Saturday, March 8, 2008

Child Abuse Scandal Widens – Haut de la Garenne Horror

This story appears to have taken on a life of it’s on. Interestingly, it’s also become a matter of which side do you believe, the victims or the government?

The other day I read an article in the Statesman that said no reports by the media have proven anything is amiss in Jersey and the initial photos of the basement room and the concrete bath at Haut de le Garenne, while eerie, were not sinister. That appears to have been a premature opinion.

The Guardian reports: Specially trained dogs today identified two spots of blood in a concrete bath in an underground chamber at the Haut de la Garenne home, where a child's skull was unearthed last month.

Police have confirmed 100 people claim they were sexually and physically abused at Haut de la Garenne. They have identified more than 40 suspected abusers, including senior members of staff and a former senior politician.

Andrew Williamson, a social care expert who was invited last year by the Jersey government to review the island's child protection procedures, said action had been taken to protect children in care from abusive staff, but that more needed to be done.

Williamson, director of social services for Devon county council, said he would be recommending several changes to such procedures on the island. His final report is expected to be published at the end of this month.

The review followed the sacking of the British social worker Simon Bellwood, who blew the whistle on the practice of holding children as young as 11 in solitary confinement at the Greenfields secure unit.
His employers claim he was sacked for incompetence and he will challenge them at a tribunal on Monday.
Victims are still coming forward with tales of horror as of yesterday and they seem to be providing police with the names of suspects.

According to the Daily Record: Earlier this week, officers said there were 40 people suspected of committing abuse at the Haut de la Garenne home - not including those who have died.
And in the last 24 hours, calls from the public have named more suspects in the case. Victims claim they were kept in a network of underground "punishment rooms" where they were drugged, raped and flogged by staff.
One former resident at the home yesterday claimed she was abused by the headmaster - who was also her foster parent.
Colin Tilbrook ran the home during the 1960s and has since died. It is understood his name has come up a number of times in allegations.

Yesterday, deputy police chief Lenny Harper said he was considering legal action over an email from Jersey's minister for child welfare which mocked him.

Ben Shenton wrote to Cabinet colleagues: "My wife keeps referring to Lenny Harper as Lenny Henry - I don't think she's far wrong."
Last night, Harper claimed the email was a "clear attempt to damage the inquiry".

He said: "It is unhelpful to the victims and the investigation."

Shenton was unavailable for comment.

Sadly, it seems to me that if you are a “whistle blower” or an investigator, you are subject to being labeled as incompetent or you are held up for ridicule.

Senator Stuart Syvret's Blog


Anakerie said...

ABC News has an article up about this case this morning...
I've added a post in my blog about it as well.. And referred to your posts about the case...
The whole situation is so shocking that the story had been hidden for so many years... How on earth are they going to be able to find all the victims and all the perps that are involved?!?

donchais said...


Who knows how many perps are already gone and how many witnesses are still too afraid or damaged to come forward?

Pedophiles and child murderers are the basest of human life-form, in my mind.

I am more frightened by the willingness and of the complicity that becomes more apparent on a daily basis.