Comments

Digital copy of Witness 118's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of her experiences in care at Sacre Coeur Orphanage and Brig-Y-Don Children’s Home, as well as her experiences related to Leonard Miles Vandenborn’s conviction for sexual offences. [Some details redacted].

View WS000540.pdf | Download WS000540.pdf

Reference

C/D/AW1/B1/12/WS000540

Date

January 26th 2015 - January 26th 2015

Scope and Content

Background and Home Life Refers to birth in Jersey dated 1953. Refers to father’s death and mother’s mental health. Notes religion of Catholicism. Recalls leaving Jersey when her sibling was eight years old. Refers to a lack of money within the family household, mentioning shop bought cakes bought for Children’s Services employees. Refers to move to live with a friend of her mother’s at the age of nine, completing her education and university degree in the United Kingdom before returning to Jersey at the age of 21. Institutions Recalls admission to Sacre Coeur at the age of three or four years old for around a week due to her mother’s health difficulties. Recalls being separated from her younger sibling whilst at Sacre Coeur. Provides memories of Sacre Coeur, recalling her first night there, the morning routine, and older children. States that her sibling does not recall their placement at Sacre Coeur. Refutes allegations of abuse at Sacre Coeur, commenting instead on the strict behaviour of the nuns. Refers to short placement at Brig-Y-Don at the age of seven or eight for two weeks, again mentioning suspicions of her mother’s ill health. Recalls mother contacting Witness 118 via the telephone at Brig-Y-Don, and Witness 118’s fear of the telephone. Provides positive recollections of staff at Brig-Y-Don. Compares the distribution of cod liver oil between Sacre Coeur and Brig-Y-Don. Recalls education at a convent school, and St Saviour’s School. Mentions mother’s involvement in preventing Witness 118 being educated at Grouville School, mentioning the Head of Education. Discusses Haut de la Garenne, noting that she was not a resident. Refers to Haut de la Garenne under its previous guise of Jersey Home for Boys. Recalls witnessing interactions between Haut de la Garenne staff and residents. States that she often avoided Haut de la Garenne residents on the school bus due to their behaviour. Recalls that some Haut de la Garenne residents attended St Martin’s School. Describes the atmosphere at Haut de la Garenne, and stories passed between friends of strangers visiting Haut de la Garenne at night. Recalls meeting the wife of a prisoner at HM Prison La Moye convicted of sexual offences. States that the prisoner was sexually abused whilst resident at Haut de la Garenne, noting injuries to the prisoner. Refers to the prisoner’s discovery of the remains of a baby whilst cleaning drains at Haut de la Garenne. Notes 118’s assumption that girls resident at Haut de la Garenne may have aborted pregnancies. Notes another individual informing Witness 188 of boys screaming whilst being dragged through corridors at Haut de la Garenne. Refers to a policeman married to a friend of Witness 118 who informed Witness 188 of police cars visiting Haut de la Garenne. Notes suspicion that [States of Jersey] Police may have been involved in organised sexual abuse. Discusses experiences of pupils at Grouville School during the 1990s. Social Services Recalls mother’s fostering of children, and visits by Children’s Services to the family home. States that her mother did not abuse the children she fostered. Details current involvement with Children’s Services, referring to counselling and educational meetings three mornings a week until Christmas 2014 and disputing the relevance of the sessions to Witness 118’s situation. Refers to Children’s Services’ request to alert them if Witness 118 intended to leave the island, and subsequent discussion between Children’s Services and Witness 118 regarding the request. Abuse and Consequences Recalls physical abuse by her mother, mentioning care taken to disguise bruises whilst showering with other pupils at school. Discusses physical abuse as a form of punishment as employed by a teacher at Grouville School during the 1990s. Notes complaints from parents regarding abuse and a log of abuse kept by another teacher who subsequently left Grouville School. Reported abuse to the Head of Education, naming Mr Turner. [Note, Director of Education at this time was Brian Grady]. Notes Mr Turner’s suggestion the complaints not be investigated due to the teacher’s upcoming retirement. States that Witness 118 did not consider contacting the Police about the abuse. Provides a description of the teacher concerned. Refers to suspicions individuals were abused at Haut de la Garenne. Events since leaving Care Provides details of relationship to Leonard Miles Vandenborn, noting his conviction for sexual offences dated 2010. Refers to Leonard Vandenborn’s first marriage, noting first wife’s inability to look after their children, possibly due to mental health difficulties. Refers to Children’s Services admitting Leonard Vandenborn’s children into Care rather than allowing the children to stay with their father. Notes Children’s Services reports supporting Leonard Vandenborn’s care of his children. Informed States of Jersey Police during statement that Witness 118 had met Leonard Vandenborn whilst babysitting his children from the age of 24 onwards. Refers to trail of Leonard Vandenborn on charges of sexual abuse relating to incidents involving under age children during the 1980s. Notes that allegations against Leonard Vandenborn were as a result of Operation Rectangle, due to the individuals contacted by States of Jersey Police and interviewed. Notes original allegations made against Leonard Vandenborn during the 1980s, and subsequent Police investigation regarding historic allegations dating from 2009 onwards. Refers to circumstances surrounding Leonard Vandenborn being charged with sexual offences, and subsequently being granted bail. Notes bail conditions resulting in a child having to temporarily leave the family home. Comments on the intervention of Police during a trip to the cinema whilst Leonard Vandenborn was on bail, and complaints made when Leonard Vandenborn visited Witness 118 in hospital. Comments on media attention surrounding Leonard Vandenborn’s case. Provides details regarding the trial of Leonard Vandenborn, noting evidence put forward and evidence not used. Refers to an individual being suggested to have perverted the course of justice. Refers to Leonard Vandenborn’s conviction by Jury and remand to HM Prison La Moye, and later sentence of 12 years in jail. Refers to charges put forward by the States of Jersey regarding obscene images of children accessed by Leonard Vandenborn on the Internet, noting that the charges were later dropped. Notes Leonard Vandenborn’s unsuccessful appeal of his conviction, and an order that Leonard Vandenborn pay costs of £180,000, and a Judge’s suggestion that a property be sold in order to pay the Costs Order. Refers to complaint to the Attorney General regarding the costs, and comments on a letter from the Attorney General suggesting that Witness 118 should raise her concerns through lawyers. Refers to costs ordered to be paid of £125,000, as well as £250,000 to be paid to the Defence lawyer. States belief that individuals were pressurised by States of Jersey Police to provide evidence. Refers to accusations made about 150 individuals as a result of Operation Rectangle, and a resulting 7 convictions. Suggests likelihood of a cover up, and the need for States of Jersey Police to prosecute individuals in order to justify their investigation. Comments on Leonard Vandenborn’s position as a well-respected accountant as motivation for his use as a scapegoat for abuse committed by others despite Leonard Vandenborn not having been employed at Haut de la Garenne. States that States of Jersey Police concentrated on the wrong individuals whilst perusing Operation Rectangle, listing others convicted for abuse such as [Claude James] Jim Donnelly, a children’s home resident, and a Scottish couple. Refers to the States of Jersey’s decision not to pursue allegations regarding abuse of children by Senator [Wilfred] Krichefksi during the 1970s. Comments on consequences of Leonard Vandenborn’s trial prosecution, noting media coverage by Channel News [Channel Television] appearing to suggest Leonard Vandenborn was connected with Haut de la Garenne. Provides copy of a 2010 Channel News [Channel Television] broadcast to the Inquiry [see Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A3/17/WD005246_1]. Notes a complaint dismissed by Ofcom regarding such media coverage. Refers to an attempt to obtain a copy of a 2014 Channel News [Channel Television] broadcast, and Channel News [Channel Television’s] statement that their policy is not to provide copies of broadcasts as broadcasts are available on the Internet. Notes that [Channel Television] have supplied a copy of a broadcast to the wife of [Claude James] Jim Donnelly. Comments on major problems within Jersey’s Child Care System in the past, citing separation of siblings and the mistreatment of children. Criticises Senator [Ian] Le Marquand’s belief that allegations made about care homes in Jersey contain false allegations within them. Refers to islanders wanting transparency and openness regarding allegations. States willingness to provide oral evidence to the Inquiry if required to do so.

Names

Attorney General
Brig-y-Don Children's Home
Children's Services
Channel Television
Grouville School
HM Prison, La Moye
Haut de la Garenne
Jersey Home for Boys
Operation Rectangle
Sacré Coeur Orphanage
St Martin's School
St Saviour's School
States of Jersey
States of Jersey Police
Donnelly, Claude James
Grady, Brian
Le Marquand, Ian, Senator
Marquand, J P
Turner, Mr
Vandenborn, Leonard Miles

Keywords

Grouville | Haut de la Garenne | St Saviour | United Kingdom | abuse | behaviour | cinemas | child abuse | childcare | Children | children's homes | children's services | cakes | convictions | catholicism | complaints | courts | court proceedings | directors of education | Education | evidence | fostering | IJCI | indecent acts | images | mental health | Media | mothers | Pregnancy | Prisoners | prisons | punishments | physical abuse | Police | punishments | retirements | siblings | staff | sexual abuse | sexual offences | statements | teachers | telephones | witness statements | witnesses

Dimensions

1 pdf file

Language

English

Level of description

file

Access Restriction

PDF file - please click on the link to download

Closed until

2100

Context:

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