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Digital copy of Witness 673's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences at Les Chênes. [Some details redacted].
February 26th 2015 - February 26th 2015
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Background and Home Life States that he was born in 1968. Refers to early life at home with his mother and grandmother in Jersey, describing his early childhood as happy. States that his grandmother kicked his mother out of the house when he was aged 6. Recalls that his was placed in Brig-y-Don for a short period due to mother being unable to accommodate due to the small size of her bedsit. Recalls being involved in minor trouble for shoplifting. Institutions Includes references to his time at Brig-y-Don, Haut de la Garenne and Les Chênes. Includes recollections of his time at Brig-y-Don, including positive comments about the staff and standard of care. Recalls regular contact with his mother during time at Brig-y-Don. Refers to placement at Haut de la Garenne for a period of three weeks when he was aged 11 after being arrested by police for stealing money. Recalls that his only memory of Haut de la Garenne is being made by night staff to walk around outside at night in his pyjamas with other children. Describes being sentenced to Les Chênes by the Juvenile Court in July 1980 as punishment for theft, recalling response of himself and his mother to his sentencing. Recalls being taken to Les Chênes in a police van and being met by Mario Lundy, the Deputy Principal, on arrival. Recalls being told that he would not be allowed home for the first 12 weeks, stating that he did not actually go home for six months until Christmas but was visited by his mother on Sundays. Recalls being sent to the secure unit where he slept for the first two weeks at Les Chênes, being allowed to leave the secure unit during the day. Describes a points system in operation at Les Chênes. Includes a description of how the points system worked, recalling that residents would have to earn points by completing activities in order to be permitted to go home at the weekend. Describing arbitrary nature of awarding points, asserting that staff deliberately prevented residents from getting points. Refers to a 600 Club for residents who got 600 points in a week. Recalls the daily routine at Les Chênes, referring to a daily assembly taken by Mario Lundy or another staff member. Recalls being placed in the secure unit once after initial placement on arrival due to having chickenpox. Recalls that some children were put in the secure unit as punishment or due to being a danger to themselves, but that he himself never was. Recalls strict clothing and uniform requirements and being taken to a video shop by staff to borrow videos on non-leave weekends. Includes recollections of staff at Les Chênes. Recalls that Mario Lundy built a gym at Les Chênes in which he would spend a lot of time. Refers to a female member of staff from who certain residents would receive special treatment, mentioning a rumour amongst residents that she was having an affair with another member of staff. Includes positive recollections of most staff, including a woman who would give him matchday programmes from football games with whom he is now close friends, and a man who would take him and other residents fishing in his boat. Also includes recollections of other children in residence at Les Chênes, recalling the approximate number of other children during his time there. Includes comments about children with whom he shared a room and describes disappearance of three children when he was aged 13 or 14. Recalls that intelligent children were afforded preferential treatment by staff. Includes positive memories of sport at Les Chênes, recalling football matches against the staff, badminton at Fort Regent and tennis and cricket in the grounds near Les Chênes. Abuse and Consequences Recalls physical abuse by a male member of staff who he describes as a thug, bully and pervert. Refers to the man's alcohol consumption and describes incident in the boys' showers aged 13 when was physically abused by the man whilst naked. Also recalls being physically abused by the man in the laundry room and the man force-feeding him dinner that he refused to eat. Recalls that food not eaten would be re-served at subsequent meals. Recalls that the man and Mario Lundy would regularly physically and emotionally abuse residents, recalling that certain residents would be singled out for abuse by them Describes incident where he was physically and emotionally abused by Mario Lundy in the day room, recalling that Lundy had just been in the gym. Includes description of Lundy's appearance and state upon leaving the gym. Recalls that Lundy would make belittling comments and constantly tell him that he would end up going to borstal. Also recalls being shouted by Lundy at whilst physically pushed against walls in Lundy's office. Recalls being caned by another member of staff as punishment for breaking into the tuck shop, recalling that lots of residents were caned. Describes being told by another resident that this staff member physically abused him by punching him in the stomach and then had to spend Christmas alone at Les Chênes. Children's Services States to have no recollection of having a childcare officer or meeting anyone from Children's Services, noting that the police took him to Les Chênes and his mother took him from Les Chênes. Outlines awareness of weekly reports written about children but states to have never seen them. Outlines reason for not telling anyone at Les Chênes about violence, citing fear of inciting more abuse and inability to trust anyone other than fellow residents. Outlines interest in obtaining documents relating to his childhood from the States of Jersey Police and Children's Services. Refers to recent conversation with Sue Doyle from Children's Services, expressing concern that he is being prevented from accessing his records by the States of Jersey. Refers to contact with a former resident at Les Chênes who had a copy of his social services records. Events since leaving Care Describes leaving Les Chênes in July 1984 after completing school exams. Describes acquiring a job before his exam results came out and subsequent enrolment on a course at Highlands College upon publication of results. Recalls moving back home with his family after leaving Les Chênes having spent four and a half years there. Outlines interest in obtaining documents relating to his sentence to Les Chênes from the Juvenile Court and the Royal Court, particular with respect to the length of time he was at Les Chênes. Describes contact with two police officers from Somerset who were investigating Les Chênes in 2008, commenting on a document stating that he had refused to give a statement and that he had stated there had been no assaults [Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A3/9/17/WD004978]. Statement finishes with reflections on his time at Les Chênes. Highlights positive impact of discipline taught at Les Chênes whilst expressing dismay at why those tasked with keeping children safe were allowed to bully and assault them. Describes impact of his time at Les Chênes on his childhood experiences of family life. Outlines reasons for wanting to speak to the Inquiry. Describes current circumstances and impact of Les Chênes on this. Refers to having seen Les Chênes staff including Mario Lundy around Jersey since leaving Les Chênes, describing these interactions and his attitude towards these people.
Brig-y-Don, Coast Road | Fort Regent | Haut de la Garenne | Highlands | Les Chênes, Five Oaks | Somerset | abuse | admissions | alcoholism | allegations | bullying | care orders | child abuse | Child Care Officers | childcare | Children | children's homes | children's services | complaints | Deputy Principals | detention cells | discipline | Education | emotional abuse | employment | evidence | Gyms | IJCI | inquiries | investigations | larceny | Merit Award System | mothers | physical abuse | pinballing | Police | punishments | residential schools | remand centres | sexual abuse | staff | statements | stealing | violence | witness statements | witnesses
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