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Digital copy of Witness 36's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences in the care of the States of Jersey, primarily with respect to his time at Haut de la Garenne. Undated, c. 2014. [Some details redacted].
2014 - 2014
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Gives details of background and early years at home. Born in Jersey in 1969 to a single mother, commenting on factious relationship between his parents and mother's upbringing. Cites father's mental health issues and violence as reason for placement in a halfway house with his mother due to being considered a child at risk. Notes that he spent the majority of his childhood in care with intermittent periods at home with his mother. Refers to physical abuse by mother and susbequent attempts made to have Witness 36 adopted, noting interest expressed by couples in the United Kingdom and Australia but ultimately his placement into the care system. Refers to a care order placed upon him until he reached the age of 21. Institutions Includes references to his time at Haut de la Garenne, Norcott Villa Family Group Home, Plat Douet School, Heathfield and Basil Lodge Hostel and in foster care. Gives details of first placement at Haut de la Garenne between 1970 and 1973 from the age of 4 months. Notes how his earliest memories are from this period at Haut de la Garenne, recalling the swimming pool and burning his hand. Also includes recollections of the groups at Haut de la Garenne, noting placement in Aviemore and comments about Baintree, Claymore and Dunluce. Recalls placement at Norcott Villa Family Group Home in 1973 where he stayed until aged 8. Includes recollections of the lady who ran Norcott Villa, commenting on dynamic between Witness 36, his mother and the lady. Recalls attending Plat Douet School whilst at Norcott Villa, referring to being bullied by other children. Describes moving into temporary foster care with a family in 1977 after leaving Norcott Villa. Refers to attendance at Halkett [Place] School during thie period in foster care, including his opinion in respect of the purpose of the placement and the role of Children's Services. Recalls being sent to live with his mother for 6 or 7 months, noting attendance at Le Squez School during this period. Describes return to Haut de la Garenne aged 8 in 1977, where he remained until it closed in the late 1980s. Notes that it was during this placement that problems started in respect of abuse. Gives details of the daily routine at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning being woken up by staff, breakfast, transportation of younger children to Grouville School and St Martin's School, daily inspection of shoes upon return to Haut de la Garenne after school, homework, dinner, chores and leisure time. Describes routine on weekends as regimented, mentioning chores. Includes recollections of staff and children in residence at Haut de la Garenne, including Phil Le Bail, Mr [William Allan] Gilbert, Morag Jordan, Tony Jordan and Jim Thompson [Thomson]. Includes positive recollections of some members of staff, including affection shown by a female staff member, mentioning an incident whereby she invited Witness 36 to her home when he was prohibited from being allowed to watch the Battle of Britain Air Display as punishment for misbehaviour. Refers to former staff member at Norcott Villa coming to work at Haut de la Garenne whilst Witness 36 was in residence. Includes comments about weekends at Haut de la Garenne, describing the home as an open house due to families being allowed to visit and access the home freely. Also includes positive recollections of his time at Haut de la Garenne, recalling receiving Christmas presents and having trips away funded by the Round Table. Includes recollections of camping trips organised by Haut de la Garenne on annual rotation for each of the four groups. Recalls attending Grouville School whilst in residence at Haut de la Garenne, commenting on lack of school friends and attitudes of the parents of school friends towards residents at Haut de la Garenne. Recalls lack of stability in respect of his primary schooling, commenting on numerous living placements during early life and impact of this on ability to make friends at school. Also criticises secondary schooling at Le Rocquier School, noting response of the Headmaster Mr McGregor upon reporting incidents to him. Recalls visits by mother ceasing in 1982 or 1983 when Witness 36 was aged 13 or 14 following conversation with Thomson whereby Witness 36 expressed his wish to not return home. Describes latter period of time in care at Haut de la Garenne, referring to a new program introduced in 1985 or 1986 when Witness 36 was aged 16 or 17 whereby each child was assigned a person known as a Special as a point of contact. Describes improvement in atmosphere upon the arrival of a new member of staff from the United Kingdom, describing his approach as more gentle and professional. Includes recollections of his Special. Refers also to Mario Lundy becoming [Superintendent] in 1985, commenting on his reputation from his association with Les Chênes [Residential School]. Provides details of an incident in 1986 whereby a group of boys including Witness 36 barricaded themselves in Aviemore as a rebellion against the treatment of children at Haut de la Garenne under Lundy. Notes that the Police and the Fire Service were subsequently called to talk the boys down and thus became aware of conditions at Haut de la Garenne. Notes that various punishments were issued to the boys involved in the barricarding incident. Comments on mixed feelings of Lundy amongst staff. Recalls being moved to a flat in a separate wing of Haut de la Garenne near Morag and Tony Jordan's flat aged 16 towards the end of his residence, describing isolation from other children and lack of staff supervision. Recalls complaining about situation to a young female staff member, noting her limited success in raising injustices and his eventual reintegration only after Lundy's departure after a year at Haut de la Garenne. Refers to placement at Heathfield following closure of Haut de la Garenne in 1987. Describes being there for less than a year, being expelled for an incident involving a younger resident. Comments on subsequent six-month placement in the youth hostel at Basil Lodge, Midvale Road. Recalls living amongst alcoholics and homeless people at Basil Lodge, and being placed in prison for three days for stealing money. Notes that was fostered out after leaving Basil Lodge. Children's Services Recollections of his Child Care Officer Brenda Chappell, describing her as only being interested in his mother's needs. Recalls being sent home to live with his mother and being ignored by Chappell when reporting violence by his mother. Describes life at home with mother as worse than life in the children's homes, noting to have had no choice with regards to visiting his mother whilst in residence at Haut de la Garenne. Comments on Chappell's failure to recognise signs of abuse and her active facilitation of contact between Witness 36 and his mother. Includes comments about Chappell's competency in her role as a Child Care Officer in respect of her failure to protect Witness 36 from physical abuse and neglect by his mother. Recalls having no regular contact with his Child Care Officer or any individual from Children's Services during his time in residence at Haut de la Garenne. Recalls having a discussion with Danny Wherry from Children's Services in 1984 aged 15 about the possibility of being fostered out, remarking that this conversation happened too late into his time in care. Recalls being paraded with other children in a function room opposite Thomson's office for prospective foster carers. Comments on lack of effort put into fostering and adoption by Children's Services and Haut de la Garenne. Comments on Lundy's departure from Haut de la Garenne, commenting on lack of contact by Children's Services about Lundy and lack of formal account taken of the experiences of the boys in residence. Names Dave Delaine [Dallain] as his Child Care Officer after Chappell during the latter part of his time in care. Comments on lack of support provided by Children's Services in respect of Witness 36 pursuing further education after completion of his A-Levels, noting approval required by Children's Services with regards to his annual application to university. Notes that he never went to university despite being accepted, citing lack of confidence and self belief required to leave Jersey. Refers to comments by [Dallain] and Terry Strettle [Children's Officer] to the effect of discouraging Witness 36 from going to university, mentioning lack of support services in place for children within the care system wishing to pursue further education. Also describes lack of support, contact and formal process on the part of Children's Services upon his discharge from care aged 21. Blames Children's Services for the way his care was handled, commenting on childrens' lack of access to their Child Care Officers, the age and outdated approach of those employed at Children's Services including Brenda [Chappell] and lack of skills and training. Recalls seeing Brenda [Chappell] 6 times during the time she was assigned as Witness 36's Child Care Officer, commenting on her reactive rather than proactive approach. Cites lack of personability, no regular meetings and no means of contact as reason for not confiding in anyone at Children's Services. Describes Children's Services during his time in care as inept and not fit for purpose, commenting on inexperience and attitudes of some staff. Abuse and Consequences Gives details of physical abuse and neglect by his mother during visits home whilst in residence at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning physical symptoms such as bruising. Recalls being put into a detention cell at Haut de la Garenne for an entire weekend in 1979 as punishment for misbehaviour, recalling 1979 as having been the Year of the Child. Notes how the older boys were canied whereas Witness 36 was placed into the detention cell because of his age. Describes neglect by staff, recalling receiving no food or change of clothes or that no-one checked on him for the entirety of his time in the cell. Notes that he should not have been placed in the cells due to being only aged 9 or 10. Includes details of incident when Witness 36 was aged 7 or 8 whereby he witnessed members of staff used excessive physical force to restrain one boy, describing lack of understanding as to how to deal with him. Notes that the boy was frequently subjected to physical abuse by staff and spent a lot of time in the detention cells, describing his treatment by staff as him being punished for his illness. Includes comments about discipline by staff at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning use of corporal punishment, noting its contemporary legality. Comments on inconsistent application and unnecessary nature of punishment, mentioning children being made to eat unwanted or rotten food. Describes discipline and punishment at Haut de la Garenne as unnecessary, comparing reasons for admission to Haut de la Garenne to those children admitted to Les Chênes. Recalls lack of praise and affection at Haut de la Garenne. Describes other children discussing their experiences of physical and sexual abuse with other children in residence, commenting on culture of not being believed. Describes being sexually abused by an older boy at Haut de la Garenne at least three times during the summer of 1979 or 1980, noting belief that the boy was Michael Aubin when he provided statements to the Police. States to be unsure whether the boy was an older resident from Dunluce or a visitor. Describes reporting incident to Phil Le Bail and Mr [William] Gilbert, [Deputy Superintendent] and subsequent lack of action taken by both Le Bail and Gilbert. Describes impact of physical abuse by both other residents and staff in respect of Witness 36's personality and behaviour, including an assessment of the severity of abuse he suffered whilst at Haut de la Garenne. Recalls being told of physical abuse by Mario Lundy against residents at Les Chênes and emotional abuse by Lundy during his employ at Haut de la Garenne. Includes comments about a token system introduced by Lundy, describing how it worked and intentions of the system in respect of it being design to humiliate children. Describes being physically abused by Lundy, noting how he would goad children into hitting him. Includes comments about disapproval expressed by other members of staff towards the system introduced by Lundy, noting how one female member of staff was constructively dismissed for helping Witness 36. Recollections of sexual abuse by his Special aged 18 whilst living at Basil Lodge after leaving Haut de la Garenne and Heathfield, by which point the professional relationship had ended. Recalls reporting incident to the Police and their response, and subsequent meeting with his Child Care Officer Dave Delaine [Dallain]. Refers to his special [carer] admitting his actions and subsequently handing in his notice, detailing response of Dallain to effectively close the matter and not involve the Police. Notes being told by Police that they have no record of the original report, and Witness 36's disputation of this. Events since leaving Care Care order lifted when Witness 36 turned 21. Comments on impact of his upbringing in the Jersey care system on his life, mentioning lack of confidence and self belief required to pursue his ambition to become a teacher and to fulfill his potential. Recalls having numerous jobs in Jersey after leaving care before moving to the United Kingdom in an effort to find permanent employment. Details involvement with the States of Jersey Police before investigation into Haut de la Garenne in 2008, referring to only having reported the incident with his special [carer]. Describes investigation as a waste of time, asserting that it was designed solely to secure convictions and not expose the reality of what happened within the Jersey care system. Refers to focus placed upon stories that could get convictions and lack of empathy in respect of matters important to alleged victims of abuse. Comments on imprisonment of Morag and Tony Jordan as a direct result of his evidence, describing the Jordans as a small part of his complaints about Haut de la Garenne. Acknowledges physical abuse suffered at hands of Jordans but notes that other staff members also behaved in a similar fashion. Describes Jordans as being targeted by the Police because other children had corroborative allegations against them and hence a conviction could be secured. Expresses amazement that Jordans were put on trial, noting that he never considered them as the main perpetrators of abuse at Haut de la Garenne. Expresses outrage that the same process was not carried out in relation to Lundy, refuting decision of Attorney General that there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction. Asserts belief that no action was taken because Lundy had become the Director of Children's Services, expressing disbelief that he obtained such a high position in Children's Services. Cites fear of public reprisal of his possible conviction and protection provided by his elevated position in Children's Services as reason that Lundy was not convicted. Comments on inconsistencies in how various staff members were treated in the Police investigation. Cites lack of success of previous invesigations as reason for believing that the Inquiry would have limited success. Comments on six month imprisonment of the Jordans, noting how it do not make him feel any better and that he would have preferred an apology. Comments on emotional impact of the Police investigation. Describes Jersey as a corrupt island, describing it as being run by an old boys' network. Comments on the lambastation of Lenny Harper for his handling of the initial Police investigation. Describes a culture of concealment in Jersey, referring to a conversation on the radio between Stuart Syvret and Frank Walker whereby Walker criticised Syvret for his criticisms of the care system for its impact on tourism in Jersey. Describes treatment of Syvret as disgraceful, asserting belief that Syvret was forced out of office because he found evidence of corruption and was trying to expose the truth. Also includes comments about the Jersey Evening Post, commenting on the newspaper's links to the States of Jersey, failure to bring the States to account and its monopoly as the only newspaper in the island. Includes comments about the Honorary Police, describing the system as another example of the old boys' network operating in Jersey. Comments on influence and power of the Centenier and failings of the system that allow for corruption to exist. Comments on impact of his upbringing within the care system on life since leaving care, describing his experiences as having limited his chances in life in respect of education, employment, and relatiosnhips with women, his own children and his friends due to difficulty in showing emotion and affection. Refers to temperament, describing himself as having a quick temper and the impact this has on his wife. Describes seeing a counsellor for a couple of months prior to giving the statement, noting that he had never seen a counsellor or offered therapy before this. Apportions blame for his problems on the 20 years spent in the Jersey care system. Reflects on his time in care, asserting how although the care system failed him, his time at Haut de la Garenne could have been worse in respect of sexual and physical abuse, referring to former residents who committed suicide as a result of their experiences and annoyance towards those he came foward about one or two incidents that happened to them whilst in residence for a short period. Describes experience as unique in respect of this length of time in care, sustained pressure and bullying throughout, and lack of care shown by his mother, Children's Services, and staff at Haut de la Garenne and at school. Refers to recent attempts to reunite with his mother, noting that relationship remain untenable. Expresses lack of interest in the current state of Jersey's care system or the future of it, noting how improvements in the system cannot change what happened to him. Outlines desired outcomes of the Inquiry, primarily a recognition of fault by individuals including Mario Lundy. Notes that an official apology would not suffice unless it come from was someone involved or in charge at the time that he was in care, noting that perpretators of abuse are either dead, protected by the system or will not admit their actions. Agrees with focus placed by the States on providing children with foster or adoption homes and providing support in the home, noting need to more rigour on childcare reform to prevent history repeating itself. Acknowledges improvement in the child care system since the 1960s and 1970s but how this does not help those who went through the system during this period.
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