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Digital copy of Witness 45's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of her experiences under the care of the States of Jersey, primarily with respect to her time at a Family Group Home. [Some details redacted].
January 27th 2015 - January 27th 2015
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Refers to birth in 1962, and using redacted Children’s Services records and own memory in order to compose statement [See Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4697]. Mentions placement into care, along with siblings, each time mother became pregnant, and having spent majority of childhood in care. Institutions Placed at regimented and strict Haut de la Garenne with three of her siblings, recalling harsh punishments for misbehaviour with staff shouting and hitting children deemed to be naughty, acting beyond use of corporal punishment. Refers to visits by potential foster carers on Sundays, and future foster mother indicating she would take Witness 45 and two of her siblings, leaving one behind, to Witness 45’s successful objection. Recalls layout of Family Group Home, mentioning a wide staircase, large drawing room, bedrooms, outside toilet, wash room, kitchen, and dining room. Recalls foster mother’s illness and repatriation to Southampton Hospital due to her condition, and comments on good care provided by individuals in the foster mother’s absence. Details contact with staff at Family Group Home, mentioning cleaners and carers. Recalls visits to Dr Brown, Dr Chance and Dr Shenton at Cleveland Clinic, stating that she is unaware whether Dr Brown in particular reported any suspicions he may have had regarding her treatment at the Family Group Home. Recalls education at Grands Vaux School, St Luke’s Primary School between 1969 and 1973, and St Helier Girls School between 1973 and 1978, all whilst resident at the Family Group Home. Recalls arrival of new foster parents at Family Group Home following the disappearance of the first foster parents after their abuse was reported to States of Jersey Police. Transferred to transfer to La Preference Children’s Home with sister and brother, with other brother’s placed at Basil Lodge Hostel. Describes sexual behaviour of older children living at La Preference. Recounts move to a girls hostel, continued employment, and absconding from Jersey to be with [boyfriend]. Recalls leaving for the airport on her 18th birthday to be with [boyfriend]. Describes birth of daughter in 1981, and return to Jersey due to requiring Children’s Services’ permission to get married. Returned to live in Jersey permanently following the wedding. Social Services Recalls visits from Children’s Services, describing Charlie [C A] Smith and Brenda Chapman or Chappell [Chappell]. Recalls Charlie Smith’s jokey attitude, and being told by the foster parents not to mention any of the abuse to him. Recalls being unable to speak to Charlie Smith in private, and being mistrustful of adults at the time due to emotional abuse and threats by the foster mother concerning likelihood of other fostering opportunities. Comments on lack of medical records from her childhood. Refers to possession of medical record card, as originally produced by the foster mother. Criticises lack of counselling following her report of Roger Horobin’s abuse to the States of Jersey Police, despite being under the care of Children’s Services and under the age of 18 at the time. Abuse and Consequences Refers to immediate neglect and physical abuse upon being fostered by two individuals and moving to a new Family Group Home. Recounts how all children fostered at the Family Group Home were physically abused by the foster mother, and recalls forced to eat mouldy food or go to bed hungry, and being kept in solitary confinement without adequate food or sunlight during one summer holiday. Describes neglect by the foster mother, mentioning being left to wash in cold water already used by the other foster children, and wearing second hand clothes whilst the foster parents’ biological children wore new clothes. Describes the foster father’s usually gentle demeanour, mentioning one instance where he physically abused the foster children under the order of the foster mother. Recalls foster mother’s return from hospital and continuation of physical abuse. Refers to incident where her sister was physically abused by the foster mother, and was taken to hospital by staff at her school. Recalls that as far as she knows, the school and doctors did not report the incident to Children’s Services. Believes staff at St Luke’s Primary School may have known about the abuse at the Family Group Home, citing an instance where she hurt her leg on the way to school, the intervention of States of Jersey Police, and subsequently being physically abused by the foster mother. Believes staff at St Helier Girls School would have known about the abuse due to Headteacher asking about marks on her body, and an attempted overdose. Recounts visits to the Family Group Home from a man, during which he would sexually abuse by Witness 45 and the other foster children. Describes sexual abuse by two men unconnected to the Family Group Home, beginning around 1970. Refers to the first man’s suicide after around a year of abuse. Names second abuser as Roger Horobin, who worked at a fruit and vegetable shop in Colomberie. Recalls abuse continuing after move to La Preference Children’s Home, and threats by Roger Horobin to abuse Witness 45’s sister. Expresses opinion Roger Horobin appeared well connected, mentioning a function at the Pomme D’or Hotel where she was introduced as Roger Horobin’s niece. Describes engineering herself out of La Preference due to Roger Horobin’s threats against her sister, and moving to a girls’ hostel. Expresses distress at having since found out that her sister was sexually abused by Roger Horobin, and by boys resident at La Preference. Reported Roger Horobin’s abuse to her boyfriend who persuaded her to report the abuse to the police. Details Roger Horobin’s arrest and imprisonment for a year due to a plea bargain. Attaches judgement against Roger Horobin dated 1979 [see Exhibit 2: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4698]. Events since leaving Care Describes effects of emotional, physical and sexual abuse sustained during her childhood, detailing difficulties in meaningful relationships and increased concentration on her professional life. Details second marriage, and suicide attempts from the age of 12. Refers to interview by Professor [Anthony] Maden as part of the [Historic Abuse] Redress Scheme [See Exhibit 3: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4699]. Details level of contact between herself and her siblings, as well as with the two other foster children at the Family Group Home, mentioning statements to lawyers and States of Jersey Police. Refers to statement to States of Jersey Police dated March 2008 regarding abuse suffered whilst in foster care [See Exhibit 4: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4700], and subsequent arrest of the foster parents from the Family Group Home, later to be charged with assault by Attorney General William Bailhache. Comments on lawyer Simon Thomas, who advised Police on the matter of charging suspects, and his previous employment with Attorney General’s office and 7 Bedford Row. Refers to being informed Simon Thomas had changed his mind regarding decision to charge the former Family Group Home foster parents, and attached report and statement by Lenny Harper regarding the decision [See Exhibit 5: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4701]. Describes knowledge of Danny Scaife’s agreement that despite evidence on which the former foster parents could be charged, he did not wish to charge them without the consent of the Law Officer’s [Department]. Refers to belief States of Jersey and Law Officer’s Department have attempted to portray historic abuse of children as the reasonable corporal punishment of naughty children. Comments on review of decision to drop charges, and visit at home by two police officers, and a representative from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children named Ray. Recalls purpose of visit as to ask her to sign a document authorising Attorney General William Bailhache to see her psychiatric records, to which she refused. Refers to recently obtaining documents from States of Jersey relating to her time in care [see Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4697 and Exhibit 6: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4702], and learning more of her childhood prior to Haut de la Garenne. Mentions documents passed from sister for Witness 45 to provide to the Inquiry [See Exhibit 7: C/D/AW1/A3/1/2/4703], due to sister’s reluctance to provide a statement herself as a result of abuse during childhood. Refers to documents having been unredacted when first read by herself, mentioning redactions by Susan [Sue] Doyle.
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