First man sentenced for Haut de la Garenne sex abuse

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A man has been sentenced to two years’ probation for sexually abusing two boys at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home on the island.

Michael Aubin, 46, of Southampton, admitted two counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency on two boys under 10 in the 1970s when he was 14.

First conviction in abuse investigation

Aubin, the first person to be convicted as part of the ongoing police investigation into historic child abuse on the island, was a resident at Haut de la Garenne from the age of three.

Aubin was abuse victim

On deciding his sentence, the prosecution took into account Aubin’s own sexual abuse by adults and accepted that he had grown up without parental affection. The court heard he had suffered serious sexual abuse at the children’s home himself.

Defending, Aubin’s counsel David Hopwood said Aubin had been “brutalised” by emotional neglect and sexual abuse in his early life. He added that the care authorities must “bear some responsibility.”

Aubin was arrested in May last year and has spent the last 19 months in custody.

Response

Alan Collins, a Portsmouth-based solicitor who has acted on behalf of some of the victims involved in the investigation, said the prosecution and sentencing of Aubin was a “vindication” for them.

He said:“The outcome today puts paid to any belief that all was OK at Haut de la Garenne because clearly it was not.

“What happened is tragic for all those involved and, hopefully minds will now turn to how best to make amends to the victims. Many still suffer, considerably, as a result of what they had to endure and I am seeking compensation for those who have instructed me to do so.”

Background

The verdict comes more than six months after a senior detective in the Jersey child abuse investigation quashed claims that children were murdered at Haut de la Garenne.

In February, the Jersey governmment announced an overhaul of children’s services on the island following widespread concerns including allegations of maltreatment of children raised by UK social worker Simon Bellwood in Community Care.

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