Friday, March 7, 2008

Decades of Horror - Haut de la Garenne

Haute de la Garenne was ultimately closed and lay dormant for 18 years. 4 years ago, it was rehabbed and converted to a Youth Hostel. Builders who worked on the conversion claimed they found shackles, canes and a single chair set up in an underground pit.

"We found some things that would send a chill down your spine.”

"We found some shackles lying around the grounds.”

"I picked them up. They were heavy shackles mounted on a wooden block. It was gruesome."

"In one room there was a trapdoor leading down to this room which was pitch black. Inside was just this chair. I felt sick."

But a government source insisted: "Nothing of that nature at all was found at the site."

Senator Stuart Syvret's claims of widespread child abuse on the island may prove gruesomely accurate.

Mr. Syvret is an outspoken critic of alleged conflicts of interest between business and political interests among the States of Jersey's members.

The Telegraph reports: The Freedom of Information Act gives journalists and members of the public the right to demand access to public document
s in mainland Britain. Jersey, however, has its own independent legal system, with no such freedom of information laws.

It means the island's government, the States of Jersey, is under no legal obligation to release details relating to the child abuse scandal or any other matter of public concern.

In 2000 the States adopted a voluntary Code of Practice on Public Access to Official Information, which states that the public should be given access, "wherever reasonably possible", to information held by the States.

When the Code was revised in 2004, the senator who argued most strongly for its scope to be widened was Stuart Syvret, the man who later lost his job as health minister when he blew the whistle on the island's child abuse scandal.

Jersey has now drafted its own Freedom of Information Act, similar to the UK law, which is due to be debated later this year before it can become law.

As a crown dependency, all of Jersey's laws must be given royal assent by the Queen, though in practice they are ratified by the Privy Council, under the guidance of Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary. The Privy Council is also Jersey's highest court of appeal.
The Channel Islands have never been part of the UK and have no representation in Parliament.

Their connection to Britain dates back to 1066, when the Duke of Normandy (which included the islands) became William I of England. King John lost Normandy in 1204, but the islands decided to remain loyal to him because he agreed to allow them their independence, which they have kept ever since.

Maths teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes was jailed in April 1999 for indecently assaulting six pupils at Victoria College.

Allegations about Jervis-Dykes surfaced in 1992 and in 1994. The school's headmaster Jack Hydes failed to notify the police or investigate further.
Former chief education officer of Buckinghamshire, Stephen Sharp, who conducted the inquiry, said Mr. Hydes instructed his staff not to discuss the allegations.

Stuart Syvret has accused officials of a cover-up.

He said, "The reaction of the political establishment was to sweep this under the carpet and keep the veneer of respectability."

"This is just another example of concealment and cover up. They did the bare minimum, prosecuted one perpetrator."

Syvret, at a press conference, handed out copies of the Sharp report to the media a week ago.

On Senator Stuart Syvret’s Blog, he states: The local media, such as the Jersey Evening Post have actually been alerted to many of the abuse cases. I have learnt in recent weeks of victims having spoken to the JEP over the years – and their accounts of what they suffered, simply being brushed off and dismissed.

I actually gave to the Jersey Evening Post a copy of the Sharp report into child abuse at Victoria College – and the disgusting concealment of that abuse by senior members of the Jersey establishment. I did this in the year 2000 – and personally handed it over to the editor, Chris Bright, the Deputy Editor, Rob Shipley and the reporter on the case. The JEP completely buried the story – and printed not one sentence from the document.

“The JEP did not run the information in the Sharp report, because it had already been published.”

Further evidence Рas though it were needed Рof the fact that a significant share of the culpability for the horrors of the Jersey child abuse disaster going un-exposed for so long Рmust lay with the Jersey media. I say now Рto all of the Jersey media Рyou are culpable for the perpetuation of the culture of child abuse in Jersey. If this were not so Рwhy has there been not so much as one single Jersey media-led expos̩ of these abuses of children in at least six decades?

Although this evidence has been given to the Jersey Evening Post in various stages in the past, I will-mail them the Sharp report – and I will e-mail them the Dylan Southern report into the abuse episode at the States of Jersey ‘group-home’.

Remember – the Jersey Evening Post has had this information given to it previously.

Contemptibly – they did not use the material. Even worse – it continues to lie in defense of the Jersey establishment to the present day – by repeatedly asserting that there is no evidence of sustained abuse episode – and the covering-up of such crimes.

Let us see what the Jersey Evening Post does with this evidence.

Stuart Syvret has been a senator for 17 years. He has made many enemies in the political arena, but has won the praise and admiration of the public for championing the rights of the abused.

His blog has some very interesting reading.


Anonymous said...

Stuart Syvret was NOT sacked for whistleblowing, as you quote The Telegraph having reported.

Please see and

Stuart Syvret was given a vote of no confidence in a democratic parliament, for the reasons outlined in the links above.

As a concerned Jersey resident who only wants the facts to be reported, I would be grateful if you could publish this comment. Thank you.

donchais said...

Thank you for writing, anonymous. We also want to see the facts reported. The readers can decide for themselves.