Jersey: police suggest third cellar at Haut de la Garenne

Jersey police believe there could be a third underground cellar at a former children’s home on the island where alleged abuse took place.

Police are continuing to search the site of Haut de la Garenne care home following abuse allegations from more than 100 victims dating back to the 1960s.

Today the island’s chief minister refuted accusations that Jersey’s judiciary was not fit to examine any cases arising from the police investigation.

Labour MP Austin Mitchell has put forward a motion urging justice secretary Jack Straw to ensure independent judges and prosecutors with no connection to the island are appointed.

In response, Jersey’s chief minister Frank Walker said he had “every confidence” in the island’s judiciary and that investigations and prosecutions would be pursued “with utmost rigour”.

But Stuart Syvret, former health and social services minister, told Community Care he would be writing to Jack Straw to call for independent judges and prosecutors to be appointed to deal with abuse cases.

Syvret, who was sacked last year after raising child protection concerns, said: “There have been cover-ups not just of historic but recent abuse. Agencies have colluded when complaints have been made as part of a systemic failure of child protection stretching back decades.”

Related articles in Community Care

All Jersey articles

Jersey: the story unfolds

National press articles today

The Daily Telegraph: Jersey home has third underground chamber

The Guardian: Bricked-up cellar found at Jersey care home

BBC: Two ex-residents of Haut de la Garenne share their experiences

Daily Mirror: Jersey children’s home hell: Victims of Haut de la Garenne tell their story

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