Friday, 28 May 2010

AND THE ANSWER IS........

Here are the answers given to the questions asked in the states as referred to in my previous posting. What do you think ?

4.1 Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the number of alleged abuse cases relating to the cellars at Haut de la Garenne:

Would the Minister advise the Assembly how many of the 30 alleged abuse cases relating to the cellars at Haut de la Garenne are still part of the ongoing historic abuse investigations; how many, if any, are not being pursued, when was it decided to discontinue their investigation and for what reason?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs):

In answer to a question previously I indicated there were 30 such allegations. Those, in fact, were made not by 30 people but by 8 people. These were all properly investigated by the police, sometimes with the benefit of legal advice and none of these complaints passed the evidential test so as to warrant a prosecution.

4.1.1 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Could the Minister clarify whether the former lead officer in the case, Mr. Gradwell - I do not believe I can avoid naming him - invited some of the Haut de la Garenne survivors to the police station to show them some examples of evidence, i.e. shackles that had been found in the cellars. If this is correct would this action not have made the evidence inadmissible in a court of law?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I am unaware of any such occurrence. That does not mean I am saying it did not happen, I am simply not aware of it. I would have needed to have specific notice of such a detailed question.

4.1.2 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Could I ask that the Minister seek out the information and report it back to me? Would that be possible, please?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

It would be helpful if I could have something precisely in writing so I know exactly what the question is, I am then happy to make inquiries.

4.1.3 Deputy M.R. Higgins:

Yes, if I could just follow up on the question. Is it usual in criminal cases for an investigating officer to show evidence such as the things that have been said in a criminal case to witnesses before they have gone into court?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

There are grave dangers in criminal investigations of police officers revealing too much detail which can subsequently contaminate the evidence of witnesses. That is a particular concern in all criminal investigations and therefore officers should be very careful not to lead witnesses in any way by providing them with information or showing them items in such a way that might contaminate their evidence.

4.1.4 Deputy F.J. Hill of St. Martin:

Will the Minister confirm that among the 8 people who made the allegations that one of them was made through an advocate? Will the Minister confirm?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

Again, I do not have that level of detail.

The Bailiff:

Deputy Pitman, final question.

4.1.5 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Could the Minister clarify whether the whole media strategy surrounding the historic abuse inquiry was a Home Affairs strategy or a police strategy? If a police strategy, was the lead individual still overseen by the Minister?

The Bailiff:

It is not clear how that arises out of this question but, Minister, it is up to you if you want to answer.

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I am answering with some caution because I do not want to trespass into expressing an opinion in relation to disciplinary matters as Members will understand. But it is my understanding that the media strategy was a police strategy not a Home Affairs strategy. I could be wrong on that but that is my understanding.


4.8 The Deputy of St. Martin of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding allegations made in relation to abuse in the stone bath or immediate area of Haut de la Garenne:

Will the Minister inform Members how many allegations were made in relation to abuse in the stone bath or immediate area at Haut de la Garenne; why and when was the bath demolished, who gave authority to demolish it and what did its demolition and removal cost?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs):

I cannot give a figure in relation to the first part of the question because of the general nature of many of the allegations made in terms of place et cetera, but of course this figure is within the figure of 30 made by 8 people which I have previously given. The bath and the drain were dismantled for evidential purposes on instructions of the Senior Investigating Officer at the time who was the former Deputy Chief Officer prior to the building being handed back, with his agreement, on 10th July 2008. I cannot quantify the cost in relation to the dismantling for evidential purposes.

4.8.1 The Deputy of St. Martin:

I think this saga may well run on because I gather that a sample was removed ... a sample of blood was found by the Bedfordshire Police and sent off to a forensic laboratory. Is the Minister able to give us a result of that particular sample ... sorry, I will come again, is the Minister able to give us a result of the examination of that blood? Was a prosecution followed?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

No, I am not. This is clearly an operational matter and it is not matter that I would delve into unless I had a very, very specific question and thought it appropriate to answer.

4.8.2 The Deputy of St. Martin:

Could I again get back to the demolition of the bath, is the Minister able to say that ... could I ask where the Minister has received information that the bath was demolished prior to the departure of the former Deputy Chief Officer? Because my understanding is that a sample of the stone was removed to be taken away for sample but certainly not that the stone bath was demolished.

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I can only act in a case like this on the information which is provided to me which in this case has been provided to me by the Acting Chief Officer.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The case of the disappearing bath

This 'bath' has featured so much in the Haut De La Garenne abuse enquiry with a lot of allegations made about it and its use. Blood was found in it and a sniffer dog made very strong indications that there was something there.
Imagine then my surprise upon learning that it has been removed, albeit in secret, from the site.
Surely it must be classed as physical evidence and therefore should have been preserved in situ until such time as all investigations and court cases have been concluded.
One wonders who gave the order and what their reasoning was, to me it looks like willful destruction of evidence in an ongoing investigation and therefore the person/persons responsible should face criminal charges.
Anyway, it seems others would like answers as 2 questions will be asked in the states next Tuesday (11th May) and I cant wait for the answers if they are forthcoming.
I reproduce the actual questions to be asked in full below.

1. Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Minister for Home Affairs –

“Would the Minister advise the Assembly how many of the 30 alleged abuse cases relating to the cellars at
Haut de la Garenne are still part of the ongoing historic abuse investigations; how many, if any, are not being pursued, when it was decided to discontinue their investigation and for what reason?”

8. The Deputy of St. Martin will ask the following question of the Minister for Home Affairs –

“Will the Minister inform Members how many allegations were made in relation to abuse in the stone bath or immediate area at
Haut de la Garenne; why and when was the bath demolished, who gave authority to demolish it and what did its demolition and removal cost?”

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