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Digital copy of Witness 153's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of her experiences during her childhood and in the care of States of Jersey at Haut de la Garenne, Sacré Coeur and Les Chênes. Undated, c. 2014. [Some details redacted].
2014 - 2014
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life States that she was born in 1972, noting that she moved to live in Jersey as her mother's family was from the island. Describes childhood as difficult, referring to mother's depression, alcoholism and inability to care for Witness 153. Includes remarks about her mother's husbands, referring to her second stepfather being physically violent towards her mother. Refers to the States of Jersey Police being called to her house by neighbours on numerous occasions because of domestic violence, describing the severity of the violence with reference to particular incidents. Refers to stepfather's alcoholism and drug addiction, describing emotional abuse by him. Notes that neither her mother or stepfather were ever physically violent towards her. States that when she was 8 her mother suffered a breakdown, noting that she was taken in and cared for by [relatives]. Describes instability of mother's accommodation and marital situation, referring to placement in hostels, bedsits, move away form Jersey and return to the island. Describes home environment and living situation upon return to Jersey, commenting on lack of regard for a child in need. Refers to mother being sentenced to a 14-day custodial sentence following refusal to pay a restaurant bill. States that was placed into the care of foster carers whilst her mother was in prison, noting that she was returned to her mother upon the end of the sentence. Recalls moving to a council house with her mother when she was aged 10. Children's Services Notes that despite a number of police visits to the family home during her childhood in respect of domestic violence by her stepfather towards her mother, she was never referred to Children's Services or removed from the family home. Describes the response of the police to incidents of domestic violence, commenting on their refusal to become involved in domestic violence situations and failure to intervene from a child protection perspective. Includes comments about her health and weight, commenting on her school's awareness of her mother by her stepfather and failure to intervene to protect her from an abusive and unstable home environment. Also refers to the family doctor as having knowledge of the domestic violence and lack of action taken. Highlights failure of state-run institutions to intervene despite awareness of situation. Criticises lack of follow-up or investigation following her disclosure to Danny Wherry that she had been sexually abused. Comments on lack of procedure or protection mechanism for children within Children's Services. Expresses anger that there were numerous opportunities to stop the abuse, highlighting warning signs and indicators of abuse and lack of intervention by the authorities. Institutions Includes references to her time in care at Haut de la Garenne, Sacré Coeur, Le Rocquier School and Les Chênes. Recalls being placed at Haut de la Garenne for short periods on numerous occasions when her mother missed her curfew whilst drunk. Recalls being driven to Haut de la Garenne by a social worker late at night and being returned immediately to her mother's care when her mother returned home. Recalls little of her time at Haut de la Garenne, stating to recognise other residents and remarks about their appearances and personalities. Describes attending a holiday and after-school facility at Sacré Coeur with other children from various schools between the ages of 7 and 10. Includes comments about the ambiance and atmosphere at Sacré Coeur. Asserts that although she was not mistreated nor witnessed any children being mistreated, there was a culture of neglect at Sacré Coeur. Refers to placement at Les Chênes in approximately 1984. Outlines the circumstances of her arrival, referring to a period of severe bullying at Le Rocquier School following disclosure of abuse to a schoolfriend and request by her mother for her to be transferred to another school. Includes comments about the response of staff to refuse request of transfer and subsequent decision to attempt to leave Jersey by boat. Notes that she was caught by police at the port and arrested before being charged with fraud and sentenced to 3 years at Les Chênes. Includes comments about the regime at Les Chênes, commenting on its reputation and mental health of residents. Recalls being locked into a room upon arrival. Recalls sleeping arrangements at Les Chênes, including a description of bedrooms and other rooms in the main building. Includes an estimate of the number of other children in residence and recollections of staff including Mario Lundy. Includes comments about the daily routine at Les Chênes, describing the educational and vocational provision and comments about the points system in operation. Includes comments about her education, referring to plans for her to go to university and brief return to Le Rocquier School to complere her GCSEs. Describes an incident where she suffered a severe injury during a surfing lesson whilst at Les Chênes. Notes that only one member of staff was left in charge during the incident due to another member of staff being drunk, and includescomments about the response of the staff member in charge to the incident. Describes injuries sustained, referring to recurring nose bleeds for some time after which were recorded in the log book. Describes unsuccessful attempts to request copies of the log books, referring to contact with Jane Martin of Lacey Advocates. Expresses opinion that the log books have been destroyed to conceal incidents that happened at Les Chênes. Includes comments about her mental health whilst at Les Chênes, referring to regular contact with her mother and concerns expressed by her. Recalls referral to Jim Hollywood and remarks about his response. Refers to help provided by Patrick Lucas, a private psychologist. Abuse and Consequences Describes being sexually abused by a male between the ages of 4 and 13. States that the male starting raping her when she was aged 9. Asserts that the States of Jersey Police were informed of this sexual abuse on three separate occasions after disclosing the abuse to her mother and stepfather. Includes comments about the response of her mother and stepfather to the abuse and subsequent impact on her relationship with them. States to have no recollection of meeting the police on the first two occasions on which the police were informed of the sexual abuse. States that when she was aged 12, her mother contacted the police to report the abuse, recalling that Danny Wherry came to speak to her in his capacity as a social worker or as a police officer. Criticises Danny Wherry's handling of the situation, noting subsequent lack of investigation and impact of this experience on her. Refers to discussion of these referrals in her redress scheme application [Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A3/22/WD008660/1]. States that sexual abuse stopped when she was aged 13, referring to discovery of video footage of the abuse. Asserts that she did not witness any sexual abuse at Les Chênes but describes behaviour of one male member of staff towards young girls as inappropriate. Describes witnessing one incident where Mario Lundy physically abused a male resident who was aged 15 before throwing him into a cell. Also describes multiple incidents of emotional and physical abuse by a female member of staff towards residents including Witness 153. Describes emotional abuse sustained at Les Chênes as having had the biggest impact on her life, referring to attitude of staff. Recalls numerous suicide attempts whilst at Les Chênes, commenting on response of staff including Mario Lundy, hospital staff and police. Describes acts of self-harm, referring to incident when she had a breakdown when she at Les Chênes aged 15. Events since leaving Care Refers to providing a statement to the States of Jersey Police during their investigation into child abuse in Jersey, referring to Emma Coxshall [Exhibit 2: C/D/AW1/A3/22/WD008660/2]. Includes comments about the statement, noting that she was schooled at Le Rocquier [School], not Highlands. States that she left Les Chênes aged 16 and went to stay with her grandmother due to mother's inability to cope or accommodate her following birth of [her brother]. Recalls that there was no follow-up care following her release from Les Chênes other than weekly meetings with a probation officer, Brian Heath. Includes comments about the utility of these meetings and remarks about the probation process. States that she received no other support or contact with Children's Services. Refers to marrying young and having her first child aged 20. Describes feeling no choice other than to leave Jersey, noting her departure aged 22. Refers to subsequent returns to the island and decision to leave Jersey for good. Also includes comments about her brother's time in care from 2002. Recalls her brother visiting her in 2003 regarding help with a bail address, noting that he lived with her for a short period after being contacted by Children's Services before he was taken to Les Chênes. Includes comments about her brother's treatment at Les Chênes, referring to his placement in a secure cell at Les Chênes for an extended period. Refers to correspondence with Children's Services in 2005 asking for help and raising concerns about her brother's behaviour [Exhibit 3: C/D/AW1/A3/22/WD008660/3] and comments about their response. Comments on lack of support or care provided to her brother, referring to his drug and alcohol problem and involvement in crime. Refers to loss of contact with her family as an adult, noting that she has since regained contact with her mother. Includes comments about the lack of appropriate support provided to her mother by the police and Children's Service, commenting on lack of intervention. Describes impact of her experiences of her life. Refers to graduation with a first class degree and PhD in spite of the treatment endured at the hands of the States of Jersey as a child living in an abusive family environment and as a child in care. Reflects on treatment during her childhood, referring to lack of qualifications during school, burden of criminal conviction and reputation of being a child in care. Includes comments about corruption in Jersey, referring to about her brother's treatment by police following an incident where he was involved in a car accident, a conversation with a qualified nurse who was forced to leave Jersey after she spoke out about abuse disclosed to her by a patient, and the absence of the log books from Les Chênes. Outlines concerns regarding the Inquiry, referring to mentality in Jersey discouraging disclosure, failure to process her redress scheme application and failure of the States of Jersey to take into account emotional abuse suffered by children under their care.
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