Saturday, March 15, 2008

States of Jersey Paying-off or Running Scared? Haut de le Garenne Just the Tip of the Scandal? You Decide!

Several days ago, we told you about Simon Bellwood, the sacked, former manager at Greenfields secure unit. Greenfields is another children’s care home in Jersey.

Bellwood has claimed unfair dismissal from the unit and a hearing on his case was held this week.

While Greenfields isn’t connected to the current investigation at Haut de la Garenne, it has the same elements of the States ignoring misuse of power by those in charge of child welfare in Jersey.

The hearing ended abruptly on Wednesday with the announcement that Bellwood and the States had resolved the claim and Bellwood would receive compensation equal to his contractual agreement. The exact dollar amount was not disclosed!

Bellwood and the States also issued a joint statement saying that Bellwood had not been sacked for “whistle blowing”.

Sprocket and I had a long discussion about this turn of events and we both immediately wondered if this was just a huge pay-off to keep things quite.

Did Bellwood cave-in for the “undisclosed” amount of money?

Happily, the answer is probably no. The March 14 entry on one of our favorite Jerseyite's blogs cleared up some of the questions we had.

“Simon Bellwood – Whistle-Blower”
The Man Who Did the Right Thing

According to Senator Stuart Syvret Blog: the social worker who was sacked from the Jersey secure unit following his objection to a cruel solitary confinement regime – has won his case at the Employment Tribunal.

Simon has, accurately, agreed to a statement to the effect that he had not claimed his dismissal was for whistle blowing.

He never made that claim. I did.

Syvret goes on to say: after the customary gung-ho Jersey establishment approach – the complacent habit of wining through power – suddenly, the management case collapsed.

After a day-and-a-half of hearing Simon’s evidence – the Jersey establishment caved-in – without even bothering to cross-examine.

That begs the question why? Could it be because Syvret was to be the next witness on the stand and following Syvret would have been Lenny Harper?

Does it strike you odd that the hearing ended so abruptly because Syvret, the force behind exposing the “elephant in the room” and Harper, the deputy police chief investigating the scandal at Haute de la Garenne, would have -under oath- further tumbled the house of cards that is Jersey?

You decide!

Senator Stuart Syvret Blog