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Digital copy of Witness 28's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of their experiences during the time that they were under the care of the States of Jersey, primarily at Haut de la Garenne. [Some details redacted].
January 15th 2015 - January 15th 2015
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Gives details of background and early years at home with parents and siblings, mentioning parents’ alcoholism, mother’s mental health, poor living conditions and strict parenting. Describes contact with parents whilst in care at Haut de la Garenne, with continued instances of neglect, physical abuse and father’s alcoholism. Describes mother’s time as a patient at St Saviour’s Hospital, including witnessing her electric shock treatment. Institutions Includes references to their time at Elizabeth House, Westaway Crèche, Brig-y-Don Children’s Home, Basil Lodge Hostel and Les Chenes Residential School, as well as residence at Haut de la Garenne from the ages of 2-15. Recalls earliest memory of being at Elizabeth House, in the psychiatric unit with their mother. Details their initial placement in Aviemore Group (known as A Group) at Haut de la Garenne as a young child. Describes move from A Group to B Group at age 10 or 11, and being joined by their brother in B Group when he reached a similar age. Mentions other children in B Group, as well as other children at Haut de la Garenne at that time. Describes day to day life of their time at Haut de la Garenne, including their attendance at St Martin’s Primary School, Le Rocquier School, and Les Chenes Residential School. Describes punishments for misbehaviour at Haut de la Garenne, including corporal punishment. Describes layout of Haut de la Garenne [Exhibit 1, see C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633A], including fields surrounding the building, division of the building into wings, play equipment in the grounds, detention cells and other rooms. Describes layout of detention cells and of a room below B Group containing a bath. Recalls dens in the grounds where children would play, people would smoke and drink alcohol, and where consensual and non-consensual sex occurred. Lists staff at Haut de la Garenne during their time there, including Morag Jordan (née Kidd), Jim Thomson, Tony Jordan, Tony Whatton, and Colin Tilbrook. Describes living arrangements of Morag and Tony Jordan. Refers to unprofessional behaviour of individuals working at Haut de la Garenne, as well as positive experiences with other members of staff. Recalls Jimmy Savile visiting Haut de Garenne between 1974 and 1980, and Edward Paisnel being seen at Haut de la Garenne during the night on more than one occasion [Exhibit 7, see C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633G]. Recalls being sent to Les Chenes Residential School after being caught stealing at age 15 or 16. Sent to Basil Lodge Hostel before returning to Les Chenes Residential School, as well as Haut de la Garenne for brief periods of detention. Sent to Borstal in the UK, before being sent to HM Prison La Moye in 1981 or 1982. Children’s Services Refers to attempts to report abuse to social services. Names Richard Davenport as their original Children’s officer, and mentions a report sent to Charles Wimberley, head of the Children’s Department, after they were burnt by an iron. Abuse and Consequences Describes abusive behaviour towards them by their parents, including physical abuse and neglect, at home and at Haut de la Garenne. Details culture of physical and sexual abuse by staff, residents and visitors at Haut de la Garenne, and leaving Haut de la Garenne at age 15 due in part to their resistance to the abuse. Recalls inappropriate punishments for misdemeanours at Haut de la Garenne, naming Morag and Tony Jordan, and routine physical abuse during their time in Groups A and B. Describes physical abuse towards their siblings by Morag Jordan, including an instance where a sibling was sent to the General Hospital for treatment for burns. Recalls the physical abuse lessening when they reached the age of 14 and 15 and began to retaliate, including an attempt to injure Morag Jordan with a fork. Describes regular sexual abuse by Colin Tilbrook, Jim Thomson, other members of Haut de la Garenne staff, their childcare officer, and other residents at Haut de la Garenne including Michael Aubin. Recalls sexual and physical abuse taking place in the dens at Haut de la Garenne, as well as the Superintendent’s flat, a room on the ground floor below B Group and in a room on the side of B Group [Exhibit 1 and 4, see C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633A and C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633D respectively]. Recounts witnessing other children being sexually abused by Tony Whatton, a visiting father, and Jim Thomson, knowledge of children being sexually abused by a volunteer at Haut de la Garenne, citing an instance taking place at the Fort at L’Auberge de Nord, St John, and the presence of politicians and child care officers at line ups where children were selected for abuse. Describes sexual abuse at Basil Lodge Hostel by Michael Aubin, and by a man the Witness met whilst at Basil Lodge Hostel, and their suspicions of other residents being abused by the man. Describes symptoms of physical abuse such as bedwetting, and witnessing an act of self-harm committed by another resident at Haut de la Garenne, speculating the resident was also being abused. Details reporting abuse to a child psychologist visiting Haut de la Garenne, and their unwillingness to report further abuse when child psychologist suggested transferring them to St Saviour’s Hospital. Also reported physical abuse to police officers when absconding from Haut de la Garenne, and tells of subsequent inaction of police and punishment on return to Haut de la Garenne. Recounts that due to sexual abuse by their Child Care Officer, they could not report abuse to them, and also did not feel they could confide in teachers at school. Reflects on the culture of consensual and non-consensual sexual activity at Haut de la Garenne between residents, and their own lacking of a clear idea of consent due to the highly sexual atmosphere at Haut de la Garenne, and the sexual and physical abuse taking place there. Events since leaving Care Describes spending most of adult life in prison, having been convicted of a number of sexual offences, citing early life in the sexually active and sexually abusive atmosphere at Haut de la Garenne as a contributing factor. Refers to Counsellor Mary Halley as helping them to process their earlier experiences. Mentions reporting abuse that occurred at Haut de la Garenne whilst in prison, and considers their transfer to a prison with worse conditions as a punishment for this action. Refers to their involvement with Operation Rectangle [Exhibit 7, see C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633G], States of Jersey Police, and the States of Jersey Historical Abuse Redress Scheme. Provides thoughts on the Historical Abuse Redress Scheme [Exhibit 9, C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633I], including perception of Redress Scheme lawyers trying to discredit witnesses in order to minimise the cost of compensation payments, lack and tardiness of compensation, and the actions of Redress Scheme psychologist Professor Maden whilst hearing accounts of experiences from Witness’s sisters. Also criticises the Operation Rectangle investigation as being restricted in order to limit the cost of compensation payments, the length of sentences and lack of charges against individuals such as Jim Thomson, and considers the investigation as the States of Jersey’s attempt to limit the damage of the past. Refers to notes found in their Children’s Services file dating from their time in care indicating they were being abused. Witness queries why nothing was done to prevent or investigate the abuse at the time. Describes involvement with Jersey Care Leavers Association, and their intention to publish an open letter accusing named individuals of abuse, the legal action this publication would have resulted in, and their resultant inability to publish the letter. For a redacted version of this letter see Exhibit 8 [C/D/AW1/A1/2/WD002633H]. The statement finishes with the witness expressing hope for the Inquiry and for children under the care of the States of Jersey in the future.
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