Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Decades of Horror - Haut de la Garenne

A former children’s home in St. Martin, Jersey, an island off the coast of England is at the center of a major child abuse investigation.

After several former staff members were arrested on suspicion of pedophile crimes, a secret investigation was launched into activities at the home in 2006.

Former health minister, Stuart Syvret accused the government in Jersey of covering up the abuse.

Over 160 people have come forward and told horrific stories of beatings, rapes and torture that occurred at the Haut de la Garenne home in St Martin in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Witnesses have told frightening stories of being drugged and abused at drunken parties organized by the staff and to which people from outside the home had been invited.

“Bowling” was another activity at these parties. The furniture in a room was moved to an area and small children were used as “bowling balls” and hurled into the furniture.

Often, children would just disappear from the home, never to be seen again. Staff would tell the other children, “It is being taken care of.”

The BBC reports: Since Saturday this former children's home has been a crime scene With the discovery of a fragment of skull bone believed to be that of a child, a major excavation of parts of the building has begun Search dogs trained to detect blood and decomposing bodies have indicated several areas of interest for the police.

Experts excavating the site uncovered a set of shackles and a shallow bath. The shackles had been found on the floor but may once have been fastened to the wall. Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper, of Jersey Police, said: the two items would "tend to provide corroboration for some of the allegations which we have received about offenses that were committed.”

"When I was a boy my mother threatened to send me to Haut de la Garenne when I was naughty," said one man in his 50s. "She was joking, but it doesn't sound funny now."

This may prove to be far worse than originally imagined!
Update: First images of the cellar room.

Update 2: 12 Noon
I found this blog that appears to be by someone who lives on Jersey, or is from Jersey. They are trying to arrange a type of "gathering/vigil/protest" for this coming Saturday, March 8th, at noon in a place called the "Royal Square." Sprocket


CNN Video Report

Telegraph.co.uk There is another video at this Telegraph link.

This Is Jersey.com