Sunday, 25 December 2011

All I Want For Christmas......


an open and transparent Committee of Enquiry with a fit for purpose Terms of Reference.

For the truth to be finally heard, the real truth, from those who were there who are brave enough to stand up in public and tell their harrowing stories and finally for someone to say 'we believe you and we are sorry'


Friday, 28 October 2011

Jersey's Haut de la Garenne abuse case at High Court

Haut de la GarenneSeven people were convicted after the abuse inquiry, with four linked to Haut de la Garenne

A group of former residents of the Haut de la Garenne children's home are suing the Jersey government at the High Court in London.

They are seeking compensation over abuse at the home and say the States has taken too long to agree a deal.

Their lawyers believe the High Court can hear the case and it is the only way they will get redress.

The States said such cases had to be heard in Jersey's courts and it was dealing with compensation claims.

The compensation claims follow an inquiry, between 2007 and 2010, into historical abuse at the island's children's homes.

Start Quote

[Jersey authorities] think if they ignore it for long enough, it will go away but it won't... there are too many people, there's too much come out”

Haut de la Garenne abuse victim

Police took 1,776 statements from 192 alleged victims during the inquiry, which led to seven convictions, four of which were linked to Haut de la Garenne.

However despite the prosecutions, Alan Collins, a UK-based solicitor representing nearly 40 former residents, believes going to the High Court is the only way they will get compensation.

"Not only must justice be done, it must be seen to be done," he said.

"For them, that means taking proceedings to the High Court in London, they feel that is the only opportunity they now have to be recognised and to be compensated."

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, insisted a system for compensation claims had been set up and the "process is ongoing".

"[However] the States of Jersey is not aware of any moves to bring action in the English High Court in relation to claims for compensation made in relation to the inquiry," he said.

"In any event, the English Courts have no jurisdiction to entertain an action for damages against the States of Jersey that relate to events that are said to have occurred in Jersey, and any such claim would need to be made through the island's separate and independent judicial system."

'Not our fault'

But Mr Collins disagreed and said: "The High Court in London is well used and has many years of experience of dealing with cases of this nature, I am unaware of any such case being tried in the Jersey court."

One victim, a woman who spent several years at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s, said she was forced to have sex with a member of staff up to five times a week.

She said no one at the home seemed to notice or care and now feels the Jersey authorities are deliberately delaying dealing with compensation claims.

"They think if they ignore it for long enough, it will go away but it won't not this time, there are too many people, there's too much come out," she said.

"The only thing they'll understand is when, if necessary, we all stand up in a court and say 'Look this is what you did, this wasn't our fault, we were kids, we were wards of court, you had a duty of care, simple'."

Alleged child abuse victims to sue at High Court

Jersey News from ITV Channel Television - Haut de la Garenne child abuse compensation case
Above: Haut de la Garenne

A group of people who claim to be victims of mental and physical abuse at the Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey are to sue the States at the High Court in London.

They want compensation for the abuse they claim to have suffered and are angry over delays in the island over hearing their case, which hit the headlines more than three years ago.

Alan Collins, Solicitor-Advocate of Hampshire solicitors, Verisona, who is acting for 38 victims, said the cases - which will each be brought on an individual basis - have taken too long to be heard in Jersey.

Mr Collins explained: "In spite of assurances from the States of Jersey that there would be an attempt to address the victims’ claims outside the adversarial process, no proposals have been forthcoming and as far as I am concerned, no serious attempt at dialogue let alone negotiation
has been made by the States of Jersey.

"The victims’ cases have been treading water for far too long. Many have had to give evidence in
criminal proceedings which has resulted in abusers being convicted. This was a harrowing experience. They have shown great fortitude and patience with the States of Jersey, and so they can be forgiven for concluding, given the complete failure to attempt to resolve the claims on its part, that enough is

"Let’s get the case before the court and allow the judge to decide whether we should be

Mr Collins explained that damages are being
sought for the pain and suffering arising from the physical and sexual abuse sustained whilst the clients resided at Haut de la Garenne. Many were abused by members of staff - some of whom have been convicted. He argues that the States as the employers are legally responsible for the abuse committed by the staff, and as a consequence, should compensate the victims.

Jersey’s historic abuse investigation ran from September 2007 until December 2010 with the conviction of married couple Morag and Tony Jordan, who were house parents at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Others were suspected of abuse going back 70 years but died before they could be prosecuted.

We have contacted the States and are awaiting their response to the above.
Haut de la Garenne 'won't go away'

A group of former residents at a children's home are suing the Jersey government in the High Court in London after allegations of abuse.

Sancha Berg reports on the lack of movement on a public enquiry into the affair.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Astrid Kisch - A Personal Response

Dear Miss Kisch,

I doubt you will read this, however I feel compelled to address some of what you have written in your letter to the Jersey Evening Post.

1. 'The alleged perpetrators of the care home discipline of those days have been convicted'

There is no 'alleged' about it, several people have been convicted in a court of law, case closed! I really don't know where you are going with the 'care home discipline of those days' thing, Are you really saying that the 'discipline' handed out by those people was acceptable because it happened in the past? I don't think having bars of soap forced down your throat, being dragged down flights of stairs by your hair, being punched, sexually abused, locked in a cell, mentally abused and living every day in fear of those who are supposed to be caring for you is acceptable in any decade.

2. 'so the revenge part has been dealt with and the wrongs righted-at great expense to the taxpayer'.

I cant speak for all the survivors, but, on my part 'revenge' never entered into it, All I have ever wanted was justice. I'm sorry but the wrongs done to me will never, I repeat, NEVER be righted, they will stay with me til the day I pass from this earth. As for the expense all I can say is 'what price justice?'

3. 'The care leavers have grown up and made their lives a long time ago'.

Really, are you serious? I am 50 years old and what happened to me as a child has impacted on my life everyday since. I have suffered depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness. I have struggled to maintain relationships, even struggled with being a father, can you even imagine what it is like to be scared to bond with your own children.
And let us remember those who never 'made their lives' but chose to end them.

4. 'Now, I understand, they are asking for 'compensation' by which I assume they mean money'.

I wanted an apology, not some half cocked heartless excuse for one but a real one. I wanted someone to stand up and say 'we believe you and we are sorry' As that has not been forthcoming from those in power I felt I had no choice but to pursue compensation.
No amount of money can compensate for the years of pain!

5. 'Why do other people i.e.the taxpayers,have to give them money and for what purpose?'

Haut De La Garenne - Run by the States of Jersey
Staff at HDLG - employed by the States of Jersey
States of Jersey - elected and employed by you the taxpayer

Need I say anymore.

I urge you to take up the offer by the JCLA and actually talk to survivors like me and then maybe, just maybe you will begin to understand.

A proud Survivor

Friday, 2 September 2011

Ill-informed views on care leavers

From Carrie Modral, chairman, Jerssey Care Leavers’ Association.
THE letter (JEP, Tuesday 30 August) from Astrid Kisch cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

Overall, this lady appears to have a very ill-informed and blinkered knowledge of the child abuse issues and the ensuing matters, and if we may be permitted we would like to put the record and facts straight.

Firstly she mentions the ‘alleged’ perpetrators. Does she mean by this that innocent people have been brought to justice for their deeds? They are not alleged, because they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Furthermore not all perpetrators have been brought to justice. Revenge does not enter into the equation – doing the right and lawful thing does. Crimes were committed and those guilty had to be accountable. It really is that simple.

Now we are puzzled. Mrs Kisch talks about the ‘care home discipline of those days’.

Is she saying that severe sexual, physical and mental abuse was in the past acceptable discipline? We are not talking about a slapped wrist or a smacked bottom, but far, far worse than that. I do not think she will find many people in agreement with what was acceptable or not however long ago she may be talking about.

Indeed, the care leavers have grown up, but not necessarily ‘made their lives’. Many have been left very damaged by what they experienced and will have to live with the legacy of that for the rest of their lives. Some are unable to work and others have many various issues because of the scars that have been left both mentally and physically. Has Mrs Kisch ever spoken to or made any attempt to understand what some survivors suffered and indeed still do.

However, all these most important facts seem to be overlooked by what seems to be the main bugbear and that is compensation, which seems to be a very dirty word in Mrs Kisch’s book. Yes – compensation. Is that really too much to ask for lives damaged, childhoods (as she may have known it) lost and something abuse victims can never get back. Furthermore, it appears that with the attitude displayed in her letter Mrs Kisch is causing the victims to be victims yet again.

There has never been any question that compensation would not, or should not be claimed. Children, who for various reasons (and not because they were difficult), were placed either in care homes or residential homes under the supervision of people paid by the States of Jersey to give them the love, affection and nurturing that would have been afforded them in a normal home environment.

The fact that in many instances this did not happen, in fact quite the opposite, leaves the blame fairly and squarely at the door of the States of Jersey for failing these children. Indeed in Ireland most of the Catholic orders and institutions where abuse took place contributed sums of money to the redress scheme for survivors there. Here in Jersey, it is only the government who are accountable.

At present we are unsure whether the States have an indemnity insurance that will cover this, or how the compensation will be paid, but I am sure there are not many people who would begrudge this in any way, shape or form.
Finally, Mrs Kisch would be most welcome to visit our offices should she so wish to learn more about why we are here and the issues we deal with. Better an informed public than an uninformed letter.

Article posted on 2nd September, 2011 - 3.00pm

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Monday, 8 August 2011

No jail for Syvret - but 80hrs community service

Former Health Minister Stuart Syvret has escaped jail for contempt of court, but has been sentenced to 80 hours community service.

He has also been ordered to pay £5,000 in court costs and been fined £1,400.

Earlier today, facing being jailed, he released a statement in the Royal Square outside court saying that he will still stand for Senator even if he goes to prison.

He said: "Jail will not stop me standing for Senator. Only bankruptcy or assassination would stop me."

Syvret had been in court appealing convictions for breaching the data protection act and being in contempt of court.

Last year the former politician was fined for breaking data laws and sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for contempt after walking out of the trial.

But the former Senator served just one night of his sentence before appealing the term.

In court Syvret has said the evidence gathered against him and the manner in which it was collected was an Abuse of Process.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Insult to Jersey abuse case victims




Insult to Jersey abuse case victims

Still no compensation for victims of Haut de la Garenne horrors

Victims of the notorious Haut de la Garenne abuse in Jersey are still awaiting compensation more than three years after the case hit the headlines.

The wait continues for the victims, despite their abusers Michael Aubin, Morag and Tony Jordan and Gordon Wateridge being successfully prosecuted and convicted during 2010.

36 of the victims, many elderly and in poor health are represented by Solicitor Alan Collins of Verisona Solicitors & Advocates in Portsmouth.

He said: “The victims of these appalling crimes believed that following the guilty convictions, the States of Jersey would accept the allegations of abuse, along with its moral and legal obligation to compensate for the harm that had been inflicted. In fact, the State is actually scrutinizing the investigation that led to the convictions; unbelievably politicians in Jersey have questioned the truth of the abuse despite the guilty verdicts.”

One victim, who cannot be named due to the impact it may have on any civil proceedings, said: “The States of Jersey seems to have done everything in its power to try to bury this historic child abuse investigation. Its attitude has been ‘move along folks, nothing to see here’, it’s appalling. Politicians seem to care more about Jersey’s reputation, than they care about those of us who were mentally and physically abused as children whilst in the care of the States of Jersey”.

Another victim added: “The States seem more involved in fighting each other then assisting the victims. We are, as quoted by a States Member, ‘a bunch of disturbed minds & criminals’.”

Alan Collins, a specialist in historical child abuse cases, added: “The failure to compensate the victims is a case of rubbing salt in to open wounds. Many of the victims, as a result of the abuse suffered, are vulnerable. The children were in the State’s care and the criminal trials clearly exposed that this care was wantonly lacking. The abuse went on year after year.”

A former member of staff at Haut de la Garenne, not linked to any abuse, and considering giving evidence at potential civil proceedings said: “I would like to see as much time, effort and money put into the aftercare of 'my children' as is put into all these investigations into investigations”.

Mr Collins believes that the only way victims can now get justice is by taking proceedings against the States of Jersey.

He explained: “Civil proceedings would be regrettable because of the stress involved to the victims and witnesses, as well as the cost implications. The States of Jersey have put the victims in an intolerable position though and it is about time they did the right thing. No amount of money would make up for what happened but the gesture of meaningful compensation helps victims draw a line in the sand and move on. The horror of what went on at Haut de la Garenne will not go away.”

Jersey's historic abuse investigation ran from September 2007 until December 2010 with the conviction of married couple Morag and Tony Jordan, who were house parents at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Others were also suspected of abuse going back 70 years but died before they could be prosecuted.


Alan Collins is a solicitor-advocate, and Director of Verisona Solicitors and Advocates. He can be contacted on 02392380112 for further comment.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hospital death experts called in on abuse inquiry

Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur

THE independent UK consultants who investigated the death of Hospital nurse Elizabeth Rourke after a routine operation went wrong will determine which parts of the historical child abuse inquiry are to be examined and how.

Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur has agreed that Verita, who have been involved in high-profile cases including the Baby P inquiry, can set out the terms of reference of a committee of inquiry into historical child abuse.

Senator Le Sueur refused to say how much the work would cost but said it would be finished by the end of September.

Read more:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

In My Room

Made this today, one of my favorite songs, the lyrics say it all.

Monday, 14 March 2011























Sunday, 6 March 2011

My next few blogs will feature some of my poetry, I'm not a pro so please bear with me as I have tried to put things to paper that are very emotional for me.


Alone, bewildered, scarred

a little boy lost

that's how I arrived

taken from school

'for my own good'.

Driven by car

by a faceless social worker

whose name I long forget

through unknown lanes

enveloped in loneliness.

All too soon

there you stood

in all your granite majesty

your imposing stature

too much for my young mind

to take in.

Your cold exterior

matched only by your sterile inside

you should have been my haven

but all that you did

was extinguish my spirit

and stifle my cries.

Allan Shepherd 2010

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

States votes for historic care home abuse inquiry

States votes for historic care home abuse inquiry

Haut de la Garenne The States agreed there should be a committee of inquiry into abuse at care homes in the island

Politicians have voted that there should be a committee of inquiry into abuse in care homes in Jersey.

The States agreed to Senator Francis Le Gresley's proposition asking the Council of Ministers to reconsider its decision not to have an inquiry.

There were 37 votes in support of asking ministers to reconsider, with 11 voting against and one abstaining.

Senator Le Gresley said he was angry with the matter being dismissed in just one report.

He said: "I wanted the message to go out to the victims of abuse that it would be the States of Jersey that make this decision, not the Council of Ministers."

'Right and proper'

Last month the Council of Ministers presented a report into the issue and said there would be no committee of inquiry.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, said following the conclusion of the police investigation, the Council of Ministers did not think an official inquiry would be appropriate.

He said it was questionable whether an inquiry would find out what had happened 50 or so years ago.

But Senator Le Gresley said that States members should be given the opportunity to decide whether a committee of inquiry was necessary.

In the proposition he said: "I believe that it is right and proper that a debate should take place in the chamber on such an important issue, which has dominated the news headlines in Jersey for the last three years.

"The outcome of this will give the Council of Ministers either a clear endorsement of their decision not to set up a Committee of Inquiry or a strong indication that their decision needs to be reconsidered," he said. File-Sharing News And Information