Digital copy of Darren Picot's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences in various residential care institutions including Haut de la Garenne, Blanche Pierre Family Group Home, Children's Psychiatric Unit, Heathfields Children's Centre, and Les Chênes Residential School. [Some details redacted].
|Date||6 October 2014|
|Scope and Content||Background and Home Life Details Darren Picot’s birth in 1976 and childhood in the care of the States of Jersey. Refers to sisters who also spent years under the care of the States of Jersey. Institutions Refers to education at Le Rocquier School, under Headteacher Mr MacGregor. Details residencies at Haut de la Garenne, Blanche Pierre [Family Group Home] Children’s Psychiatric Unit, Heathfields [Children’s Centre], and Les Chênes Residential School, over the 1970s and 1980s. Recalls residency at Haut de la Garenne from age of around 18 months, mentioning memories of a dormitory. Refers to hospital records stating he was in hospital frequently at this time due to needing blood transfusions. Recalls transfer to Blanche Pierre Family Group Home at 9 and 10 Blanche Pierre Close, Le Squez, with sisters, at age of three or four years old, staying until the age of twelve. Recounts other residents at Blanche Pierre, mentioning sharing a room with one individual. Comments on staff at Blanche Pierre, including Jane and Alan Maguire. References transfer to Children’s Psychiatric Unit (CPU) for six months at age of 10. Describes time on Children’s Psychiatric Unit as happy due to good treatment by staff. Refers to psychiatric report given to the Children’s Office [Children’s Services] suggesting that the Children’s Psychiatric Unit was not the appropriate institution for him. Following discharge from Children’s Psychiatric Unit, recalls transfer to Heathfields [Children’s Home. Describes history of Heathfields Children’s Home, mentioning use of the house by German Occupying Forces in the Second World War. Refers to older age of other residents daunting him, and details mostly positive experiences and relationships with staff. Mentions an individual [presumed to be a member of Heathfields staff] buying him Christmas presents due to his own family not visiting. Details behaviour at Heathfields, mentioning absconding regularly and staying at friends’ houses instead due to impact of time at Blanche Pierre. Refers to bullying by staff and students whilst at Le Rocquier School, and leaving at the age of 14 to seek employment. Refers to subsequent transfer to Les Chênes Residential School [see Exhibit DP7: C/D/AW1/A4/14/WD000201/7]. Describes Les Chênes as prison-like, and details the points system [Merit Award Scheme], mentioning benefits associated with points and his desire to earn these benefits. Recalls positive and negative experiences with teachers and other staff at Les Chênes. Social Services Refers to discrepancies between medical records and Social Services records and his own recollections [see Exhibit DP2: C/D/AW1/A4/14/WD000201/2]. Refers to his personal social worker [Child Care Officer] Richard Davenport, and visits by Richard Davenport to the institutions in which Darren Picot was resident during his time under the care of the States of Jersey. Suggests Richard Davenport suspected he had been poorly treated at Blanche Pierre, mentioning attempts by Richard Davenport to try and make things up to him, such as leaving him cigarettes. Refers to contact with Anne Herrod, head of Children’s Services, at age 18, and being offered a boat ticket away from Jersey. Abuse and Consequences Recalls emotional abuse at Le Rocquier School, with teachers and students referring to him as ‘foster boy’. Refers to emotional and physical abuse by Jane and Alan Maguire towards himself and other residents of Blanche Pierre [see Exhibit DP1: C/D/AW1/A4/14/WD000201/1]. Recalls instances of physical abuse by Jane Maguire, mentioning a broken arm and a skull fracture. Comments that all children at Blanche Pierre would be physically abused. Mentions instance where Dettol was used to wash out his mouth after he swore. Recalls Jane and Alan Maguire withholding food from children until the child had eaten a meal they disliked, and recalls Jane and Alan Maguire force feeding him custard as a form of punishment. References his expressions of anger due to the abuse, mentioning an incident in which he wrecked part of his bedroom, as reported by [Child Care Officer] Richard Davenport [see Exhibit DP3: C/D/AW1/A4/14/WD000201/3]. Refers to hindsight aiding suspicion sexual abuse was taking place at Blanche Pierre, mentioning instances where Alan Maguire would keep his presence in the girls’ bedroom from Jane Maguire. Recalls attempting to protect other children from abuse by taking the blame for some incidents where he was innocent. Details attempted sexual abuse by a member of Heathfields staff, referring to friend’s recollection that he would cry in her room after getting away from this member of staff. Describes individual who had previously bought him Christmas presents acting to ensure he did not have to be alone with the member of staff attempting to sexually abuse him. Describes fellow Heathfields resident confiding in him about sexual abuse, and then sharing the information with his Children’s [Child Care] Officer Richard Davenport [see Exhibit DP6: C/D/AW1/A4/14/WD000201/6]. Details physical abuse by staff whilst resident at Les Chênes. Recalls fear of making matters worse preventing him from confiding in anyone, either staff at the Children’s Psychiatric Unit or Child Care Officer Richard Davenport, about abuse at Blanche Pierre. References desire to protect sisters still resident at Blanche Pierre. Comments on suspicion that if he had told Richard Davenport about the abuse, Richard Davenport would not have been able to achieve anything due to the nature of Jersey being a small island. Events since leaving Care Refers to transfer to a flat at Heathfields following two and a half years at Les Chênes. Describes finding own flat without support from Children’s Services or States of Jersey at age of around 16. Details employment, loss of employment, and subsequent homelessness for two years. Comments on a [former Blanche Pierre resident] lodging a complaint with States of Jersey Police in 1997 regarding abuse by Jane and Alan Maguire. Refers to subsequent States of Jersey Police investigation, during which he gave a statement to States of Jersey Police on the encouragement of sisters [see Exhibit DP1: C/D/AW1/A4/14/WD000201/1]. Mentions evidence from one witness who claimed that abuse did not occur at Blanche Pierre. Comments on learning during the Court case that Alan Maguire had sexually abused [a female Blanche Pierre resident]. Refers to the dropping of charges against Jane and Alan Maguire, and suggests charges were dropped due to differences between Jersey and the UK, citing the ‘Jersey way’. Refers to compensation offered by States of Jersey to those abused at Blanche Pierre, and promises from States of Jersey that such an investigation would not need occur again. Refers to Operation Rectangle and Independent Jersey Care Inquiry as evidence that such investigations have had to occur again due to more abuse coming to light. Leaves Jersey following his evidence regarding Jane and Alan Maguire, spending five years working without a fixed address around Ireland and England. Refers to fatherhood as reason for settling down in Cornwall. Refers to Operation Rectangle featuring in the news, and those he knew in Cornwall asking him questions about his past in Jersey. Explains that he gave a statement to States of Jersey Police as part of Operation Rectangle on the encouragement of his sisters. Comments on appearance in a recording regarding [Blanche Pierre] during Operation Rectangle against his better judgement, and regrets his participation in the recording. Reflects on tardiness of prosecution of Jane and Alan Maguire due to number of reports and complaints regarding their abuse. Comments on failed opportunities for States of Jersey to have investigated abuse. Expresses belief in the need for all reports and complaints to be checked by staff in childcare in order to avoid a repeated scenario. Expresses his disappointment in delay of investigation into abuse at Blanche Pierre, and his disappointment in the States of Jersey continuing to cover up matters within the States of Jersey care system.|
|Names||Blanche Pierre Family Group Home|
Children's Psychiatric Unit
Haut de la Garenne
Jersey General Hospital
Le Rocquier School
Les Chênes Residential School
Merit Award Scheme
States of Jersey
States of Jersey Police
Picot, Darren Lee
|Keywords||abuse | child abuse | Child Care Officers | Children's Officers | Children | children's homes | children's services | childcare | child protection | Food | meals | trees | fostering | headteachers | teachers | staff | Sisters | courts | psychiatry | reports | records | medical records | blood transfusions | transfers | Boats | evidence | Christmas | Sports | points | solitary confinement | flats | Housing | Cigarettes | investigations | televisions | beds | Hospitals | behaviour | Toys | violence | injuries | Soap | disinfectants | emotional abuse | Homelessness | inquiries | neglect | physical abuse | Police | residential care | residential schools | Schools | sexual abuse | social services | social workers | visits | witness statements | witnesses|
|Places||Blanche Pierre, Cornwall, England, Haut de la Garenne, Heathfield Children's Centre, Ireland, Jersey General Hospital, Le Rocquier School, Les Chênes, Five Oaks|
|Dimensions||1 pdf file|
|Level of description||File|
|Access restrictions||PDF file - please click on the link to download|
ZC/D/AW1 Independent Jersey Care Inquiry - Phase 1a. Evidence of and relating to former residents of children's homes and foster care. Includes Witness Statements given to the Inquiry and the States of Jersey Police, and supporting evidence in the form of Witness Documents.
ZC/D/AW1/B Phase 1a - Witness Statements. Evidence relating to the experiences of former residents of children's homes and foster care. Includes witness statements to the Inquiry and witness statements given to the States of Jersey Police.
ZC/D/AW1/B2 Witness Statements - Witnesses Giving Evidence In Public. Witness statements given by former residents of children's homes and foster placements designated as Witnesses Giving Evidence In Public during Phase 1a.