Jersey: child abuse allegations multiply

Further child abuse allegations are emerging from Jersey following the discovery of a child’s remains in a former children’s home on the island.

Former health and social services minister Stuart Syvret has made public a confidential report detailing abuse allegations at a college in 1992.

The report written in 1999 by Stephen Sharp, the former chief education officer for Buckinghamshire, showed the college failed to act effectively to stop the abuse of pupils by a teacher. 

It said: “The most serious mistake made by the college was the handling of the 1992 disclosure by a pupil of abuse [by the teacher]. The principal responsibility for this lies with the headmaster, but he was not the only member of staff involved.”

The handling of the complaint was “more consistent with protecting a member of staff and the college’s reputation in the short-term than safeguarding the best interests of the pupil.”

Syvret’s disclosure came as a number of former children’s home residents from the island spoke to the media claiming they were raped, drugged and flogged.

Building should be ‘erased’

In one case reported by the Jersey Evening Post, Peter Hannaford, 59, alleged he was raped and abused from his “earliest memories” at the former Haut de la Garenne home, where the police uncovered a child’s remains. “The building has got to be erased from the ground and erased from people’s memories,” he said.

Police have spoken to 150 victims and witnesses in their inquiry into historic child abuse dating back to the 1960s. The investigation is focusing on the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home and the Jersey Sea Cadets.

Yesterday, Jersey’s chief minister Frank Walker reiterated his pledge to give “all the necessary resources” for the ongoing police  investigation.

Walker said: “A dark cloud hangs over Jersey and we must clearly now demonstrate to islanders, and the many millions of others throughout the UK and further afield, who are also appalled at this terrible turn of events, that we are capable of bringing the investigations to a successful conclusion and of prosecuting those responsible without fear or favour and we will not rest until we have done so.”

Walker confirmed the forthcoming publication of a child protection review by UK expert Andrew Williamson next month.

He said: “At the outset, Mr Williamson undertook to inform us immediately if he discovered any weaknesses which have to be urgently addressed and, should he do so, we have undertaken to respond immediately. To date he has not brought any such weaknesses to our attention, indeed he has confirmed that our services today work well in protecting our children and that he has identified no current risks or cause for serious concern.”

Complaints not dealt with properly

Earlier this week, Jersey’s deputy chief police officer Lenny Harper said the police were investigating why so many complaints were not dealt with. “Part of the inquiry will be the fact that a lot of the victims tried to report their assaults but for some reason or another they were not dealt with as they should be,” he said.

“We are looking at allegations that a number of agencies didn’t deal with things as perhaps they should, we are looking at all the agencies.”

Last year, Community Care revealed how a UK social worker had been sacked after blowing the whistle on “abusive” practice on Jersey.

More information

Frank Walker: Full statement

Stuart Syvret blog: Of millstones and secret reports

Jersey Police

States of Jersey

National press coverage today

The Daily Telegraph: Why documents in Jersey remain secret

The Daily Telegraph: Memories of former Jersey care home children

The Daily Express: My ordeal of rape, drugs and assault as Jersey orphan

The Independent: ‘Abuse was anything from rape to torture. It happened every night’

Jersey Evening Post: Syvret accuses JEP of child abuse cover-up


Related articles from Community Care

Exclusive: Jersey whistleblower fears he will be silenced

Ongoing abuse inquiry unearths child’s remains in former home

Essential information about the Jersey case

Jersey establishment must start asking questions

Exclusive: UK social worker blows the whistle on Jersey






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