Thursday, May 8, 2008

Haut de la Garenne – It’s Not Just About Child Abuse – It’s About Citizen Abuse by The States of Jersey

Have you asked yourself - why aren’t any of the Jersey politicians or the island’s only paper screaming bloody murder over Haut de la Garenne and the authorities who turned a blind eye to it?

One of the comments left on the blog said, “This is one of the most amazing stories of governmental and press complicity in abuse and cover-up I have ever seen. It is a story of unchecked power and corruption unlike any other.” I heartily concur!

If you didn't catch BBC Panorama several weeks back, here's some background:

The McGuires ran Blanche Pierre during the 1980’s and while some staff members detailed reports regarding abuse and cruelty administered by Jane and “Big Al”, no actions where taken against the McGuires.

As complaints continued into 1990, Anton Skinner – Children’s Services and Geoff Spencer – Homes Manager finally decided, perhaps they should investigate the mounting complaints.

The report prepared by Skinner contains ample evidence of the McGuire’s cruel behavior toward the children in their care that the police should have been notified.

Instead, the report was given to Iris Le Feuvre – Education Committee. The Committee was responsible for child protection. Skinner’s report basically said that the McGuire’s conduct was not acceptable, but Jane McGuire agreed to voluntarily retire. Jane McGuire was then transferred to the Family Development Center- still working within the system!

In 1998, police were finally made aware of the suffering at Blanch Pierre and the McGuires were arrested and brought before the magistrate.

Social Services assembled the victims and they were told the charges against Jane and “Big Al” were to be dropped due to lack of evidence. It can’t get more disingenuous than this.

OK, remember the words complicity and cover-up!

The law firm, Bailhache Labesse represented the victims. William Bailhache was the senior partner of the firm. William Bailhache is currently Jersey Attorney General and his brother, Philip Bailhache is Bailiff!!!

The Attorney General who dropped the case against the McGuires for lack of evidence was Michael Birt who is currently Deputy Bailiff. Birt is also the person who refused Lenny Harper’s requests for search warrants in the child abuse investigation!

Cover-up? Complicity? You may draw your own conclusions. I’ve certainly drawn mine!

Next, we’ll take a look at the Jersey Evening Post - JEP…


Anonymous said...

Just in case you haven't noticed, Haut de la Garenne and Blance Pierre are TWO DIFFERENT PLACES.

Whilst you overall sentiment may be sound, please do not confuse the two.

donchais said...

Yes, I am aware that Haut de la Garenne and Blanche Pierre were two different homes.

This is the Haut de la Garenne scandal/investigation as it is referred to in the press. Blanche Pierre is another one of the childcare homes in Jersey that is part of the overall investigation.

I apologize to anyone I may have confused!

Anonymous said...

The Panorama is still available to watch here: