Still no compensation for victims of Haut de la Garenne horrors
Victims of the notorious Haut de la Garenne abuse in
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
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
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.