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.

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