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Digital copy of Witness 161's witness statement to the States of Jersey Police providing an account of his experiences in care at Sacré Coeur Orphanage and Haut de la Garenne [Jersey Home for Boys]. Signature witnessed by G E Baxter. [Some details redacted].
November 4th 2009 - November 4th 2009
|Scope and Content|
Background and Early Life States that he was born in Jersey in 1936. Refers to having a number of brothers and sisters, some of whom are deceased. States that his family moved to England during the Second World War and refers to the death of his parents. Recalls that he and his siblings returned to Jersey and were placed into Sacré Coeur. Sacré Coeur Recalls that he and his siblings returned to Jersey and were placed into Sacré Coeur. Recalls that Sacré Coeur was run by an order of Catholic nuns, stating that although his father was Catholic he and his siblings were baptised in the Church of England. States that his first memories of being mistreated as a child date from time at Sacré Coeur, recalling being physically abused by nuns, referring to use of a cane and a handheld bell. Refers to people involved at Sacré Coeur, including recollections of a priest and nuns. States that the nuns mistreated his brother the most, recalling incidences of him being locked in a cellar for wetting the bed. Haut de la Garenne [Jersey Home for Boys] Recalls frequently running away from Sacré Coeur, citing mistreatment and subsequent placement of him and his brothers at Haut de la Garenne. States that he lived at Haut de la Garenne from 1946 to 1951 along with more than 100 other children. Describes long term suffering caused by the physical, mental and emotional distress caused by mistreatment by staff at Haut de la Garenne. States that the single good experience at Haut de la Garenne was being permitted one day home leave a month, recalling incidences of his brother not being allowed to visit home. States that his main memory of life at Haut de la Garenne is of fear, referring to fear put into children by the masters of the Home. Describes physical abuse by masters and fear of reprisals such as cancellation of home visits. Describes long-term impact of fear created during his time at Haut de la Garenne. Refers to discussion with a friend regarding plans by an author to publish a book about the positive impact of Haut de la Garenne on the island and its children. States that he subsequently wrote to the Jersey Evening Post stating that he would publish an autobiography about emotional and physical abuse at the home. Details subsequent contact from a reporter, referring to the reporter's investigation into numerous children in Jersey who were sent off-island for adoption. Describes mental and physical abuse as commonplace and part of daily life at Haut de la Garenne. Describes specific incidents of physical abuse, referring to punishments dealt for a variety of reasons. States that older boys were assigned manual work, recalling that his job was to peel potatoes in return for a sixpence a week. Includes recollections of two of the masters at Haut de la Garenne, [George] Mallinson and [Alec] Masterman. States that the masters oversaw the daily running at the Home, were subordinate to the Headmaster, administered punishments and provided the care of the children. States that residents were underfed, referring to an incident in 1949 or 1950 where a boy resorted to stealing food. States that the boy was subsequently subject to emotional and physical abuse by Mallinson and Masterman. Includes recollections of other children in residence, referring to an incident where a female member of staff physically abused one boy with a boil in front of the other residents. States that the boy later had the boil lanced by Dr Darling. Recalls one incident where a boy wrote to his mother complaining that he was hungry, stating that the boy was physically and emotionally abused by Mallinson upon hearing about the complaint. Describes physical abuse by Masterman as a frequent punishment for talking at the table. Also recalls a culture of bullying at the Home, stating that older children would be assigned to be in charge of younger children, stating that physical and emotional abuse by older boys against younger children was regular, recalling particular incidents. Recalls an incident where he was physically abused by Masterman and Mallinson as punishment for talking in bed. Recalls that he had his mouth held open by Mallinson and scrubbed with soap by Masterman until he bled, describing injuries sustained. Recalls that Mallinson would take groups of boys swimming at the beach, commenting on lack of supervision. Recalls periodic visits to Haut de la Garenne by a group of people called the Tockage, recalling being shown films during these visits. Comments on changes in the personas of the masters during these visits, describing this a pretence. Describes looking out for his brother whilst at Haut de la Garenne. Recalls an incident where Mallinson hit his brother over the head with a set of keys and he responded by throwing a cup at Mallinson. States that Mallinson subsequently subjected him to a torrent of physical abuse meted out with a walking stick, describing injuries sustained. States that the States of Jersey are responsible for the mental and physical abuse of children in the children's homes, remarking on a lack of monitoring of the homes. States that bedwetting attracted more punishment and public ridicule at Haut de la Garenne than any other event. Describes emotional and physical abuse that he was subjected to by Masterman and Mallinson for bedwetting. Describes action taken to attempt to prevent himself from wetting the bed and injuries sustained as a result. Events after leaving Haut de la Garenne [Jersey Home for Boys] States that he left Haut de la Garenne aged 15 to live with his brother and his brother's wife. States that he wet the bed on a couple of occasions during his time there and was subsequently told to leave by his brother's wife as a result. Recalls being found by his cousin who took him into his home, spending 3 or 4 months sleeping on the floor before being told to leave. Describes participation in activities which involved travel overseas. States that he met his wife when he was aged 24, noting that after he disclosed to her about his experiences of his time at Haut de la Garenne he never wet the bed again. Comments on lasting impact of his experiences in Jersey.
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