Jersey: skull fragment tests prove inconclusive

A skull fragment found at the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey dates from no earlier than the 1920s, police have said.

Initial tests on the fragment were inconclusive and further tests released this week have failed to date it.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that a child was murdered at the home. Former residents have alleged they were sexually and physically abused from the 1960s to the home’s closure in 1986.

Senior investigating officer Lenny Harper said the skull fragment tests showed that it was placed at the home “no earlier” than the 1920s, some seventy years after the home opened as the island’s industrial school for boys.

“This leaves us with no knowledge of how, when, or indeed, where, the person died,” he said.

Harper said other bone fragments were still being examined as part of the ongoing abuse investigation.

“These include a number of small charred pieces of bone which will be forwarded for examination to the UK when a final identification has been made of all other bone fragments collected from the scene,” he said.

Harper also confirmed that further useful information was recieved following an investigation by Panorama, and that police were continuing to sift through a “massive” amount of information from the public.

“As soon as we are satisfied that all the relevant evidence has been collated in respect of certain suspects, then the process of arresting them will commence,” he said.

Forensic examiners are focusing on underground cellars excavated from the site of Haut de la Garenne, where traces of blood were discovered in a bath last month. Former residents of the home have claimed they were abused in the bath.

One person has been arrested and charged so far. Gordon Wateridge, 76, is charged with three alleged offences of historic indecent assaults on girls under 16 committed between 1969 and 1979 at Haut de la Garenne. He is also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. He is due to appear in court on April 14.

Related articles

Jersey: Police find two more cellars at Haut de la Garenne

Jersey: former warden faces indecent assault charges

Investigation divides scandal-hit island

Lawyers seek former residents at Haut de la Garenne

Jersey: Island of Secrets

Timeline: Jersey child abuse allegations


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