference and HDLG and made allegations of sexual abuse against several adults he came into contact with. Witness 188 told SOJP that he was sexually abused between the ages of 6-14 at HDLG and when camping.

Witness 620 first gave a statement to SOJP about Les Chenes in 1999 and also during Operation Rectangle. He described life at Les Chenes between the ages of 11/12 - 15 after being sent there because of family problems and having difficulties at school.  Witness 651 was born in 1972 and an abusive father led him to rebelling and getting into trouble with police from an early age. He said he didn’t adhere to probation on one occasion and was given a two-year care order at Les Chenes between the ages of 13-15.

Ms Jerram gave an Opening Statement about Heathfield children’s home which was set up in 1987 in the wake of recommendations made by Home Office inspectors in 1981. Located in St Saviour, it remained in operation until 2011 when remaining residents moved to Brig-y-Don. Ms Jerram said that over the coming days, the Panel would hear evidence from a number of witnesses - some alleging abuse, others with positive accounts.

The Inquiry then went into private session before adjourning for the day.

Transcripts and supporting documents for the public hearings will be available in due course. Public hearings resume on Friday at 0900 with a live witness talking about their experience of Haut de la Garene.

2015-02
  
25/02/2015
The IJCI hears Opening statement and witness evidence about Don Road family group home which was open between 1967-1977. 132

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry’s public hearings on Wednesday (25 February) began with Counsel to the Inquiry Patrick Sadd making an Opening Statement about Don Road family group home which was open between 1967-1977.

The Panel then heard the first three witness statements being read into the record from former residents of Don Road – some of whom say the house parents physically abused them and others who said it never happened. 

Mr Sadd read out a statement given directly to the IJCI by Witness 45, who from the age of three spent most of her childhood in care. She described her experiences at Haut de la Garenne, Don Road, La Preference and a girls’ hostel.

Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston read evidence from Witness 321 who spent time at HDLG, Don Road, La Preference and Les Chenes. He gave two statements to the States of Jersey Police in 2008.

Witness 214 spent the first few years of her life at Westaway Crèche, Brig-y-Don, the crèche at HDLG and home before going to Don Road in 1967 and detailed her experiences to the Redress Scheme.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

Public hearings will resume at 1000 on Thursday (26 February) with Mr Livingston reading into the record a further six witness statements relating to Don Road.

2015-02
  
20/02/2015
​The IJCI hears live evidence from the mother of a former resident of Les Chenes and four further witness statements read in to the record about the children's home given to the States of Jersey Police. 131

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry this morning (Friday 20 February) heard live evidence from the mother of Witness 73 who has already given evidence to the Panel.

Speaking anonymously, “Miss F” talked about how various departments dealt with her son’s problems in various care homes – including Les Chenes and La Preference – during the 2000s. She also outlined what she would like to see done in the future to help children with similar problems. Counsel to the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.

Four further witness statements and supporting documents regarding Les Chenes were read into the record by Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston.

In a statement to States of Jersey Police in 2009, Witness 629 made a number of allegations of abuse by staff during her time there in the early 2000s.

Witness 627 was sent to Les Chenes for three years when he was 13. He told SOJP about life at Les Chenes and described a number of incidents involving staff and residents.

Witness 630, who had family problems at home, was sent to Les Chenes aged 12 for two years in 2001. In a statement to SOJP he described the routine at Les Chenes and staff as friendly at first but that changed and recalled instances of inappropriate behaviour. Some supporting documents contradicted Witness 630’s recollections.

Witness 628 was also put into care aged 9 because of family problems, initially at La Preference. He was also put into Heathfield (formerly Les Chenes) when he was 11 because his father couldn’t cope. He recalled long periods in isolation cells.

All transcripts and supporting documents will be uploaded on to this website in due course.

Public hearings have adjourned for this week and will resume at 1000 on Wednesday 25 February 2015.

2015-02
  
19/02/2015
The IJCI hears further evidence about Les Chenes children's home from five former residents. 130

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Thursday (19 February) heard evidence from five former residents of Les Chenes children’s home.
Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston read in to the record the first four witnesses statements which had been given to the States of Jersey Police and also referenced supporting documents.
Witness 622 was sent to Les Chenes in 1982 under the provisions of a care order and stayed there until he was discharged aged 16, in 1984. He described both good and bad experiences at the home.
The Panel heard evidence from a female resident of Les Chenes for the first time; Witness 621, who lived there in the ‘80s. She described seeing other residents being abused.
Witness 625 was sent to Les Chenes aged 12 in the mid ‘80s and was generally positive about his experience up to his discharge in 1988.
Witness 626 recalled being admitted to Les Chenes in 1984 when she was 14-years-old for being a “problematic child”.  She gave a positive account of her time there, left in 1986 and was finally discharged from care aged 17 in 1988.
Live anonymous witness, “Mr W”, explained how from 2002 he was in and out of various States of Jersey institutions between the ages of 13 and 16. He particularly focussed on his experiences at Les Chenes. Counsel to the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.
Full transcripts and supporting documents will be published in due course.
The public hearings will resume at 0900 tomorrow with a live anonymous witness giving evidence in relation to Les Chenes. Counsel to the Inquiry will be Patrick Sadd.

2015-02
  
18/02/2015
​The IJCI has today (Wednesday 18 February) heard seven witness statements being read into the record about experiences of Jersey’s care system and an opening statement about Les Chenes.129

​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.   

2015-02
  
17/02/2015
IJCI starts hearing evidence about Le Preference children's home.128

​Counsel to the Inquiry Patrick Sadd opened this week’s Independent Jersey Care Inquiry public hearings with an introductory statement about La Preference children’s home in St Martin.

He referenced documents dating from the establishment of the home in 1951 by Flora and Sydney Walden, through to its sale to the States in 1984 and up to its closure in 2012, in order to provide the Panel with background and context before hearing evidence from former residents over the coming weeks.

The Panel then heard evidence from Witness Mr ‘D’ who lived at La Preference from the age of three in 1954, before moving to Clos de Sable family group home in 1964 along with the rest of his siblings who had been at Haut de la Garenne.  He gave evidence anonymously.

This afternoon, the Panel heard evidence in private from a former a resident of the Jersey care system.

Transcripts and supporting documents from this morning’s hearings will be available in due course.

The Public hearings resume tomorrow at 1000 with Inquiry Counsel Paul Livingston reading in to the record witness statements given to the States of Jersey Police and Redress Scheme.  

2015-02
  
12/02/2015
The IJCI ​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard from two witnesses about their experiences of the Jersey care system.127

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has today (Thursday 12 February) heard from two witnesses about their experiences of the Jersey care system.

Witness 210 gave a signed statement to the IJCI earlier this week. However, she did not want to give oral evidence and a protective measures application was granted so her evidence could be read anonymously by Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston. In her statement, she described her time as a resident at Haut de la Garenne from 1978 and subsequently at the Clos de Sables Family Group Home from 1980-81.

Speaking anonymously, ‘Mrs J’ told the Inquiry she was initially sent to HDLG on a temporary basis because of violence at home, and ended up staying 2.5 years, before spending  a few weeks at Camelot Hostel in 1979. Counsel to the Inquiry was Harriet Jerram.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available on this website in due course.

The public hearings resume at 0930 on Tuesday 17 February. Details will be published via the Timetable.

2015-02
  
11/02/2015
Witness statements and supporting documents re experience of Jersey's care system in the '60s, 70's and '80s read into the record. 126

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has today (Wednesday 11 February) heard witness statements being read into the record from seven former residents of Jersey's care system.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Paul Livingston, began proceedings with evidence and supporting documents from Witness 206 who recalled multiple admissions to Haut de la Garenne, Brig-y-Don and La Preference between 1967 and 1978.

Mr Livingston then brought evidence and supporting documents from three siblings, Witnesses 391, 383 and 385, who were initially referred to Children’s services by a third party over their mother’s inability to look after them and a lack of satisfactory housing. Various admissions then followed to Brig-y-Don, HDLG and foster homes during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, read into the record evidence and documents gleaned re Witness 43’s time in care in the ‘60s,’70s and early ‘80s at Westaway, the nursery unit at HDLG, a family group home and finally, HDLG.

Witness 122 was in and out of HDLG during his early childhood in the ‘60s, before staying there for nine years between 1970-79, leaving aged 15 or 16.

Mr Sadd concluded the day’s proceedings with a statement provided to the States of Jersey Police in 2008 by Witness 343. She found herself in and out of HDLG over a nine-year period in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

Public Hearings will resume tomorrow (Thursday 12 February) at 1000 with Mr Livingston reading into the record a witness statement given to the Inquiry about their experience at HDLG.  In the afternoon, evidence about HDLG will be given anonymously by a live witness. Inquiry Counsel will be Harriet Jerram.  

2015-02
  
10/02/2015
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry hears evidence from three former residents of the Jersey care system in the ‘70s and ‘80s. 125

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has today (Tuesday 10 February) heard evidence from three former residents of the Jersey care system in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Speaking anonymously, Mr ‘D’ recounted his experiences at Brig-y-Don, Haut de la Garenne and in foster care. Counsel for the Inquiry was Patrick Sadd.

Counsel Paul Livingston read into the record statements and supporting documents with regard to Witness 392 and Witness 215. Both had been in care at HDLG; Witness 215 also lived at Les Chenes.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available on this website in due course.

The public hearings will resume tomorrow at 1000 with Mr Livingston reading into the record witness statements from four former care home residents.

2015-02
collapse Month Lookup : 2015-01 ‎(17)
  
29/01/2015
More former residents of Jersey care homes have come forward in recent weeks after seeing the ongoing work of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. 123

​More former residents of Jersey care homes have come forward in recent weeks after seeing the ongoing work of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.  They want to give oral evidence in this first phase of the Inquiry.

In order to prepare for these witnesses, the Inquiry will not be sitting next week (2-6 February, 2015).

Meanwhile, the legal team is also continuing to prepare for the next phase of evidence from those who worked with or were in contact with childcare and also those accused of abuse. 

The Inquiry expects to announce the start date for the next phase of hearings within two weeks.

Contact the Inquiry

2015-01
  
29/01/2015
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry heard from two live witnesses today about abuse at Haut de la Garrene in the '70s.124

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry heard from two live witnesses today about abuse at Haut de la Garrene in the '70s. Counsel  to the Inquiry was Harriet Jerram.

Speaking anonymously behind a special screen in the Inquiry Room, Mr H said he was at Haut de la Garenne in the early '70s and described how things changed for him after his brother left.  Mr H stated that certain documents about his time in care were different to his own recollection of events. He recalled being taken to the detention room at night where a younger boy was crying & being raped. He was told it'd be his turn next. He pointed out the location of the cellar on a map of HDLG where he said he and other boys were raped on a number of occasions by members of staff.  When staff made threats of physical punishment for speaking about a rape they would always carry them out – such as cigarette burns. Mr H said he and other boys would try and run away a couple of times a week but would get picked up by the Police. He said he'd tell the Police he was being sexually abused at HDLG but was told he had to go back anyway. He told the Inquiry that there had been a "big coverup" to protect his alleged abuser after statements to the police were apparently lost.

Also speaking anonymously, Mrs W told the Inquiry that her childhood was “extremely traumatic” and as a result she had blocked out almost all memories of it until recently.  She recalled being sexually abused from the age of five by someone involved in the Catholic Church but never told anyone. In 1976 she was sent aged 10 HDLG after suffering physical and mental abuse from her mother. Her initial impressions were positive but said very soon she didn’t feel safe because of certain members of staff who were verbally and mentally abusive. She had praise for other staff who were helpful and encouraged her interest in cookery. She recalled being one of a number of children selected to meet Jimmy Savile when he visited but wasn’t aware of him acting inappropriately with anyone. She praised the Jersey Care Leavers Association for helping survivors realise they were not alone. Mrs W said she had come forward in the hope that it would reassure some of the people she was with, that it is okay to talk about what happened – it wasn’t their fault. She told the Inquiry that she wished that people in positions across the whole of the islands would listen to children and ensure that no one went through what she and others had suffered.

2015-01
  
28/01/2015
Seven more witness statements from former residents of Haut de la Garenne read into the record121

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has today (Wednesday 15 January) heard seven further witness statements from former residents of Haut de la Garenne. They were read into the record by Counsel Paul Livingston.

Witness 38 gave his statement to the Inquiry team on January 16, 2015 but declined to appear in person. He recalls being abused by Morag Kidd and described her as very aggressive and violent.  He went on to describe the physical and sexual abuse that took place at Haut de la Garenne. He recalled a number of men, including, Tony Watton, hanging around at HDLG and often the boys would sit on their laps.  He questioned why known paedophiles were allowed to visit and socialise with children if not to abuse them.  He believes HDLG was run badly and there was no monitoring of what was going on.

Witness 142 told States of Jersey Police of being sent to HDLG by his mother for persistent truancy from school in the early 80s. He described it as "very strict and oppressive" but did not recall any incidents of physical violence or sexual abuse whilst he was there.  "Physical punishment was always behind closed doors – cane or pushed."  

Witness 597 said HDLG was "like a prison" and the daily routine "regimental".  On one occasion he got into a fight with another resident and was "dragged off and put into solitary confinement", which he described as being "like a padded cell". He recalls being put in what he described as a straightjacket and overhearing someone saying that he wasn't "old enough to wear that".  597 described how the atmosphere would change at 6pm when the night staff began their shift. "We knew that things were going on and everyone was on tenterhooks. The doors were always left open at night and I remember the older kids would tell the younger kids stories, like the Beast of Jersey would get you, also don't go to sleep because people are going to come into your room." When 597 told his parents about his treatment he was told "not to exaggerate". Aged 10, he just learned to live with it.

In a short statement to the Redress Scheme, Witness 143 recalled being sexually abused by a Residential Child Care Officer at HDLG during 1978/79. She stated she was too embarrassed to tell anyone.

Witness 223 suffered abuse at home before moving to Clos de Roncier and HdlG where she also suffered physical and mental abuse. As a result she used to run away a lot and would either be brought back by the Police or picked up from the police station. Either way, she would be locked up for three days when she returned to HdlG. Mr Livingston directed the Panel to a number of supporting documents re 223's detentions. Reflecting on her experience, 223 said: "My past, present and future have been ruined because of my childhood and what it has done to my mental health. I'm wasted."

Witness 311 told SOJP about her experiences at Brig y Don, HdlG, Blanche Pierre and Les Chenes. She described HdlG as a "daunting" place with "lots of horrible kids in it." After running away she would be placed in cells for 72 hours and the night staff would strip her of her clothes. She also stated she was assaulted by other residents. She said Les Chenes as "ok" but "strict" and described some of the members of staff in negative terms.   

In his statements to SOJP, Witness 173 said his initial impression of HDLG was that it was "picturesque" but then described punishments such as groundings and "taps around the ears". He never saw staff physically assaulting residents. He recalled two occasions when an older female resident touched his genitals and forced him to touch her chest. He also described being placed in a cell for punching a hole in the wall. He said he was woken up by someone pushing his head against the pillow and holding his head sideways whilst someone else raped him.  The following day he recalled the member of staff who placed him in the cell asking if he'd enjoyed the evening and whether he felt better now.  He stated he did not report this to staff because he felt "too ashamed" and did not tell his father because "he wouldn't listen to me".

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

The Inquiry will resume public hearings at 0930 on Thursday (28 January).

2015-01
  
27/01/2015
IJCI hears six witness statements relating to Haut de la Garenne120

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has been hearing statements from six former residents of Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s and '80s.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Paul Livingston, said Witness 377 described himself in an interview with States of Jersey Police as "a troublesome youth who was stealing things and couldn't be controlled by his parents." He became friendly with Witness 636, a female staff member, and recalled a number of instances of sexual acts taking place between them when he was a teenager.

Witness 374 was placed in HDLG in 1974 because his mother was violent. In a statement to SOJP he recalled he was "probably a handful at that time" and that he often absconded with some of the other lads.  He said: "As a result I was often put in the detention rooms as a punishment, which frustrated me at the time but I can understand why they did it now".  He said he was never a victim and was never hit as far as he could recall.

Witness 395 gave evidence to the SOJP about her daughter, Witness 643, who had died in 2003. She was admitted to HDLG when she was 16-years-old in 1973. During a visit, 643 told her mother that a male member of staff was abusing her as she was going to bed. 395 said she went to HDLG and spoke to the man in charge, telling him what 643 had said. She stated that he replied, saying that she was lying and that nobody at the Home was capable of doing such things.  Mr Livingston pointed out to the Panel that Colin Tilbrook was the Superintendant of HDLG at that time.

Witness 182 described her time at HDLG between 1979-83 as a "very institutionalised existence with little love or care". She stated that "many of the parents were doing a job for which they were paid and had little empathy or understanding of many of the broken children who were placed in their charge" but added that "on the whole the staff were supportive and tried to do the best they could to keep 60 children in check".  182 said she had been sexually abused between the ages of 8-14 by Witness 33, but when she told police she felt as though they did not believe her and that she was making it up and looking for attention.  Mr Livingston referred to an SOJP report from June 1982 which described 132 as extremely distressed when asked if her allegations were true, but remaining emphatic that she was telling the truth. 132 said "the Police Officers were not supporting me at all, I was tired and so in the end I said I lied". Following the retraction of the allegations Mr Livingston said the matter did not appear to have been pursued further by the SOJP. He also said the Panel might wish to consider the extent to which Children's Services were aware that 182 may have been a victim of abuse at this time.

Witness 213 stayed at HDLG when she was 13 in 1973 and again in 1974-75.  She told SOJP she used to call HDLG "the lost soul department, because everybody had that blatant bland look on their face like…You didn't wanna be there, it wasn't a nice place to be." Mr Livingston directed the Panel to a number of statements and documents relating to 213 including records confirming that she was self-harming. In 2008 213 described how children would go through a gap to explore the cellars.  "You could squat in that room if you were an adult and if you were a child you would have to bend your head... Loads of us used to go into the cellars, it was just exciting going and seeing how far we could get and the cellars went a long way." She was forced to take sedatives and blamed large amounts of Valium as the catalyst for a future life of drug addiction.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

The Inquiry will continue hearing witness statements tomorrow (Wednesday) from 1000.

2015-01
  
22/01/2015
The States of Jersey says it is not aware of any allegations facing current and former employees at Mont a l'Abbe school.118

​The States of Jersey says it is not aware of any allegations facing current and former employees at Mont a l'Abbe school.

Advoctate Beverley Lacey, representing the Education Department, was speaking in response to a letter from the Inquiry seeking reassurances.

It followed evidence heard by the Inquiry on Tuesday from a former resident of Haut de la Garenne who claimed that "some of the staff who hurt me and my family" worked at the school.

 

 

2015-01
  
22/01/2015
A witness has told the Inquiry that she was raped on many occasions by the head of Haut de la Garenne, Jim Thomson.119

​A witness has told the Inquiry that she was raped on many occasions by the head of Haut de la Garenne, Jim Thomson.

Tina Maguire had volunteered to clean his flat, because she wanted to be useful. He abused her from the first occasion.

Miss Maguire gave her evidence via videolink from Cardiff. She was joined by Harriet Jerram, Counsel to the Inquiry, who asked her if she ever consented to having sex with Thomson. Miss Maguire said she had not.

Asked whether she had told anyone, Miss Maguire said she had no-one to tell.

She was sent to Haut de la Garenne when she was 13 after what she described as an "awful" childhood with her mother and then her aunt.

In addition to the abuse by Thomson, Miss Maguire said she had been drugged at a disco held at the home. She had been given a drink by Morag Jordan. she believes it was a dose of the drug Largactil. She remembered nothing until she came round in the corridor, semi-undressed. She reported feeling "not right" to a male member of staff who laughed at her.

Miss Maguire said two members of staff at HdlG were "kind and caring" and tried to help the children, but she didn't tell them about her treatment for fear they would be "sent packing" by longer-serving members of staff including the Jordans.

Tina Maguire also described how children would "disappear in the night" on a regular basis. Ms Jerram asked her if this was simply a "failure to inform" the residents of where the children had gone. Miss Maguire replied that she thought "there was a bit more to it than that."

Later, Miss Maguire had a period of homelessness. During this time she described how she was raped by a man whose son she had been babysitting. She reported the incident to the police at Rouge Bouillon. Although she was bleeding, she said there were no tests or examination. She said that because she was homeless she was treated as a "vagrant."

One or two days later, Tina Maguire said she made a "life-changing decision" and decided to poison her attacker. She was arrested and, despite repeating her complaint of rape, no action was taken. She later pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was jailed.

Miss Maguire told the Inquiry that she held the States of Jersey responsible for her experiences and those of other children at Haut de la Garenne because they had hired the staff.

Invited to tell the Panel how things should be different, Miss Maguire said that inspections of homes should be unannounced.

 

2015-01
  
21/01/2015
A witness has said he was told about an alleged paedophile ring in Jersey, the only time this has been mentioned so far in evidence.115

​A witness has said he was told about an alleged paedophile ring in Jersey, the only time this has been mentioned so far in evidence.

The witness, known as 138, had met Jeff le Marquand when he was living rough at age 15. He said Le Marquand, who owned a clothes shop in St Helier and died in 2003, had "seemed part of a paedophile ring".

138 said he was told by Le Marquand that he supplied children from Haut de la Garenne and elsewhere to "well-known people."

Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livingston told the Panel this had been the only mention of such a ring operating in Jersey that has been heard by the Inquiry.

He presented the accounts of 8 former residents of Haut de la Garenne and said more evidence will be presented in due course about both Les Chenes children's home and La Preference.

Two of the witnesses described abuse by Michael Aubin, who also lived at the home. He later admitted a series of offences against boys.

2015-01
  
21/01/2015
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.116

​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.

2015-01
  
21/01/2015
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has sought reassurances about staff currently employed in Mont a la Abbe in light of evidence given to the Inquiry.117

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has sought reassurances about staff currently employed in Mont a la Abbe in light of evidence given to the Inquiry.

An update will be given in a public session at 10 am.

2015-01
  
20/01/2015
A witness has told the Inquiry that children suffered 'child cruelty, neglect, assault and mental torture' at Haut de la Garenne.112

​A witness has told the Inquiry that children suffered "child cruelty, neglect, assault and mental torture" at Haut de la Garenne.

She said that staff responsible for the abuse are still employed "in other care environments."

The evidence from Witness 50 came in a statement read out by Patrick Sadd, Counsel to the Inquiry. He told the Panel that "for understandable reasons", Witness 50 had felt unable to give her evidence in person.

She went to live at Haut de la Garenne in 1970 when she was five. Three younger siblings were also sent to live there as their mother was unable to cope. She had been asked by her mother to look after them and still feels responsible for the abuse they suffered.

Witness 50 described how her brother was singled out for beatings and punishments including being hit in the face with a hairbrush, so hard that it broke.

On a camping trip to Guernsey he was stripped naked by staff and hung upside down. His sister says that he was "a private boy" and this had been humiliating.

On another trip to Southampton, he had been made to stand in a toilet hole, six feet deep. Staff later admitted responsibility for this incident.

Witness 50 remembers being sent on a trip to London and assumed that children in care in Islington had been taken to Jersey in exchange. But she was later told there were no records of this.

Jimmy Savile visited Haut de la Garenne and Witness 50 accompanied him on charity walks. She says she doesn't remember "untoward" happening.

She said she "hates" the staff who were responsible for hurting her family but also claims that they were too young and "didn't really know how to look after children."

Witness 50 still sees some of the staff and noted that they are still employed in care environments including Mont-a-l-Abbe, a school for children with special needs.

2015-01
  
20/01/2015
A witness said to have been abused on a daily basis at Haut de la Garenne says he wished more staff had been prosecuted.113

​A witness said to have been abused on a daily basis at Haut de la Garenne says he wished more staff had been prosecuted.

Witness 99 was mistreated throughout his time in care.

In a statement presented to the Inquiry, along with his school and care records, Witness 99 said he was frustrated that he wasn't believed and he had wanted to give evidence in court against the staff responsible.

He described children at Haut de la Garenne as "feral as we were left to our own devices."   He added that staff did not nurture them or provide "affection, protection or guidance." Instead that came from the older children.

Whenever he was punished and caned, he made a point of never crying.

Witness 99 said some former residents had been broken by Jersey's care system and remain so. He hopes the Inquiry will result in them receiving support.

Witness 99, who had slept near the detention cells, said his memories of children being dragged there at night still affected his sleep.

He was sent to a foster home when he was 13 where the mistreatment continued.

He frequently ran away and told his mother what was happening. Although she complained repeatedly to his care officer and to senior staff at Haut de la Garenne, Witness 99 was always returned to the care system.

Care records suggest that he had been very attached to his parents and his behaviour had got worse as they visited less often. His school reports also reflect a change in attitude.

Witness 99 said his care officer, Richard Davenport, had never asked him how he was or discussed his time in care.

Describing himself as 'strong', Witness 99 said he had worked hard, with the support of his wife, to put his childhood behind him.

The Inquiry has also heard more about his sister, Witness 98. She was shaken so hard by a member of staff that she was left "petrified" with handprints on her arm.

Medical records show the youngest sibling, 155,  stopped wetting the bed during a stay in hospital. When told she had to return to Haut de la Garenne, she was "inconsolable."

Patrick Sadd told the Panel that the children's mother had been approved as a nanny to look after other people's children, despite her own four being placed in care. One reason offered was that her home was not big enough for them to live with her.

There will be more statements from witnesses tomorrow, starting at 10 am.

2015-01
  
16/01/2015
A witness has described how he was drawn into a sexual relationship with a visitor to Haut de la Garenne when he was 12.111

​A witness has described how he was drawn into a sexual relationship with a visitor to Haut de la Garenne when he was 12.

Mr D said that Tony Watton, who ran a canoe club and art gallery, had been the only person to have shown him affection and he didn't know what was happening was wrong.

The boy would go to see Watton during the day when he played truant from school.

Mr D also suffered at the hands of Morag Jordan when he went to live at Haut de la Garenne from the age of 9.

He said living with her was "living in constant fear all the time."

Inquiry Counsel Harriet Jerram asked if other staff ever intervened and he said not, "it was the norm."

Mr D also suffered violence from Gordon Wateridge. After one incident he complained to the Superintendent running the home and asked for the police to be called. This didn't happen: "...nothing ever happened, no-one took any notice."

Mr D remembers the visit by Jimmy Savile in 1976, during which Witness 125 told police he was sexually abused. Mr D says he didn't have any contact with the BBC presenter and declined to have his photograph taken with him.

Earlier he described being adopted as a small child and said it had been the "wrong decision." His adoptive parents' attitude towards him had changed after they had their own son. He said his care worker Patricia Thornton didn't appear to like children and never asked how he was.

The hearing is continuing and further statements from other former residents at Haut de la Garenne will be read into the record this afternoon.

2015-01
  
15/01/2015
The Inquiry has heard that a former care home resident told Operation Rectangle police that he was abused as a boy by Jimmy Savile.109

​The Inquiry has heard that a former care home resident told Operation Rectangle police that he was abused as a boy by Jimmy Savile.

The claim was made during police interviews in both 2008 and 2009 as part of the investigation into Haut de la Garenne.

Counsel to the Inquiry Paul Livinsgston told the Panel the claim from Witness 125 came before the "bulk" of allegations against the presenter. Savile was also alive at the time.

Witness 125 said Savile was taking part in "Liberation Walk" on the island in 1976. He then came back to Haut de la Garenne to have his photo taken with a group of children, including 125.

125 said Savile sexually assaulted him beforehand.

The Inquiry heard that in 2008, the Sun newspaper had linked Savile to Haut de la Garenne but the presenter had denied he was there and started legal action. However evidence already before the Inquiry has corroborated 125's account that Savile was at the home.

Paul Livingston presented evidence from 8 former residents of Haut de la Garenne. They made a variety of allegations of physical and sexual assault by members of staff including Morag and Tony Jordon.

Supporting statements came from other witnesses, a former member of staff at the home and medical records.

The Inquiry is to hear evidence from another witness who will be speaking via videolink from the mainland.

 

2015-01
  
15/01/2015
A witness has described how he and his siblings were victimised by Morag Jordan when they were living at Haut de la Garenne.110

​A witness has described how he and his siblings were victimised by Morag Jordan when they were living at Haut de la Garenne.

Mr K, speaking via a video link from the mainland, said he believed Mrs Jordan "deliberately made our life hell." She was later convicted for a series of assaults against children.

Answering questions from Patrick Sadd, Inquiry Counsel, Mr K said he'd been subjected to years of abuse by Mrs Jordan and her husband Tony as well as other residents at the home.

He told how he was raped by a member of staff who involved two older boys, one of them named as Michael Aubin.

When asked about staff supervision at the home, Mr K said they "wouldn't be about."

The worst abuse took place while he was aged between 10 and 13. After that, he told Mr Sadd, he began to retaliate.

On one occasion he explained how he ran at Mrs Jordan with a fork "to teach her a lesson for what she done to me."

However, her husband was nearby and Mr K was overpowered.

He said that after this incident the abuse became less severe.

Hearings resume tomorrow morning at 9 am.

2015-01
  
14/01/2015
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.108

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.

 

 

 

 

2015-01
  
13/01/2015
Patrick Sadd, Counsel to the Inquiry, will make a statement tomorrow morning about Haut de la Garenne in the years up until its closure.107

​Patrick Sadd, Counsel to the Inquiry, will make a statement tomorrow morning about Haut de la Garenne in the years up until its closure.

Afterwards, statements from witnesses at the home will be read into the public record.

The afternoon's evidence will be heard in private to protect the identity of the witness concerned.

The morning session is open to the public and starts at 10 am.

2015-01
  
07/01/2015
Hearings next week will focus on the later years of Haut de la Garenne up until its closure.104

​Hearings next week will focus on the later years of Haut de la Garenne up until its closure.

Inquiry Counsel Patrick Sadd will present an overview of the home's history during the 1970's and 80's.

Witnesses will then be heard throughout the week.

The timetable for the coming weeks can be seen here.

2015-01
collapse Month Lookup : 2014-12 ‎(14)
  
18/12/2014
The IJCI has published its proposed timetable up to the end of January 2015.103

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has published its proposed timetable up to the end of January 2015.

There are no hearings until Tuesday January 13, when the Inquiry will start hearing evidence from witnesses re their experiences of Haut de la Garenne during the 70s and 80s.

The Timetable can be viewed here.

In the meantime the Inquiry Team are continuing to talk to witnesses and prepare evidence. This starts with the identification of all documents relating to any individual. These can include statements given to the States of Jersey Police, Social Services files, Redress Scheme applications, minutes from the Education Committee and Children's Sub-Committee and any miscellaneous documents relating to decisions and discussions about the child. In some cases, this documentation can run to thousands of pages per individual.

2014-12
  
17/12/2014
The transcripts from Day 38 of the Inquiry are available.102

​The transcripts from Day 38 of the Inquiry are available. The evidence is from 9 December and includes a witness from Haut de la Garenne as well as the reading into the record of several former residents. They can be read here.

2014-12
  
15/12/2014
More than 80 potential witnesses have been identified in documents received by the Inquiry.101

​More than 80 potential witnesses have been identified in documents received by the Inquiry.

The IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham, said in the final public hearing of 2014 that more than 150 thousand pages of documents had been received by the Inquiry so far.

The main sources of documentation are the potential witnesses themselves, the Historical Redress Scheme, States of Jersey Police, as well as the Health and Social Services and Education Departments.

The Inquiry team is continuing to contact the potential witnesses identified.

2014-12
  
11/12/2014
The Chair of the IJCI Frances Oldham has made a statement on the progress so far.99
 

The Chair of the IJCI Frances Oldham has made a statement on the progress of the Inquiry. Mrs Oldham was speaking at the close of hearings this year.

To date, the Inquiry has heard evidence from a number of expert witnesses and more than 90 former residents of Jersey's care and foster homes.

Their evidence will continue when hearings restart on Tuesday 13 January 2015.

The Inquiry will then move onto its next phase and hear from those who worked or were involved in the care system.

Thanking everyone who'd contributed to the Inquiry so far, Mrs Oldham reminded potential witnesses that it was not too late to get in contact.

The team will remain at work over the Christmas period, preparing for next year's sittings.

Describing the tracing and preparation of documents as "painstaking but essential", Mrs Oldham said the Inquiry had received 150 thousand pages of documents so far, spanning 7 decades.

She added that all of the evidence will be considered by the Panel, including Alyson Leslie and Sandy Cameron, when they decide what has gone wrong in Jersey's care system over so many years and make recommendations to keep children safe in the future.

Video Notes:

00:00 Slate
00:05 “There will be no further hearings in 2014. But the team will still be working to prepare for next year’s sittings.
The next hearing will be on Tuesday the 13th of January, when we will hear more evidence about Haut de la Garenne, followed by evidence from former residents of Jersey’s other care and foster homes.
We will then move to the next stage of the Inquiry and hear evidence from people who worked or were involved with the care system.
To date have heard evidence concerning more than 90 former residents. We’ve also heard evidence from a number of expert witnesses.
I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the work of this Inquiry.
We have also been in contact by writing with more than 300 potential witnesses. It is still not too late to get in touch with us.
The work to trace and prepare documents spanning seven decades is painstaking but essential, concerning as it does more than 150,000 pages so far.
All of this evidence we will consider when deciding what went wrong in Jersey’s care system over so many years and making recommendations to keep children safe in the future."
01:29 Frances Oldham QC enters the IJCI Hearing Room

2014-12
  
10/12/2014
The Inquiry has today heard from a witness Mrs M who gave evidence anonymously about Sacre Coeur Children's Home.98

​The Inquiry has today heard from a witness Mrs M who gave evidence anonymously about Sacre Coeur Children's Home.

Mrs M went to live there when she was 8 and said life was hard but the "world was a different place" in the 1950's.

She said the children were brought up by the nuns not to speak to each other. She left not being able to tell the time or answer a phone.

Her father had been prevented by nuns visiting on Christmas Day because it was not a Sunday. At another time she recalled not being able to see him for a month as a punishment for "talking at table or running on stairs."

Mrs M gave further details of the knitwear factory where children were sent to work.

More evidence was heard from a number of witnesses about abuse at Haut de la Garenne. This included a tranche of accounts about Ray Williams, a houseparent at the home. After one witness, 346, spoke about it, she found herself in trouble and was told to stop making things up.

Another witness, 209, told police in 2008 that she and others didn't speak up at the time because no-one would have believed them.

The hearings start again tomorrow at 10am.

2014-12
  
09/12/2014
The IJCI public hearings will continue at 9:30 on Wednesday 10 December.95

​The IJCI Panel have adjourned for the day. The Panel will continue to hear witness statements relating to Haut de la Garenne being read into the record from 9:30 on Wednesday 10 December.

A witness will also be appearing to give evidence about Sacre Coeur.
 

2014-12
  
09/12/2014
The Inquiry Panel has been shown a charity slip proving that Jimmy Savile had been in Jeresy despite his "strong denials" he was ever on the island.96

​The Inquiry Panel has been shown a charity slip proving that Jimmy Savile had been in Jeresy despite his "strong denials" he was ever on the island.

The note, which Savile had signed, was for a fun run called 'Jim's Five Valley'. It was dated 19 April 1976.

The evidence was included in documents supporting the statement from Witness 136 who'd lived at Haut de la Garenne in the 70's.

She described being "petrified" of Henry Flemming who lived next door to the home and enticed children with cigarettes, alcohol and sweets.

Documentation addressed to Children's Services showed that senior staff at Haut de la Garenne were aware of Flemming's activities. One admitted that efforts to "discourage" children from seeing Flemming had not had "any real effect."

The Inquiry has also heard further evidence against House Parent Gordon Wateridge who was later convicted of a string of offences against girls and a boy in his care.

One witness, 211, described how she was assaulted by Wateridge upto 6 times a day.

The first witness today was Barrie Ford, who'd been taken into care at Jersey Home for Boys in 1957 when he was seven years old. His experience of the care system had been a positive one. He told the Inquiry that officers from Children's Services had visited him every few months to see how he was.

Hearings will continue tomorrow morning at 9 am.

 

 

2014-12
  
05/12/2014
Both Jimmy Savile and Wilfred Krichefski have been named in the latest evidence about Haut de la Garenne.94

​Both Jimmy Savile and Wilfred Krichefski have been named in the latest evidence about Haut de la Garenne. Savile visited the home in 1969. In evidence presented by Counsel Paul Livingston, two witnesses gave accounts of being abused by former Jersey Senator Krichefski when they were boys.

Another statement referred to David Moorehead, later convicted of breaking into Haut de la Garenne and leaving with a boy. The witness, who was 14 at the time of the incident, also gave details of cellars, shackles and parties at the home.

12 witness statements were read out to the Panel and the public today. Each was accompanied by supporting documents from different agencies responsible for the children's care, including social services.

The hearings will continue next Tuesday 9 December with evidence about Gordon Wateridge, who worked at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970's and was later jailed for a series of indecent assaults of teenagers.

 

2014-12
  
04/12/2014
The Inquiry has heard evidence from a series of witnesses who say they had been unaware of abuse when they were living at Haut de la Garenne.93

​The Inquiry has heard evidence from a series of witnesses who say they had been unaware of abuse when they were living at Haut de la Garenne. Their accounts mark a contrast with other witnesses who have given detailed descriptions of physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the home.

George Hamon went to Haut de la Garenne at the age of 14 after getting into trouble with the police. He told Counsel Patrick Sadd that children at the home were taken on holiday to Sark, and showed the Inquiry photographs. They were taken to the island on the States barge.

Mr Hamon says he wasn't aware of any child being given the cane at Haut de la Garenne. He also said Colin Tilbrook, in charge of the home, was a "great bloke".

Previous evidence has provided graphic accounts of violent and sexual assaults by Tilbrook.

Earlier today, statements were read into the public record from people who'd also been sent to Haut de la Garenne in the 1960's. One described the home as a "cold and heartless place" but said she'd never seen any abuse.  She also said that in the year she lived at the home, no doctor had ever visited.

The Inquiry is hearing evidence from witnesses about the circumstances in which they came to be admitted to the care system. The Panel is also being shown supporting documents which shed light on the decisions taken by the authorities.

2014-12
  
03/12/2014
The Inquiry has heard about the challenges of tracing documents about certain witnesses.91

​The Inquiry has heard about the challenges of tracing documents about certain witnesses. Counsel Patrick Sadd told the Panel there was a "scarce" case history regarding Witness 147, who'd been taken into care as a young boy.

The witness had been subjected to abuse by the 'Bogeyman', who came into his dormitory at Haut de la Garenne at night. He had also been assaulted by another resident at the home. Witness 147 said: "We made complaints but nothing was ever done."

Among the supporting documents shown by Mr Sadd was a letter from the case officer assigned to 147 and his siblings to their mother in which he wrote: "Please come and visit the children at Haut de la Garenne, they are asking for you frequently."

The Inquiry legal team is continuing its efforts to trace documents to provide as complete a picture as possible of witnesses' time in Jersey's care system.

2014-12
  
03/12/2014
The first witness to give evidence tomorrow morning will be heard in private.92

​The first witness to give evidence tomorrow morning will be heard in private. The doors will open to the public again at 11.45 when a second witness will be describing their experiences in care at Haut de la Garenne.

2014-12
  
02/12/2014
Witness statements from four former residents at Haut de la Garenne have been read onto the public record.89

​Witness statements from four former residents at Haut de la Garenne have been read onto the public record. They include references to Witness 493 who committed suicide at the home and was one of a number of boys to be sexually abused.

Witness 91 described being taken to a cellar at the home at night by a member of staff and dunked in a bath of cold water. He was beaten and sexually assaulted.

Witness 124 named his abuser as staff member Thomas Hamon. He said: "There had to be people outside the home who knew about the abuse...people of authority."

Witness 233 described Haut de la Garenne as a "sad place to be" although he was never sexually abused himself.

The statements were read onto the record by Harriet Jerram, Inquiry Counsel. There will be more evidence this afternoon at 2 pm.

2014-12
  
02/12/2014
Hearings have ended today with more accounts of physical, mental and sexual abuse at Haut de la Garenne.90

​Hearings have ended today with more accounts of physical, mental and sexual abuse by staff at Haut de la Garenne. Counsel Harriet Jerram read out a statement from Witness 341 in which he described the rape and sexual assault of a number of children in care.

He told how boys in the home regularly assaulted girls because they didn't know any better. "We learned this behaviour from the staff and didn't know it was wrong," he said.

He also said some girls were made pregnant and how he saw staff "getting rid of babies" on four or five occasions.

Further evidence came from Witness 120 who said she was raped by the deputy manager of the home, Alan Gilbert. The witness, now in her fifties, said she'd been put on the contraceptive pill and drugged, missing out on an education.

The Inquiry heard that her life had been ruined by her experiences and she thinks the States of Jersey failed to protect her.

Hearings begin again tomorrow at 10am.

2014-12
  
01/12/2014
Public Hearings re Haut de la Garenne continue88

​The IJCI public hearings will resume at the later time of 1130 on Tuesday 2 December. 

Further statements regarding Haut de la Garenne in the 1960s will be read into the record.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The Inquiry timetable can be found here.

2014-12
collapse Month Lookup : 2014-11 ‎(4)
  
27/11/2014
The IJCI Panel will not be hearing public evidence this afternoon.87

​The IJCI Panel will continue to hear the private witness evidence this afternoon. The next public hearing will be held on Tuesday 2 December 2014.

2014-11
  
26/11/2014
This afternoon the Inquiry is hearing more evidence from former residents of Haut de la Garenne.86

​This afternoon the Inquiry is hearing more evidence from former residents of Haut de la Garenne. Counsel Paul Livingston is reading out a statement from a witness who'd gone to live at the home in 1957 when he was seven years old. He describes being taken from his bed by a member of staff and abused on a number of occasions. When he complained, he was hit and told not to lie. The boy lived at Haut de la Garenne until he was fifteen.

2014-11
  
20/11/2014
IJCI hears further evidence re Blanch Pierre family group home85

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard evidence today (Thursday 20 November) from 'Miss K' who described the abuse she suffered at the hands of Jane and Alan Maguire at Blanche Pierre family group home.

Speaking anonymously from behind a special screen, Miss K also recounted how police officers told her to drop her allegations of sexual abuse by Alan Maguire as it would be her word against his. She said she was devastated when told that the case against the Maguires was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

The transcript and supporting documents will be available for viewing and download in due course.

The public hearings resume tomorrow (Friday 20/11/14) with further evidence re Blanche Pierre family group home. Doors open at 0900. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

2014-11
  
14/11/2014
Public hearings will resume next Thursday, 20 November, with more witnesses giving evidence about family group homes.84

​Public hearings will resume next Thursday, 20 November, with more witnesses giving evidence about family group homes.

Evidence will then be heard Haut de la Garenne.

Since its last hearing on 24 October 2014, the Inquiry has had the opportunity to take further statements from potential witnesses who continue to get in touch and also to review a significant number of newly disclosed documents.

The Inquiry anticipates hearing evidence, both oral and read in, from more than 40 witnesses in the period up to 12 December 2014.
2014-11
collapse Month Lookup : 2014-10 ‎(16)
  
24/10/2014
IJCI rules on naming of alleged deceased abusers and redactions.83

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has ruled that alleged abusers who have died can be named and this will be applied retrospectively.

It also ruled that information and names of individuals that are in the Public Domain will not be redacted.

“In the Public Domain” is information realistically accessible to the general public that has been published in regulated media – newspapers (printed or online)/radio and TV broadcast.

The Ruling was read by IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham QC. The transcript can be viewed and downloaded here.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram and Patrick Sadd, continued reading into the record documents and witness statements in relation to Blanche Pierre.

The IJCI has now adjourned for the day and public hearings will resume on 20th November. In the meantime, it will be business as usual for the Inquiry Team who will be preparing evidence. Anyone with good or bad experience of Jersey’s care system is invited to get in touch. 

2014-10
  
23/10/2014
IJCI hears more evidence about life as a resident of Blanche Pierre family group home.81

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has adjourned for the day.

This morning, Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, read into the record statements from a witness to the Police about abuse suffered at the hands of Jane and Alan Maguire at Blanche Pierre.

This afternoon, Counsel to the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram, took witness, John Le Boutillier, through his witness statement. He described his experiences in residential care homes, Haut de la Garenne, Norcott Villa and Blanche Pierre. He also spoke about his experiences providing evidence to the police as part of criminal investigations into Jane and Alan Maguire at Blanche Pierre. 

On Friday (24 October) the Panel will announce their ruling on submissions re the naming of alleged abusers known to be dead. This will be followed by further reading into the record of witness statements regarding Blanche Pierre.

Members of the public are welcome to attend from 0900.

2014-10
  
21/10/2014
Transcript
The transcript from Day 26 of the ICJI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.80

​The transcript from Day 2​6 of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website. Witness statements regarding Blanche Pierre were read into the record.

All previous transcripts and relevant documents are also available.

The public hearings resume at 10:00 on Thursday​ (23 October) with further reading into the record of witness statements regarding Blanche Pierre and from 14:00 with an anonymous witness giving evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey.



2014-10
  
17/10/2014
Timetable
The proposed timetable up until mid December has been published 79
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has received hundreds of thousands of documents and, as stated in the public hearings on Wednesday 15 October 2014, time is needed to review and collate these. 

There will be no hearings between 27 October 2014 and 19 November 2014 (inclusive). The Inquiry team will be preparing evidence throughout this period, ahead of the Inquiry's hearings recommencing on 20 November 2014. The Inquiry intends to sit for four days each week until mid December.

The proposed timetable up until mid December has been published and can be viewed here.



2014-10
  
15/10/2014
IJCI statement re damage to a package containing a witness statement whilst in transit.77

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has issued the following statement in relation to damage to a package containing a witness statement:

"The inquiry sends out many hundreds of documents and our understanding is that this particular package was damaged in transit and was repackaged by the Royal Mail to protect the contents. We have a range of security arrangements in place for the transit of documents. For obvious reasons we are not going to discuss the precautions taken in relation to individual documentation for witnesses or the Inquiry as a whole."

2014-10
  
15/10/2014
IJCI hears first tranche of evidence relating to Blanche Pierre family group home78

​The IJCI has today (Wednesday 15 October) been hearing the first tranche of evidence regarding Blanche Pierre, or Le Squez, family group home.
Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, provided context and background to the home in St Clement, which was run by Alan and Jane Maguire. Diary entries between 1986-1989 recorded punishments such as the smacking of children and washing their mouths out with soap.
A letter sent by Iris Le Feuvre, President of the Education Committee, to Jane Maguire on her retirement in 1990 congratulated her on her excellent work and 110% commitment to the children in her care.
Counsel to the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram, took former resident, Darren Picot, through his witness statement. He said he was first put into care at Blanche Pierre at the age of 3. He described being beaten by the Maguires nearly every day for not eating tea, breaking a toy or because "they were just in wrong mood".
He recalled receiving two serious knocks to the head at the hands of the Maguires on the same day, but was told to tell staff at Jersey General Hospital that he’d fallen and banged his head.
He was made to stand with his nose to a tree as a punishment for up to 6 hours at a time. This happened so often it became known as “Darren’s Tree”.
On another occasion he was punished for taking the drip off a custard jug to stop it falling on to the table. The Maguires wrapped a tea towel around his head, dipped his head back and poured all the contents of the jug into his mouth and down his throat. The custard went everywhere and he started choking. He was then beaten for being sick and told to stand by the tree. 
Mr Picot said there was never any sign of remorse or apology from the Maguires. He said  there was “no point” telling his Childcare Officer, Richard Davenport, about the abuse because he feared repercussions from them, although “he seemed a nice enough man”,
Mr Davenport wrote in a report: “Darren seems to be scape-goated and seems too sad too often. I seem effectively powerless to change the situation and wonder whether we could act on Darren’s behalf.
In a later report Mr Davenport wrote: “A lot of Darren’s difficulties might be due to family group home management, lack of proper resources and cramped accommodation”.
Mr Picot explained that a neighbour did seem concerned and it was only years later that he discovered that she had come forward but her report was put in a drawer.
He later moved to Heathfields where ‘Mr AA’ tried to sexually assault him, but "on whole, staff looked after me and I met some really good people".
Mr Picot left Les Chenes at the age of 16 and lived on his own without support from Children’s Services or States of Jersey. At the age of 18 he gave evidence from behind a screen in the prosecution against the Maguires and said he found the court process difficult. He said he felt "pure anger" about the prosecution not going ahead.
The Inquiry was shown a letter written in 2000 by Marnie Baudains, Manager, Children’s & Adult Social Services, in which she wrote that they did not have copies of police reports and statements relating to the case against the Maguires.
Mr Picot said: “I now know that there were a number of reports and complaints relating to the Maguires and Blanche Pierre before the complaints which lead to their prosecution. 
“I think there were plenty of opportunities for the States of Jersey to take action & help us while we were children but nothing was done.”
He concluded: “Learn by your mistakes, concentrate more – even the slightest little thing that people come out with could be serious. It could be nothing, but just listen.”
This morning, the Panel heard further submissions from Interested Parties re the redaction protocols.
The public hearings will resume tomorrow (Thursday 15 October) at 1000 with the reading into the record of further witness statements about Blanche Pierre family group Home.

2014-10
  
14/10/2014
IJCI is considering an alleged serious breach of privacy by a journalist who released confidential witness information into the public domain.75

​The Chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Frances Oldham, opened today's proceedings with the following statement:

"A matter has occured over the weekend and I wish to say this.

"The Inquiry is considering an alleged serious breach of privacy by which a journalist released into the public domain confidential witness information. We will not be responding to any questions at this stage until that is concluded."

2014-10
  
14/10/2014
Today at the IJCI public hearings76

​This morning due to the availability of evidence,  there will be a reading into the record of statements from former residents of care homes. The Panel will also update the public on the progress of submissions and other matters.

2014-10
  
10/10/2014
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry takes very seriously the breach of a witness's private data by a journalist on Twitter earlier this evening.74
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry takes very seriously the breach of a witness's private data by a journalist on Twitter earlier this evening. This was shared several times before being taken down.
We have been in touch with the witness concerned to advise them of this breach.
2014-10
  
09/10/2014
There has been no security breach over mail sent by the Inquiry.73

​There has been no security breach over mail sent by the Inquiry.  Here is its statement:

"The Inquiry is in contact with a wide range of witnesses, some of whom are on the island and some are not. Much of our contact with witnesses is by telephone or electronic, but sometimes it is necessary to send documentation through the post, particularly to witnesses who are not on the island. The Inquiry has deliberately chosen not to draw attention to post, which is sent in plain, non branded envelopes or plastic document bags in the normal post. The Inquiry by necessity has to use the postal service on the island. The Inquiry views with concern the reports from Mr Harper that his private mail has possibly been tampered with and has been in contact with Mr Harper."

2014-10
  
08/10/2014
IJCI Panel say ruling on naming alleged abusers needs further consideration before a decision is made71

The Panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (8 October) said a ruling on naming alleged abusers needs further consideration before a decision is made.

Panel Chair, Frances Oldham, told the Inquiry:

"The Panel received submissions yesterday afternoon regarding the proposal to revise the Inquiry's Protocol and name those whom the Inquiry reasonably believes to be deceased.

"During the course of all submissions yesterday, counsel recognised that the application raises difficult issues and that there is an overriding need to maintain a balance between fairness and transparency . It is also the Panel's view that the application also raises wider issues that need to be considered.

"Accordingly further time is needed and I will not be making a ruling today on the specific application of yesterday. A date will be notified as soon as possible to all interested parties."  

2014-10
  
08/10/2014
The Independent jersey Care Inquiry has adjourned for the day having heard from witness, Mr John Doublard, about when he lived at Jersey Home for Boys and Brig-y-Don in the 40s.72

The Independent jersey Care Inquiry has adjourned for the day having heard from witness, Mr John Doublard, about when he lived at Jersey Home for Boys and Brig-y-Don in the 40s.

He came forward after hearing for the first time that he was not the only child to have suffered electric shocks at the hands of older boys at Haut de la Garenne after seeing reports of  Mr Gifford Aubin's evidence to the IJCI on Day 8, August 12, 2014.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, also read into the record further statements from witnesses to the Police about their experiences at Haut de la Garenne and Clos des Sables.

On Thursday (9 October), the Inquiry will hear evidence from a witness about organisation at Sacre Coeur  Orphanage. This will be followed by further reading into the record of witness statements. Patrick Sadd is Counsel to the Inquiry.

Members of the public are welcome to attend from 1000.

2014-10
  
07/10/2014
'Miss E' tells IJCI about details of child abuse at Haute de la Garenne and Clos des Sables family home.70

The IJCI has today (Tuesday) been hearing further details of child abuse at Haute de la Garenne and Clos des Sables.

Speaking anonymously, 'Miss E' described how she was taken into care aged 8 after her parents' relationship deteriorated. She said punishments "were the norm" at Haute de la Garenne.

Bad language was punished by forcing soap in the children’s mouths and if they wet the bed, they had to sleep in the wet sheets so they wouldn't do it again. Older children would hang her over the banisters by her feet if she didn't steal cigarettes & biscuits for them. She said that no one intervened.

As she started secondary school she was moved to Clos des Sables family home where she and other residents were sexually abused on multiple occasions by the housefather, Leslie Hughes.  The abuse stopped when she was 14 because she became more confident about saying no and recalled trying to protect the more vulnerable girls.  On one occasion she found Hughes in bed with one of the younger, newer girls but there was no one to talk to as they wouldn't listen.

Years later, when the victim went to the police, Miss E gave a statement in support of her - but the police didn't want to know about other things going on in the home.  She said she felt guilty for years that she should have done more to help the girl.


Miss E was also critical of Jersey Children's Services, saying they did a poor job many years ago and although she has had some good experiences in later years with particular social workers she believes the system is still failing, is inconsistent and hasn't changed.

Miss E said her experiences totally changed her as a person - from being someone happy that was shown love and affection by her mother and church family, to having nothing - and to this day she still doesn't understand it.

After lunch, the Panel heard submissions from Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd, Advocate Robert MacRae for the Jersey Police, Advocate Beverley Lacey for the States of Jersey and Alan Collins for the Jersey Care Leavers Association about revising the protocol regarding the naming of alleged abusers re the naming of alleged abusers who are believed to be dead. Panel Chair, Frances Oldham, said they would adjourn to consider the matter and make a ruling tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1000.

This will be followed by further reading into the record of witness statements re Clos des Sables. The afternoon hearing will start at 1400, when a witness will be giving evidence re his experiences of growing up in the Jersey care system.

On Thursday (1000), the Panel will hear evidence from a witness about the organisation of Sacre Coeur  Orphanage. This will be followed by further reading into the record of witness statements.

2014-10
  
03/10/2014
The Inquiry has heard from the first witness to give evidence about abuse at Clos des Sables home.68

​The Inquiry has heard from the first witness to give evidence about abuse at Clos des Sables home. 'Miss D' gave her account anonymously and spoke about the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of Leslie Hughes, later convicted for a series of sex offences. She said at least one member of staff at the home had known that Hughes was spending time with her, taking her to his boat and on other trips. 

'Miss D' was taken through her evidence by Inquiry Counsel Harriet Jerram. She said in closing that: "I don't want other children in care going through what I did. What I went through wasn't isolated. It has to be prevented from happening again."

Thanking her for giving evidence, the Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham, noted Miss D's concern about the future of child protection in Jersey. 

The Inquiry will hear more evidence about Clos des Sables next week.

2014-10
  
03/10/2014
The IJCI wishes to make it clear that all witnesses have access to support services.69

The IJCI wishes to make it clear that all witnesses have access to support services. These are explained to each of them by the Inquiry Team and they can choose from a number of options including speaking to Victim Support Northern Ireland (VSNI), who can also arrange for someone to come to the Inquiry if requested - or locally, Victim Support Jersey. 

All the witnesses who have given evidence so far have been positive about both their experience and the support received at the IJCI  and are encouraging others to come forward to tell their stories.

2014-10
  
02/10/2014
The transcript from Day 16 of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.67

​The transcript from Day 16 of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website. Mr Whitehead concluded his evidence on Legislation in Jersey from 1945.

Witness statements from Jersey Home for Girls were also read into the record.

2014-10
collapse Month Lookup : 2014-09 ‎(20)
  
26/09/2014
Transcript
The transcript from Day 15 of the ICJI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.66

The transcript from Day 15 (23 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website. Mr Richard Whitehead provided evidence to the Injury on Legislation in Jersey from 1945,


The public hearings resume at 10:00 on Wednesday 2 October 2014 with the reading into the record​ of witness statements from Jersey Home for Girls.  

A former resident of a Jersey Care Home will be giving evidence in person on Thursday 2 October 2014. Members of the public are welcome to attend both sessions.


2014-09
  
24/09/2014
IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham, says resolving the technical challenges to enable the public to download large quantities of documents efficiently is a priority. 64

The Chair of the Independent Jersey Chair Inquiry, Frances Oldham, says resolving the technical challenges to enable the public to download large quantities of documents efficiently is a priority.

Her comments came at the start of Day 16 (Wednesday 24 September) of the public hearings, before expert witness, Mr Richard Whitehead, from the States of Jersey Law officers' Department concluded giving evidence about the history of child law in Jersey.

Mrs Oldham stated: "Mr Whitehead's evidence has ranged over many decades and of necessity has referenced a very large number of supporting documents, some of them substantial in size.  Interested parties already have access to all this material. In accordance with our protocols these and all other documents produced in public sessions of the Inquiry will be made available on our website in due course.

"The volume of documentation already referenced and the enormous amount of material anticipated over coming weeks have created technical challenges for our suppliers. Solutions are being developed that will enable the public to download large quantities of documents efficiently, and allow us to provide this facility as the amount of material we consider grows significantly, over the duration of the Inquiry. 

"This issue is being worked on as a priority by the companies involved and when the system has been tested and is operational, we will make available online all the documents produced in all the public sessions of the Inquiry."

2014-09
  
24/09/2014
More than 80,000 pages of “valuable and relevant” documentary evidence have been submitted to the Independent jersey Care Inquiry so far – and are continuing to arrive. 65

More than 80,000 pages of “valuable and relevant” documentary evidence have been submitted to the Independent jersey Care Inquiry so far – and are continuing to arrive.

They include Historic Abuse Redress Scheme documents from over 130 applicants, police statements from 293 individuals and thousands of pages of Social Services records.

The figures were announced by Counsel to the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram, on Day 16 (Wednesday 24 September) of the public hearings at Seaton Place.

“All of this provides crucial evidence of relevance to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference,” she said.

“One of the tasks of the Inquiry is to determine whether there were patterns of abuse across childcare provision on the island. A great deal of valuable and relevant evidence about that is contained in statements that have previously been provided to the States of Jersey Police as part of Operation Rectangle and under the Historic Abuse redress Scheme. “

Ms Jerram explained that in order to ensure that the IJCI’s knowledge and understanding is as comprehensive as possible, a selection of those statements and documents will be read into the record by Counsel to the Inquiry.

Witnesses whose evidence is read into the record will remain anonymous and names and all identifying information redacted as part of protective measures under the Inquiry’s protocols. Where possible, witnesses will be notified in writing that their evidence is to be read out.

“Of course, we would encourage anyone receiving such a letter to consider whether they would also like to make a statement to the Inquiry,” said Ms Jerram.

“As the Panel is aware, the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry are different from the scope of Operation Rectangle and the Redress Scheme and the Inquiry will be assisted if those individuals decide to come forward.”

Evidence that has been read into the record will be available in redacted form on the website and will form part of the evidence to be considered by the Panel.  Ms Jerram added that even if a witness’s statement is read into the record, they could still give evidence to the Inquiry at a later date.  Interested Parties would not need to be in attendance during the reading in sessions as they would have access to all the documentation and transcripts.

“Members of the public of course are welcome to attend.” she concluded.

To date the Panel has heard oral evidence from seven witnesses describing various different homes and foster families with a particular focus on the early years at Jersey Home for Boys, Jersey Home for Girls and Sacre Coeur Orphanage.  One gave evidence in private – another via video link. Four expert witnesses have also provided contextual evidence.

Anyone with experience of Jersey’s care system – good or bad – is invited to get in touch with the Inquiry Support Team.  All information given to them is treated in strictest confidence and your privacy respected.

 




      

    2014-09
      
    23/09/2014
    Reading evidence into the public record63

    ​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has adjourned for the day and will continue hearing evidence from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday 24 September) re Jersey’s post-war legislation concerning children from expert witness, Richard Whitehead, Director of Civil Division, Law Officers' Dept. at States of Jersey. 

    In addition to the oral evidence which will continue to be heard, the Inquiry has received a large number of statements given by individuals to the Historic Redress Scheme and the States of Jersey Police, as well as many pages of Social Services records relating to the experiences of children in residential homes and foster care. These documents provide further crucial evidence for the Panel to consider in fulfilling its Terms of Reference.

    To enable the Inquiry to consider all the available and relevant evidence, a selection of these documents will be read into the public record by Counsel to the Inquiry. In all cases the documents will be anonymised to give witnesses all the protective measures under the Inquiry’s protocols.  This does not prevent any witness from giving evidence to the Inquiry at a later date.

    Counsel to the Inquiry, Harriet Jerram, will set out the arrangements in more detail at tomorrow’s Hearing, before reading evidence into the record for the first time. This will be done in public and the full statement will subsequently be available in the transcripts section of the Inquiry website. The first tranche of evidence to be read into the record relates to the earliest period with which the Inquiry is concerned, the Jersey Home for Boys and the Jersey Home for Girls. This is to complement evidence already heard and further oral evidence to follow.

    2014-09
      
    18/09/2014
    Transcript
    The transcript from Day 14 of the ICJI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.62

    The transcript from Day 14 (11 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website. Miss C gave evidence to the Inquiry on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    Public hearings will resume on Tuesday 23 September 2014 with Mr Richard Whitehead providing evidence to the Inquiry on legislation in Jersey from 1945.

    2014-09
      
    16/09/2014
    The Chief Minister Ian Gorst has clarified the role of two senior States officers who are collecting documents for the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.61

    The Chief Minister Ian Gorst has clarified the role of two senior States officers who are collecting documents for the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

    Answering a question from Deputy Hilton in the Assembly last week, Senator Gorst said both Richard Joualt and Tony Le Seuer, from the Children's Service "were moved to continue doing their work to facilitate the information flow to the inquiry."

    Underlining the independence of the Inquiry, Senator Gorst added that "they are not connected in any way with the inquiry.  They are not working for the inquiry.  They are not instructed by the inquiry."

    The Chief Minister said the officers' role had been reported "in an unfortunate way."

    He went on: "…it is important that that work is done so the inquiry receives all the information that it needs.  There are hundreds... there are thousands of boxes of information that need to be reviewed and passed to the inquiry.  The inquiry decides whether those papers are then made public or how they are redacted, not anybody employed by the States."

    The full exchange can be found near the bottom of the page on the States website.

    2014-09
      
    15/09/2014
    ​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has been experiencing problems with the uploading of statements and supporting documents to the website60

    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has been experiencing problems with the uploading of statements and supporting documents to the website.

    It wishes to make clear that the reference to rumours that Jimmy Savile had made a payment to the Jersey States was contained within a witness statement that was shown to the Inquiry on Day 12 and will be published as soon as possible.

    2014-09
      
    11/09/2014
    There will be no hearings next week in St Helier.58

    There will be no hearings next week in St Helier.
    Due to a bereavement, the Inquiry chair Frances Oldham, will be on the mainland.
    The Inquiry's offices will remain open and the team will be dealing with witness statements.
    Hearings will resume the following week.
    2014-09
      
    11/09/2014
    Transcript
    The transcript from Day 13 (11 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.59

    The transcript from Day 13 (10 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website. Miss B gave evidence to the Inquiry on the Care Systems in Jersey.​

    2014-09
      
    10/09/2014
    Transcript
    The transcript from Day 11 (5 September) of the ICJI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.55

    ​The transcript from Day 11 (5 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website. Mrs Winifred Lockhart gave evidence to the Inquiry on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    All previous transcripts and relevant documents are also available.

    2014-09
      
    10/09/2014
    Transcript
    The transcript from Day 12 (9 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.56

    ​The transcript from Day 12 (9 September) of the ICJI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.

    Mrs A gave evidence to the Inquiry on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    All previous transcripts and relevant documents are also available.

     

    2014-09
      
    10/09/2014
    The hearing room will be open to the public tomorrow morning for the latest evidence to be given anonymously.57

    ​The hearing room will be open to the public tomorrow morning for the latest evidence to be given anonymously. This means the witness will be speaking from behind a screen so their identity can be protected. Afterwards, the hearing room will be closed to the public and media. This is so that evidence can be heard in private. This is a further measure taken in agreement with the Inquiry's panel to give a witness further protection. This evidence will not be reported or made public.

    2014-09
      
    09/09/2014
    This morning's witness is giving evidence to the Inquiry from behind a screen.53

    ​This morning's witness is giving evidence to the Inquiry from behind a screen. She is being addressed as 'Mrs A' to protect her identity. 'Mrs A' is being questioned by Inquiry counsel, Harriet Jerram. She is describing her childhood. She had two spells in care at the Sacre-Coeur home in Jersey, run by nuns. She said it was a 'strict regime', the children didn't have any rights and harsh punishments included being hit by a metal spoon and spending the night with your head covered by a sheet that was tucked under the mattress.

    2014-09
      
    09/09/2014
    Documents relating to the Sacre-Coeur children's home in Jersey are being sought by the Inquiry.54

    ​Documents relating to the Sacre-Coeur children's home in Jersey are being sought by the Inquiry.

    Initial inquiries will be made through the Catholic Church, whose nuns ran the home.

    Today's witness, Mrs A, giving evidence anonymously, spoke about the harsh and punitive regime at the home where she spent time in the late 1950's.

    2014-09
      
    05/09/2014
    Latest update from the Inquiry team about witnesses and media accreditation.51

    The IJCI has adjourned for the week after hearing evidence today from Violet Lockhart about her experiences in foster care in Jersey. 

    The transcript of the day's proceedings will be published as soon as it's available. 

    New witnesses are coming forward all the time, and it is anticipated the hearings will last for many months. The Inquiry team has much work to do and is making many demands on those who are providing documents and information. How those demands are met by State bodies, and by whom, is not a matter for the Inquiry. The Inquiry team does not contain any civil servants from the States, or any other Jersey institution.

    The Inquiry's legal team have also issued the following statement following recent reports regarding a ruling about Media Accreditation:

    "No-one is banned from the Inquiry or from reporting it. The evidence can be followed from the hearing room. Accreditation to the small media room has been based on the need of some to work to tight deadlines and who need electronic facilities to file reports. The ruling was an administrative matter based on practicalities.

    "The Inquiry takes the protection of witnesses extremely seriously. There is no connection between the ruling on media accreditation and the recent reminder to the public of the ban on live Tweeting. This ban was announced at the Preliminary Hearing in April and is in place to prevent the naming of people whose identities would otherwise be redacted. Additionally, the inquiry does not wish witnesses to be filmed or photographed in the vicinity of the hearing chamber. It is not fair on them. These decisions are all focused on witness protection."

     

    2014-09
      
    05/09/2014
    Change to start time for the IJCI public hearing on  Day 11 (5 September).52

    The start time for the IJCI public hearing on  Day 11 (5 September) has changed to 10.30am.

    2014-09
      
    04/09/2014
    Transcripts
    The transcript from Day 10 (3 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.49

    ​The transcript from Day 10 (3 September) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.

    Mr Michael Laing concluded his evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    Mr Richard Whitehead gave the first part of his evidence on Legislation in Jersey from 1945 and will continue to present his evidence at a later date.

    All previous transcripts and relevant documents are also available.

    The public hearings resume at 11:00 on Friday (5 September) with a former resident giving evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    2014-09
      
    03/09/2014
    The Inquiry has adjourned until Friday.48

    ​The Inquiry has adjourned until Friday. Evidence has been heard today from former care resident Michael Laing and Richard Whitehead, an expert in legislation in Jersey since 1945. The next witness will be a former care home resident, who will appear on Friday at 11:00.

    2014-09
      
    02/09/2014
    Press release
    The Inquiry has received a number of queries following a recent report in the Jersey Evening News.46
    ​​The Inquiry has received a number of queries asking whether the States of Jersey have provided senior civil servants to the Inquiry team to collate and prepare evidence for the Inquiry, following a recent report in the Jersey Evening News. This is not the case. The Inquiry is assisted by a legal and media team which is completely independent of the States of Jersey.
     
    The Inquiry understands that the States of Jersey may have created a dedicated internal team to handle and manage the Inquiry's requests for evidence and material. That is entirely a matter for them.
     


     


     

    2014-09
      
    02/09/2014
    Hearings
    The Inquiry has had a number of requests to enhance the provision of facilities for those attending hearings with disabilities.47
    The Inquiry has had a number of requests to enhance the provision of facilities for those attending hearings with disabilities. The Inquiry is grateful for the suggestions made. There is a loop facility in place for those who are hard of hearing. The Inquiry will also be providing a number of more suitable seating facilities for those with disabilities who wish to take notes during the hearing. 

     
    If any notes are taken electronically, those attending are reminded that the wifi to any equipment should not be connected whilst in the chamber, as evidence may need redaction. The Inquiry also wants to ensure that witnesses are not photographed in or around the hearing room.


     


     

    2014-09
    collapse Month Lookup : 2014-08 ‎(10)
      
    19/08/2014
    Day 9 Transcript
    The transcript from Day 9 (14 August) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download45

    ​The transcript from Day 9 (14 August) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.

    Mr Michael Laing gave the first part of his evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey. Mr Malcolm Carver gave evidence via video link on Residential Homes in Jersey. 

    All previous transcripts and relevant documents are also available.

    The public hearings resume at 10:00 on Wednesday (3 September) with Mr Michael Laing continuing his evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey.

     

    2014-08
      
    14/08/2014
    The IJCI public hearings are adjourned until September 3 - but it's business as usual for the team and potential witnesses42

    It will be business as usual at the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry offices in St Helier during a two-week break from public hearings.

    Peter Watkin Jones from the Inquiry’s Legal Team, said: “There won’t be any public hearings over the next fortnight, but the Seaton Place offices will be open and the Inquiry team will be preparing for the next witnesses in September.
     
    “At this stage we are in contact with a large number of potential witnesses who are helping us to build up as full a picture as possible of Jersey’s care system from 1945 onwards.  We appreciate the trouble people are taking to tell us their stories and we remain keen to hear from people with experience of it to come forward.
     
    “This is the only way that we’re going to be able to provide a full account of what happened in Jersey, identify where things went wrong and make recommendations about what needs to happen to ensure future generations of children in care are protected in the way they deserve.
     
    “We are interested to hear from those who had experience of residential or foster care whether this was negative or positive. We’d particularly be interested to hear from those who worked in residential and family group homes – in either senior or support roles, such as cooks, cleaners, secretarial or maintenance workers.  We know from experience that people in jobs like this are often confided in by young people or are in a position to see what is happening. This also extends to professionals who come into contact with children in care - like teachers and doctors. We also want to hear from those who provided the care, or were responsible for arranging it.
     
    “If you think you have any information which will help us understand what has gone on over many decades and help ensure it can never happen again, then do please get in touch…details are on our website.”
     

     


    The Panel, lead by Frances Oldham, adjourned on Thursday (14 August) afternoon after two days of hearing witness statements from four former Jersey care home residents, Giffard Aubin, Violet Renouf, Michael Laing and Malcolm Carver. Mr Carver gave his evidence via video link from Cardiff, a facility available to witnesses around the world who are unable or don’t want to travel to Jersey.
     
    Transcripts and supporting documents from this week’s proceedings will be published on this website in due course.
     
    The Public Hearings will resume at 1000 on Wednesday 3 September with Mr Laing continuing to give his evidence.

    2014-08
      
    14/08/2014
    Transcript
    Transcript from Day 8 (12 August) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download43

    The transcript from Day 8 (12 August) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.

    Mr Giffard Aubin and Ms Violet Renouf gave evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    All previous transcripts​ and relevant documents are also available.

    The public hearings resume 10:00 on Wednesday (3 September) with evidence on Residential Homes in Jersey.

    2014-08
      
    14/08/2014
    Media Accreditation
    IJCI makes Ruling on Media Accreditation for public hearings44

    ​IJCI has made a Ruling in relation to Media Accreditation for the public hearings at Seaton Place. The Ruling is available for viewing and download via the website.

    2014-08
      
    07/08/2014
    Transcript from Day 7 (6 August) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download. 38

    The transcript from Day 7 (6 August) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.

    Professor Roger Bullock of Bristol University continued giving evidence regarding the history of care on Jersey.

    All previous transcripts and relevant documents are also available.

    The public hearings resume 10:00 on Tuesday (12 August) with witnesses giving evidence on Residental Homes in Jersey.

    2014-08
      
    06/08/2014
    The Inquiry has announced how the support scheme for witnesses is going to work.36

    ​The Inquiry has announced how the support scheme for witnesses is going to work. It is confidential, free and independent and is available on and off Jersey. Full details can be found here.

    2014-08
      
    06/08/2014
    There will be no public hearings at Seaton Place tomorrow.37

    ​There will be no public hearings at Seaton Place tomorrow. Professor Roger Bullock has now finished his second day of testimony with further evidence about the way the care system operated in Jersey. The next hearing will take place on Tuesday 12 August.

    2014-08
      
    05/08/2014
    Independent and confidential witness support is available free of charge both on and off the island.35

    ​Independent and confidential witness support is available free of charge both on and off the island. Further details were announced this morning by the Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham. A private room can be used at the Inquiry's offices in St Helier. Anyone who will be giving evidence, or might be thinking about doing so, can also use a free phone number: 0800 735 0008.

    A member of the support scheme, Sean McIlmurray, is attending today's hearing at Seaton Place.

    2014-08
      
    04/08/2014
    Transcript from Day 5 (31 July) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download. 34

    ​The transcript from Day 5 (31 July) of the IJCI public hearings is available for viewing and download via the website.

    Tony Le Sueur gave evidence of fact and context regarding the history of care on Jersey.

    Doors open tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10:00 when expert witness, Professor Roger Bullock of Bristol University, will provide evidence about Jersey’s care system.

    2014-08
      
    01/08/2014
    Report and supporting documents for Dr Phillip Johnson's evidence to IJCI on 29/7 now available.33

    ​The report and supporting documents for Dr Phillip Johnson's evidence to IJCI on July 29 2014 are now available for viewing and download.

    The remaining transcript and documents for this week's proceedings will be published in due course.

    The IJCI will reconvene at 10:00 on Tuesday 5 August with expert witness, Professor Roger Bullock of Bristol University, who will provide evidence about Jersey’s care system.

    2014-08
    collapse Month Lookup : 2014-07 ‎(8)
      
    31/07/2014
    Latest IJCI transcripts available for download32

    ​The latest transcripts of the IJCI Public Hearings have been published and are now available for viewing and download.

     

    Tue 29 July 2014: Dr Phillip Johnson, evidence on constitutional matters
    Wed 30 July 2014: Tony Le Sueur, evidence of fact and context


     

    2014-07
      
    29/07/2014
    Public hearings will start at the slightly later time of 12:00 tomorrow.31

    ​​Public hearings will start at the slightly later time of 12:00 tomorrow. Doors will be open as usual just beforehand.

    2014-07
      
    25/07/2014
    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has announced its first few witnesses.29

    ​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has announced its first few witnesses. They will be be giving expert evidence on the context and background to the island's care system. Further details can be found on the Inquiry timetable

    2014-07
      
    24/07/2014
    View and download transcripts of the IJCI's public hearings28

    ​Transcripts of  the opening addresses during the first week of  IJCI's public hearings have been published and are now available for viewing and download.

    Tue 22 July 2014: 
    Opening Addresses from:
    Inquiry Chair: Frances Oldham
    Counsel to the Inquiry:  Patrick Sadd & Harriet Jerram
    Jersey Care Leavers' Association: Alan Collins 

    Wed 23 July 2014:
    Opening Addresses from:
    States of Jersey: Advocate Lacey
    States of Jersey Police: Advocate McRae

    The Inquiry’s public hearings will be recorded each day and a transcript prepared and posted on the website as soon as possible, along with alerts on Twitter @JerseyInquiry and Facebook.

     

    2014-07
      
    22/07/2014
    IJCI stresses autonomy and commitment to finding the truth about Jersey's care system.27

    The chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has stressed its autonomy in its mission to establish what went wrong in the island’s care system.

    In her opening address at the start of the public hearings on Tuesday (22 July), Frances Oldham QC said: "We will conduct our work independently; independently of the States of Jersey, independently of the Police and independently of any other organisation or individual in Jersey.

    "We are not partisan and we favour no particular group or individual," she added.

    She repeated her call for all those who have a contribution to make to come forward and give their account.

    "A public inquiry is only as effective as the evidence placed before it. We need to hear your voice. This Inquiry provides a unique opportunity for everyone involved with the care of children to reflect upon what happened."

    Ms Oldham stated that it had taken less time than many other public inquiries to reach this stage, but time had been needed to commission and equip the Seaton Place premises with the necessary IT and to provide the right environment for witnesses. She added:

    "Witnesses need time to give their statements. There is no pressure and a priority for the Inquiry team is the wellbeing of those who recount, possibly for the first time, their experiences in childhood."

    Ms Oldham introduced Barbara Machon from Jersey Victim Support, explaining that the Inquiry can provide free independent witness support both on and off Jersey; details available on the website.

    "We are focussed on one task – to establish what happened in the care system in Jersey and thereby provide assistance and protection for children in the future. This Inquiry is the opportunity for you to have independent scrutiny of past events.

    "If what happened was wrong we will say so...that is our commitment to you." she concluded.

    Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd and Harriet Jerram, then set out details of Phase 1 of the Inquiry.

    Ms Jerram stated that a lot of work had been done behind the scenes in order to start the hearings. She took the opportunity to ask again for anyone who has evidence to come forward and tell their story - including senior managers, support staff,doctors, police officers, teachers - indeed anyone coming into contact with children in residential or foster care.

    "Some of those witnesses may be hesitant about coming forward, fearing they would be blamed or tained by association," she said.

    "We would say that this is your chance to put your version of events, to tell your story and to right any wrongs from the past. We ask you please for your help."

    Speaking on behalf of the Jersey Care leavers' Association, Alan Collins told the Inquiry: "From what we have heard so far today, we are encouraged that the omens seem good and we hope from the hard work we have been hearing about, witnesses will be encouraged to come forward and assist."

    The Inquiry then adjourned until 1000 Wednesday 22 July, when Advocate Lacey and Advocate MacRae will be giving opening addresses.

    Full transcripts will be available to read and download via the IJCI website.

    If you have information about Jersey’s care system please contact the Inquiry:

    Freephone from Jersey/UK: 0800 735 0100
    International: +44 (0)1534 828 798
    Email: info@jerseycareinquiry.org

     


    Download Video

    2014-07
      
    21/07/2014
    Opening addresses at start of IJCI Public hearings26

    ​Doors open at 1000 tomorrow (Tuesday 21 July) for the IJCI Public Hearings.

    Inquiry Chairman, Frances Oldham, will make a brief opening address. This will be followed by addresses by the Counsel to the Inquiry to set out the background to the Inquiry and what will be dealt with in the initial phase of the hearings. There will also be an opportunity for the Interested Parties' representatives to make opening addresses. 

    2014-07
      
    08/07/2014
    The independence of the Jersey Care Inquiry has been underlined by the chair, Frances Oldham QC.25

    ​The independence of the Jersey Care Inquiry has been underlined by the chair, Frances Oldham QC. Mrs Oldham was speaking after the announcement by the Home Secretary Teresa May of a national review looking at historical cases of child sex abuse. The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is to begin public hearings later this month on 22 July.

    Mrs Oldham said: ""Our inquiry is independent of the review announced yesterday and we proceed as planned."

    Anyone with experience of the island's care system, including those who were abused or worked within it, is invited to get in touch with the Inquiry team.

    Contact details: Giving Evidence

    2014-07
      
    04/07/2014
    IJCI Hearing Room
    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will shortly start hearing evidence in public.24

    ​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will shortly start hearing evidence in public.  Whilst the Inquiry team will be working full time, with the office open every weekday, public hearings will be held on an alternating pattern of 3 days and 4 days per week.
     
    The hearing days set at present will be as follows:
    22, 23, 24 July
    29, 30, 31 July,  1 August
    5, 6, 7 August
    12, 13, 14, 15 August

    It is stressed that these dates may be subject to change at short notice.  Any changes will be announced on the website.
     
    The Inquiry will not sit during the weeks commencing 18 and 25 August,  however the Inquiry office will be staffed during these weeks.
     
    Public hearings will sit:
    1000-1300
    1400-1600 

    These timings may be varied on the day to allow for the completion of evidence.
     
    Further dates for public hearings will be announced in due course.

    2014-07
    collapse Month Lookup : 2014-06 ‎(8)
      
    30/06/2014
    The Preliminary Hearing provisionally planned for Wednesday 2 July is not now going ahead.23

    ​The Preliminary Hearing provisionally planned for Wednesday 2 July is not now going ahead. This is because the matters raised at the previous Preliminary Hearing have been resolved, so there is no outstanding business that needs to be dealt with.

    2014-06
      
    25/06/2014
    The IJCI is engaged in securing the documents necessary for its work.22

    ​The IJCI is engaged in securing the documents necessary for its work. It will be taking stock of the position at the next public hearing on 2 July.

    2014-06
      
    17/06/2014
    The Minister for Jersey’s Health and Social Services Department was ordered to disclose key documents to the Inquiry at a second preliminary hearing in St Helier. 21

    The Minister for Jersey’s Health and Social Services Department was ordered to disclose key documents to the Inquiry at a second preliminary hearing in St Helier.

    The Chair, Frances Oldham QC, made it clear that the confidentiality of information and data was central to the Inquiry’s work but said it was “for the benefit of everyone” that the documents were handed over within seven days.

    She agreed to strengthen the right to challenge decisions over which sections of documents get blacked out or redacted as the Inquiry progresses.  She added that keeping confidentiality undertakings were a “heavy onus of responsibility” for those given Interested Party status and their representitives.

    At the hearing, which was held in public, Interested Party status was given to the Office of the Attorney General, which covers his predecessors.

    Mrs Oldham also advised that correspondence to the Inquiry could be made public. This does not apply to witnesses who get in touch about giving evidence – their privacy will be respected.

    A full transcript of the hearing can be found here.

    2014-06
      
    16/06/2014
    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will begin public hearings on Tuesday 22 July. The announcement was made by Frances Oldham QC, the Inquiry’s Chair, at a preliminary hearing in St Helier.20

    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will begin public hearings on Tuesday 22 July. The announcement was made by Frances Oldham QC, the Inquiry's Chair, at a preliminary hearing in St Helier.

    The Inquiry is still waiting for documents from the States of Jersey relating to the Redress Scheme, set up to compensate victims of abuse in the care system.

    A summons requesting these documents has not been complied with and will be the subject of a further preliminary hearing on Wednesday 2 July.

    Mrs Oldham said: "Despite expressions of support from the States, these documents have not been forthcoming. The summons that was served is designed to prevent delays so that the Inquiry can get on with its work."

    When oral hearings begin, it's expected the first witnesses will be experts on the care system in Jersey, and will provide evidence on its context and background.

    Mrs Oldham has promised a "robust and fearless" investigation of the way the service was run

     on the island, including the abuse of children over many decades.

    The Panel, including Prof Sandy Cameron and Alyson Leslie, aim to establish what happened and. They will make recommendations to ensure children are better protected in the future.

    The transcript from today's preliminary hearing will be available on the website shortly.

    The Inquiry's Legal Team is still taking witness statements. Anyone with experience or information that might be relevant is invited to get in touch.

    Jersey/ UK:      0800 735 0100

    International:  +44 (0) 1534 828 798

    Email: info@jerseycareinquiry.org

    Post:  PO Box 551, St Helier, Jersey JE4 8XN

    2014-06
      
    11/06/2014
    Inquiry hearing room
    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will hold a Preliminary Hearing on Monday 16 June 2014 at 11 - 15 Seaton Place in St Helier.18

    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will hold a Preliminary Hearing  on Monday 16th June 2014 at 2.00pm at 11 - 15 Seaton Place in St Helier.  The hearing will be in public and will deal with a number of legal and procedural matters. Afterwards, full details of everything that was dealt with will be placed on this website and relevant social media. Meanwhile, if you have information or experience that might be relevant to the Inquiry's work, do contact us.

    Jersey/ UK:      0800 735 0100

    International:  +44 (0) 1534 828 798

    Email: info@jerseycareinquiry.org

    Post:  PO Box 551, St Helier, Jersey JE4 8XN​

    2014-06
      
    09/06/2014
    Inquiry Hearing Room
    The Inquiry's offices at Seaton Place in St Helier opened its doors to members of the public today.16

    ​The Inquiry's offices at Seaton Place in St Helier opened its doors to members of the public today.

    People were able to see for themselves how the Inquiry will work when hearings begin soon.

    Members of the team were on hand to answer questions and explain the steps being taken to look after witnesses.

    Peter Jones, one of the Inquiry's solicitors, said: "We'd still like to hear from anyone who thinks they have information that will help the Inquiry get to the truth. Even if you are not sure your experience is directly relevant, do still get in touch. We'd like to hear from you."

    Take a look around the offices...

     

    To speak to someone at the Inquiry, call:

    Jersey/ UK:      0800 735 0100

    International:  +44 (0) 1534 828 798

    Email: info@jerseycareinquiry.org

    Post:  PO Box 551, St Helier, Jersey JE4 8XN

    2014-06
      
    06/06/2014
    Evening Preview15

    We announced this week that the Seaton Place offices in St Helier will be open to the public on Monday 9 June between 13.30 and 15.00.


    There will also be a further session in the evening between 17.00 and 18.30.
    We look forward to seeing everyone who comes along.

    2014-06
      
    04/06/2014
    Independent Jersey Care Inquiry to hold Public Preview Afternoon11

    Independent Jersey Care Inquiry to hold Public Preview Afternoon


     

    Members of the public will have a chance to look around the offices where the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will begin hearings this Summer.

    The public areas of the Seaton Place offices in St Helier, including the hearing room, will be open for anyone who would like to visit on Monday 9 June, between 13.30 and 15.30.

    Members of the Legal Team will be on hand to answer any questions and to explain exactly how the proceedings will run.

    Anyone wishing to take photographs on the Preview Day may do so only during the final 15 minutes of the session.

    Building work at 11 – 15 Seaton Place is now complete and the facilities are designed to ensure the comfort of witnesses who will be giving evidence. Particular care has been taken to allow those who wish to give evidence anonymously to do so without risk of being identified.

    When the hearings get underway, the first expert witness will be Professor Roger Bullock of Bristol University who will provide evidence about Jersey’s care system. The Legal Team are still gathering witness statements and documents and it’s not too late for anyone who wants to give evidence to get in touch.

    The latest technology is being used to handle the tens of thousands of documents used during the Inquiry. These will be shown on large screens throughout the hearing centre and then uploaded onto the website.

    The Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, says: "The Panel are looking forward to beginning the public part of the Inquiry and would like to assure everyone that we will work as openly and transparently as possible. We urge anyone who thinks they can contribute to our work to contact us in what is a very safe environment. We will be robust and independent in our approach to uncover the truth about what went wrong in Jersey's child care system over many years."


     

    2014-06
    collapse Month Lookup : 2014-04 ‎(1)
      
    03/04/2014
    Frances Oldham QC set out the Inquiry's plans and protocols at a meeting at the St Paul's Centre, St Helier, Jersey.8

    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is promising a “robust and fearless” investigation of the abuse of children in the island’s care system over many decades. 

    The Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, told a public hearing in St Helier today that the hearings would be “fair and open”.

    Ms Oldham set out the way in which the Inquiry would proceed and introduced fellow members of the Panel, Alyson Leslie and Professor Sandy Cameron, and the Legal Team.

    The Panel will be able to issue summonses to ensure that important documents are disclosed.

    Stressing the Inquiry’s independence, Ms Oldham set out how the Panel would approach its fifteen terms of reference. 

    They would establish what happened, whether the abuse was covered up and make recommendations for the future.

    She renewed the appeal for potential witnesses, whatever their experience of the care system, to contact the Inquiry’s legal advisors.

    The hearings, most of which will be in public, will be held at Seaton Place in St Helier, in due course.

    Download video

    2014-04
    collapse Month Lookup : 2014-03 ‎(2)
      
    20/03/2014
    The Inquiry's Legal Team have been handling all initial contacts from potential witnesses.10
    2014-03
      
    13/03/2014
    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is inviting potential witnesses to get in touch. The Panel wants to hear from anyone...1

    Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Appeals For Witnesses

    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is inviting potential witnesses to get in touch. The Panel wants to hear from anyone with experience of the Island's care system, whatever their perspective.

    The Inquiry, which is independent, was set up to establish what went wrong in Jersey's childcare system over many decades.  The actions and experiences of staff who worked in these services, government agencies, the justice system and politicians will also be reviewed.

    The Panel would like to hear from people who have suffered abuse in care or foster homes on the Island, as well as those responsible for providing or monitoring these services. Arrangements are being put in place to support anyone who gives evidence at the hearings.

    The Inquiry is led by Frances Oldham QC, with Alyson Leslie and Professor Sandy Cameron CBE. They have extensive experience of handling complex and sensitive inquiries, as well as expertise in residential childcare, abuse allegations and safeguarding young people.

    Frances Oldham QC said:

    "The Inquiry aims to understand what happened, why it was allowed to happen and what lessons can be learned.  We will put witnesses at the heart of this process and do all we can to ensure that they are encouraged to trust us with their stories and experiences."

    Members of the public are invited to attend the Inquiry's official launch on Thursday 3 April at St Paul's Centre in St Helier.

    In the next few weeks, further information about the launch and how the Inquiry will conduct its business will be available on its website: www.jerseycareinquiry.org

     There will also be guidelines for witnesses to the Inquiry and a timetable for when the public hearings will begin.

    The Inquiry team can be contacted via the following:

    Email: info@jerseycareinquiry.org

    Address: PO Box 551, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8XN

    Dial Freephone from Jersey/UK: 0800 735 0100

    International callers dial: +44 (0) 1534 828798

    Media enquiries:

    Email: press@jerseycareinquiry.org


    2014-03

    In this section

    Latest Updates

      
      
    Rollup Image
      
    Page Content
      
    28/04/2017
    IJCI Final Report to be published Monday 3 July, 2017

    ​The Panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (28 April) made the following announcement:

    "The Inquiry Report will be published on Monday 3 July, subject to any other unforeseen circumstances.

    "Arrangements for the launch of the report will be published in due course."

      
    26/04/2017
    IJCI Panel reaffirms evidence received will not be destroyed.

    ​The Panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (26 April) issued the following statement:

    "The Inquiry wishes to reaffirm that the evidence it has received will not be destroyed. Arrangements for securing and preserving Inquiry data are under active consideration."

    1 - 2Next

    ​25 June 2014

    The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is engaged in securing the documents necessary for its work.  It will be taking stock of the position at the next  Public Hearing on 2 July.