Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lenny Harper on the Jersey Child Abuse Scandal

The investigation –

“I couldn’t let the bad guys win.”

“There was something evil going on at Haut de la Garenne and I felt I had to carry on my inquiry.”

“I couldn’t just walk away. The reason is simple—cop or ex-cop, you don’t want to see the bad guys win.”

“Whether it’s the abusers or those who for whatever reason are making it easier for them to evade justice—they are the bad guys and I can’t let them win.”

“I had threats to burn down my house, burn my car and a death threat but what made that seemingly irrelevant was the attitude of the ordinary people in Jersey, who in letters, emails and postcards, expressed their appreciation of what my team were doing.”

Murder –

“I never said children were murdered there."

“The furthest I went was to say it was very likely children had died there.”

“I could not say how and still cannot, but there were highly suspicious circumstances of how we found bones and teeth—burnt and buried. You have to ask, ‘Why would anyone go to the trouble of all that?”

“I still have no answer to that, so I cannot understand how Mr Warcup can now definitely say that children’s bodies were NOT disposed of at the home with no explanation for what we found.”

“As far as I can see the evidence we found does not prove murder but at the same time I cannot see how they can just rule it out.”

“We’d been taking statements from the abuse victims and witnesses for about a year and there were things coming up which I couldn’t ignore.”

“A number said there were the remains of children buried at the home. A couple of witnesses said that people were coming into the home all the time and that they heard children being dragged from their bed in the middle of the night and they weren’t seen again.”

The piece of skull –

“I was told that it had to be re-examined. To this day as far as I am aware it has never been positively identified as being either a piece of human bone or not.”

The shackles –

“They are saying they can’t be shackles because they look just like rusty pieces of metal. Well what do they expect? They’ve been in the ground for 40 years.

“There were two pairs of what we thought could be shackles.”

The teeth –

“Most disturbingly, both [experts] said a number of the teeth could not have come out before death. There was the full root in some of the teeth."

“The theory that children could have been leaving them under the pillows for the tooth fairy is rubbish.”

The news conference –

“From the outset of my inquiry we were being attacked on two fronts—from a group of ex-police officers and the politicians who were constantly trying to denigrate the work we were doing.”

“I believe they were trying to play down years of historic abuse in a bid to protect the ‘bucket and spade’ image of the Island.”

“Jersey has its own rules and if you try and stand up to those in power you’ll feel their wrath.”

“I have no doubt that the establishment are trying to make out that our inquiry was incompetent because it suits their purposes very well.”

“With us out of the way I just fear that there will be no appetite to find justice for these victims of child abuse.”

The conclusion –

“I will lose no sleep over what I have done with this inquiry.”

“I was a year away from retiring I did not need the grief.”

“But these victims had come forward and trusted us. I didn’t want to be responsible for letting them down again.”

News of the World


katfish said...

Lenny Harper is a perfect example of what a dedicated and honest cop is. He didn't make assumptions...he just followed the evidence....he did his job despite adversity.
Mr. Harper the world is a better place because of people like you.