Sunday, March 9, 2008

Arrests May Be Imminent In Haut de la Garenne Abuse Scandal

Several hundred people gathered in Royal Square, St. Helier, outside the main government building to show support for the victims and to call for political change. The crowd laid daffodils at the door of the government building as a symbol of hope for the future.

The rally was organized by Time 4 Change, a group calling for an end to what they say is "a culture of secrecy" in Jersey.

Senator Stuart Syvret, claims allegations of abuse have been ignored for years and said yesterday that the number of people at the rally showed the strength of feeling in the island.

Message boards placed around the square were quickly filled with messages of support and messages from victims. One read: "Keep Syvret, he has let my dark secrets come out."

Several more pieces of bone have been unearthed at Haut de la Garenne.

From the Press Association: The bones, which are believed to be human remains, add to the grim discovery two weeks ago of the partial remains of a child buried in a stairwell.

Tests will have to be run on the bones before officers can confirm if they were human. Officers are also waiting for the analysis of blood spots found on Friday on a concrete bath in the same cellar.

Police are reportedly now poised to make three arrests in the next two weeks, two in Jersey and one in the UK mainland.

The man leading the investigation, Jersey's deputy chief officer Lenny Harper, told the newspaper that police are concerned that one incident could have lead to the death of a child.

Officers also fear, reports the newspaper, that bones could have been removed from the home as recently as five years ago, either accidentally or in a deliberate attempt by perpetrators to cover their tracks.
From the Telegraph: Mr Harper said there was no link between the three suspects.

Police have narrowed down a list of more than 40 living suspects down to a core list of 20.

The first arrests are expected within a fortnight.

"Many of the suspects have been mentioned more than once. Many of these have been accused of very serious crimes," said Mr Harper.

"Very few of the suspects have only been mentioned by one witness. We have drawn up a list of suspects and we are prioritizing them."

Senator Stuart Syvert Blog