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Digital copy of Witness 64's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of her experiences of the child care and justice systems in Jersey. [Some details redacted].
February 27th 2015 - February 27th 2015
|Scope and Content|
Born in Jersey in 1959. Refers to mother’s first marriage prior to marriage to her father, recalling limited contact with her half-siblings who lived at Haut de la Garenne. Includes comments about the identity of her biological father, referring to a report from the Fostering and Adoption Service [Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A3/13/WD005188/1]. Describes family as dysfunctional, stating that her mother were violent and abusive. Recalls emotional and physical abuse by her mother. Asserts that her mother was unable to cope with raising children, recalling that she had a number of pregnancies which she terminated herself. Includes comments about one of the terminations. Includes comments about her father’s job, referring to his association with powerful people in Jersey, mentioning the doctor’s surgery, Social Services and the Bailiff. Refers to father’s interest in antiques and remarks about him as a person and a father. Describes incident in a garage involving one of her father’s clients. Describes being frequently physically and emotionally abused by her father during childhood, stating that he started sexually abusing her from the age of 4. Comments on failure by Dr Fullerton, the family doctor, to identify signs of abuse. Includes comments about her half-siblings, recalling visiting them at Haut de la Garenne with her mother and father and visits by them to the family home. Describes her childhood impression of children at Haut de la Garenne. Recalls that her mother witnessed her father sexually abusing [her half-sister] during a home visit when [her half-sister] was 12 or 13, noting that the police were called and her father arrested. Notes that the trial was held in a closed court, referring to involvement of a Centenier known to her father. States that her father was found guilty but only spent a number of weeks in prison before being released and returning to the family home. Notes that [her half-sister] was sent to a care home in the United Kingdom but her other half-siblings continued to be allowed to visit home despite father’s conviction. Refers to allocation of Margaret Thornton [Patricia Thornton] to the family, recalling visits to see Mrs Thornton in her office in St Helier near Snow Hill. States that Mrs Thornton was responsible for her half-siblings at Haut de la Garenne, recalling no contact with Mrs Thornton or Social Services after her father’s conviction for abuse. Notes limited contact with Social Services since birth of [her child] and attempts to review records held in relation to her, noting lack of reference to visits to Mrs Thornton. Describes being sexually abused by her father after [her half- sister] was sent to the United Kingdom, describing abuse as frequent. Notes that abuse escalated when she was 15, stating that she was raped frequently by her father and became pregnant. Recalls going to school every day during her pregnancy, commenting on the response of her mother to the pregnancy, lack of support at school and active attempt to conceal the pregnancy by the school, and response of her father. Refers to three statements provided to the States of Jersey Police in relation to the abuse by her father [Exhibit 2: C/D/AW1/A3/13/WD005188/2; Exhibit 3: C/D/AW1/A3/13/WD005188/3; and Exhibit 4: C/D/AW1/A3/13/WD005188/4]. Refers to birth of [her child] who was subsequently removed from her and placed into foster care. Notes that a DNA test arranged by the States of Jersey Police showed that her father was not the father of [her child], criticising the manner in which this news was revealed to her by police. Expresses doubt regarding the accuracy of the test results. States that shortly after [her child] was fostered, the foster mother killed herself and so [her child] was placed with new foster parents. Refers to the involvement of Mrs Hunt from Social Services in the fostering process. Describes returning to school after birth of [her child], recalling that she had a breakdown and was subsequently taken to England with her mother to spend time with her aunt. Describes mother’s response to her father’s affair upon their return to Jersey and reference to her father moving out. States that she ran the family home whilst her mother worked before eventually moving out to live in a bedsit after finding employment. Describes meeting her husband when she was 16, referring to marriage and children together. Refers to regaining contact with her [half-sister], brother and father, stating that she divorced her husband after 11 years and starting a friend of her father. States that this man physically assaulted her and attempted to kill her. States that she made a complaint to the States of Jersey Police and comments on reasons for him not being prosecuted. Recalls losing a vast sum of money in the business that she bought from her father, subsequently moving to the United Kingdom in 1989 to start a new life. Refers to being contacted by Alex Le Chevalier from the States of Jersey Police regarding an investigation into allegations against her father following a complaint of sexual abuse against him made by another individual. Refers to father’s arrest and release on bail stating that she was offered money by Duncan Prince on behalf of her father in exchange for not going to court to testify against, an offer she refused. Alleges corruption within the States of Jersey Police. Refers to father’s trial in 2014, stating that she gave evidence via video link. Comments on evidence collated by the police and remarks about her experience of being cross-examined. Notes that the support worker assigned to her during the trial was the foster mother of [a female relative] and that she was aware that the foster mother had abused [her relative]. Describes correspondence with Victim Support regarding the inappropriate choice of social worker, referring to a letter to Barbara Machon [Exhibit 5: C/D/AW1/A3/13/WD005188/5] and subsequent response received [Exhibit 6: C/D/AW1/A3/13/WD005188/6]. Outlines issues with the trial process, referring to the conflict of interest of a court usher and decision not to call [the foster daughter] as a witness due to conflict of interest in respect of Stephen Baker, Advocate for the prosecution. Notes that her father was found guilty of some of the charges against him but was found not guilty of abusing her. Describes grievances regarding Stephen Baker’s response. Refers to her father’s conviction of sexual offences and rape and sentencing to prison, describing sentence as leniant. Comments on how the trial was conducted and publicity surrounding the trial. Recalls learning that her father was standing for a re-trial or an appeal, expressing anger at the prospect and not being informed immediately. Notes that he lost his re-trial/appeal in 2014. States to have no faith in the justice system in Jersey. Includes comments about her experiences with the police in the United Kingdom in 2003/2004, referring to an investigation into concerns that her children had been abused by her ex-partner. Criticises the officer who took a statement from her for asking inappropriate questions, stating that he proceeded to sexually assault her during the course of the investigation. Describes reporting the incident and decision to sue the police. Notes that she represented herself in the case for financial reasons and won the case in the High Court, but did not receive the money awarded to her in damages due to being on benefits. Includes reflections of her experiences of the child care system in Jersey. Criticises decisions and lack of intervention by Social Services in respect of her father. Includes remarks about her mother, father, [child] and half-siblings, referring to disclosure by half-siblings that they had been abused at Haut de la Garenne and Elizabeth House. Describes personal impact of experiences in respect of mental health and employment. Compares excellent witness and victim support in the United Kingdom in contrast to her experiences of similar services in Jersey, outlining intention to start a charity to support victims of trauma. Includes comments about the Inquiry, referring to an example of a young person failed by the States of Jersey Police. Addresses independent nature of the Inquiry and remarks about prevalence of child abuse and corruption in Jersey. Expresses concerns about providing evidence publicly whilst noting determination to get justice. Describes herself and her family as having been failed by the police, Social Services and teachers, outlining need to protect young people in future.
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