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Digital copy of Witness 99’s witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences in care, primarily with reference to his time at Haut de la Garenne. [Some details redacted].
January 16th 2015 - January 16th 2015
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Born in Jersey in 1968. Wishes to provide evidence to the Inquiry relating to his 14 years in the care of the States of Jersey at Haut de la Garenne and in foster care. Institutions Provides details pertaining to his and his sisters’ admission to Haut de la Garenne on 11 November 1970, referring to his social services [Children’s Services] records, attached as Exhibit 1 [see C/D/AW1/A3/6/2/WD002963/1] and a report from Child Care Officer Richard Davenport, attached as Exhibit 2 [see C/D/AW1/A3/6/2/WD002963/2]. Refers to unsuitable conditions in the family home in which to raise children. Explains how staff and residents at Haut de la Garenne would be divided between Aviemore, Baintree, Claymore and Dunluce Groups. Details his placement in Aviemore Group, located in a building separate to the main Haut de la Garenne building. Refers to occasionally camping holidays to sites within Jersey, or to Guernsey or the New Forest. Recalls three different bedroom whilst at Haut de la Garenne between the ages of around 2 and 13 or 14. Recalls sharing a room twice with a slightly older boy who shared his interest in football, but otherwise having a room to himself. Recalls finding a ceremonial knife under his mattress when stripping his bed one Tuesday, and handing the knife to staff. Describes the Haut de la Garenne grounds, mentioning the Steam Roller. Notes his uncertainty as to whether he recalls the bath referred to in media reports or not. Criticises the running of Haut de la Garenne. Refers to children seeking guidance or arbitration from other older children rather than staff. Describes mealtimes at Haut de la Garenne, and corporal punishment with the cane if residents did not eat the meals provided to them. Describes bedtimes at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning the intercom system through which staff could listen to the children in the dormitories. Notes his difficulty sleeping, and the location of one of his bedrooms with respect to the detention rooms. Describes hearing children being taken to the detention rooms at night, recalling specific instances regarding two female residents, and member of staff Morag Jordan. Describes the detention rooms as similar to prison cells, noting the potty, bed attached to the floor and wall, and unbreakable windows. Recalls the mother of three residents arriving at Haut de la Garenne whilst intoxicated at night, demanding to visit her children. Comments on occasion where the mother was placed in the detention rooms until the Police could escort her home. Liked the mother as she seemed to genuinely care about her children, in contrast to Witness 99’s own mother, who would not visit Haut de la Garenne herself, but order a taxi for her children to visit her. Details visits from adults, mentioning those met on camping holidays, and celebrities including Jimmy Savile. Recalls taking part in a half marathon even with Jimmy Savile. Expresses surprise at the ability for people to visit Haut de la Garenne, and for residents to wander off site without supervision at weekends. Comments on occasions where residents would visit the homes of strangers, mentioning a woman in St Clement who bought him a golf club. Refers to the night nurse who would supervise residents during the night. Details her response when he confided to her that he had soiled himself after a nightmare. Refers to Witness 99’s three sisters leaving Haut de la Garenne, and being told he would also be able to leave if his behaviour was good. Recalls that he was instead fostered out. Details period during which he was fostered out to a family, mentioning work he had to undertake at the family’s property, eventually resulting in his transfer from Le Rocquier School to St Helier Boys’ School. Mentions French workers also employed by the family. Recalls being prevented from spending time with his mother, and being forced to call another woman ‘mum’. Left foster placement at the age of 15 0r 16, moving to a boys’ hostel until moving in with a friend. Refers to the States of Jersey closing his file, discharging him from care, and not contacting him again. Social Services Provides recollections of Child Care Officer Richard Davenport. Mentions that he usually met Richard Davenport when Witness 99 had run away from his foster placement or Haut de la Garenne. Refers to lack of sustained interaction with Richard Davenport during his time in care, mentioning his perception that Richard Davenport would not listen to complaints made to him. Provides document, attached as Exhibit 5, from Richard Davenport to Jim Thomson dismissing Witness 99’s mother’s concerns for Witness 99 [see C/D/AW1/A3/6/2/WD002963/5]. Abuse and consequences Refers to witness statements provided to States of Jersey Police during Operation Rectangle detailing abuse whilst under the care of the States of Jersey, attached as Exhibit 4 [see C/D/AW1/A3/6/2/WD002963/4]. Refers to emotional abuse by staff, citing his transfer from Grouville School, the inability for him and his sisters to visit home together, and his placement in the detention cells on some weekends which prevented him visiting home. Describes corporal punishment at Haut de la Garenne, commenting on the different techniques employed by members of staff, such as [Superintendent] Mr [Jim] Thomson, with the cane. Explains the difference between instances of caning at school and caning at Haut de la Garenne. Recalls being caned following misbehaviour after the death of his great grandfather. Refers to memoranda attached as Exhibit 3 [see C/D/AW1/A3/6/2/WD002963/3] detailing instances during a four month period in which he was caned. Details physical abuse by a male member of staff, first occurring when Witness 99 returned home after a day at Grouville School during which he had misbehaved. Details physical abuse by a pregnant member of staff following misbehaviour whilst the member of staff was brushing one of Witness 99’s sister’s hair. Details physical abuse by staff during camping trip, mentioning other residents scrumping apples and Witness 99 ripping a tent with a knife. Recalls physical abuse during another camping trip where Witness 99 was lowered into a cess pit as a punishment. Refers to discussion between some former residents at staff at a pizza restaurant in Jersey around the beginning of [Operation Rectangle] regarding their memories of the incident. Recalls being stripped and forcibly washed in the Aviemore boot room by two male members of staff. Refers to instance of physical abuse [at his foster placement], after which he ran to his mother’s house. Comments on his return to the foster placement, mentioning Richard Davenport not taking his or his mother’s complaint of abuse seriously. Events after leaving Care Details long term effects of his experiences in care, mentioning difficulty sleeping and his temper. Expresses frustration at the fact his account of his experiences was not believed, and frustration that more members of Haut de la Garenne staff were not prosecuted. Refers to intention to provide evidence in support in order to support his own allegations but allegations made by others. Comments on his pleasure that Morag and Tony Jordan were convicted, and his wish to have given evidence against three other members of staff. Expresses frustration regarding his visit to psychiatrist Professor Maden as part of the [Historic Abuse] Redress Scheme, and his feeling that Professor [Anthony] Maden did not appear to engage with Witness 99’s account. Refers to the culture in Haut de la Garenne where children would support other children, rather than seek support from staff, due to the lack of affection, protection and guidance offered by staff. Comments on the fact children would not confide in each other about abuse, and felt they could not complain about the abuse to an authority figure as they would not be believed. Comments that Children’s Officers [and Child Care Officers] did not take complaints seriously. Believes that complaints made by children would be investigated, and that children should be closely monitored whilst in care by independent parties. Expresses concern for those who were previously resident in care, and advocates for the provision of appropriate support for them. Suggests that more support should be provided to parents in the care of their children to prevent children being admitted to care to begin with, referring to rent money owed by his father to the States of Jersey. Suggests that appropriate safeguarding measures should be put in place before a person is allowed to visit a children’s home. Also refers to those wishing to become child care workers needing to obtain the relevant qualifications.
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