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Digital copy of Witness 67's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of her experiences during her childhood in Jersey, including time spent under the care of the States of Jersey, primarily at Haut de la Garenne. [Some details redacted].
September 20th 2014 - September 20th 2014
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Refers to birth and childhood in Jersey, current employment, marriage and family. Describes early childhood prior to parents’ divorce, and later childhood with mother and stepfather. Describes family’s residence in Jersey for last four generations, also referencing family’s Catholic faith and attendance at Church. Refers to parents’ divorce, mother’s custody of children, father’s access rights, mother’s alcoholism and pregnant sisters leaving home at around age of 16. Recounts mother’s remarriage, wedding, and behaviour of stepfather towards Witness 67. Institutions Recalls education at St Helier Girls School and admission to Haut de la Garenne in 1972 or 1973 at age of 12 or 13 for a year. Describes positive first impressions of Haut de la Garenne, referencing her new large bedroom shared with up to three other girls, warm and clean beds, and relief at being safe away from mother. Recalls being shown around Haut de la Garenne, mentioning the Haut de la Garenne swimming pool. Reflects on day to day routine at Haut de la Garenne, referring to waking up, dressing, breakfast, collecting lunchboxes, walking to the bus, attending school, homework, and dinner time. Describes communal meal times at Haut de la Garenne, and recalls large games room with a snooker table, and the bathrooms between the dining area and bedrooms without working locks. Describes relationship with roommates at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning incident where she discovered one roommate crying in their bedroom, another incident in which [Witness 48 and her roommates] absconded from Haut de la Garenne and were returned by the Police, and Witness 67’s suspicions concerning her roommates’ motives for running away. Describes positive interactions with members of the Haut de la Garenne staff, mentioning two married couples and negative interactions with Morag Jordan (née Kidd). Recalls visit to Haut de la Garenne by Jimmy Savile, and being selected as part of a larger group of residents to meet Savile. Comments that she does not recall anyone alleging inappropriate behaviour or abuse by Savile on that occasion. Describes trips whilst at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning Witness 67’s first flight during a day trip to Guernsey. Describes friend’s residence at La Preference Children’s Home, and friend’s brother’s residence at Haut de la Garenne. Refers to leaving Haut de la Garenne, temporary residence with sister, transfer to a hostel operated by the States of Jersey, first job, and leaving school as a result at age of fourteen. Recalls members of hostel staff. Details move to a hostel flat, and attempt at living with mother again but moving out to own flat due to mother’s abusive behaviour and alcoholism. Social Services Recalls introduction to Children’s Services the day she reported mother’s abuse to her headmistress. Recalls assignment of Child Care Officer, temporary residence with sisters and transfer to Haut de la Garenne. Abuse and Consequences Details physical and emotional abuse by mother, and becoming focus of abuse once elder sisters left home, mentioning instance of physical abuse by mother whilst Witness 67 was recovering from an operation. Details sexual abuse from age of four until ten by a member of a Church who was also a friend of the family. Recalls attempt by elder sister to remove Witness 67 from mother’s house in which the Police were called and Witness 67 remained with mother overnight. Describes escape from mother’s house the following morning, and telling sister’s fiancé’s parents and headmistress about the abuse. Describes conversation with mother at a meeting arranged by Haut de la Garenne staff, and promises by staff that she would not be left alone with her mother. Details member of staff on duty leaving the room and mother emotionally abusing her. Recalls member of staff re-entering the room and asking mother to leave. Recalls being told that she would not need to see mother again whilst at Haut de la Garenne. Recounts emotional abuse at Haut de la Garenne by Morag Jordan. Describes beginning to drink alcohol from age of five to cope with mother’s abuse. Events since leaving Care Refers to reputation of Haut de la Garenne as a home for badly behaved children, and explaining the wider remit of Haut de la Garenne as a home for children requiring care and protection to prospective employers when applying for jobs. Describes working for the brother of Alan Maguire between 1979 and 1980. Describes attending a party where Alan Maguire was present, and Alan Maguire talking about his work as a foster parent. Recalls Alan Maguire telling those at the party about physical and emotional abuse inflicted towards foster children in his care, at first believing the story to be a joke. Describes their disgust when Alan Maguire informed them of his seriousness in relation to the story. Describes current employment and previous voluntary experience. Mentions interest in obtaining her personal records from Haut de la Garenne. Details involvement with the Jersey Care Leavers Association, mentioning Philip Sinel and Stuart Syvret. Describes personal impact of abuse, mentioning blocking out memories of childhood due to experiences at Haut de la Garenne and at home, and impact on later relationships. Indicates hope their statement to the Inquiry will help other victims of abuse, and that Jersey’s care system is changed to prevent such abuse occurring within its institutions in the future. Mentions father’s death, mother’s death, and giving up alcohol ten years prior to giving their statement to the Inquiry. Mentions the Historic Abuse Redress Scheme, indicating their surprise that some victims of abuse had already received compensation before the beginning of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. Notes lack of own application to the Historic Abuse Redress Scheme, and belief that if victims have already received compensation they may be more likely to be reluctant to give further evidence about abuse to an Inquiry. Expresses personal view that compensation has been paid to placate victims of abuse, and opinion that it would have been fairer to pay compensation after victims had given evidence to the Inquiry.
Historic Abuse Redress Scheme
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