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Digital copy of Witness 266's witness statement to the States of Jersey Police providing an account of his experiences in care at the Jersey Home for Boys/Haut de la Garenne. Signature witnessed by Detective Constable P Holmes. [Some details redacted].
February 5th 2009 - February 5th 2009
|Scope and Content|
• Background and Early Life States that he was born in Jersey in 1947. Includes comments about his siblings, father and mother, referring to the business left to his father after the war and his mother's occupation as a chambermaid at various hotels. Includes remarks about his childhood and feelings towards his father, referring to domestic violence and adultery. States that his father's behaviour was the direct cause of his mother's drinking problem. Refers to time at an infant and junior school, describing involvement in trouble from an early age, mentioning interactions with tourists. Cites his father leaving his mother as the reason for the deterioration of her drinking problem and worsening of his own behaviour. States that he was deemed to be out of control when he appeared in front of the Royal Court aged 10 whilst living with his mother, and was subsequently sent to Haut de la Garenne. Recalls his mother telling him that he would not have been sent to Haut de la Garenne if she had agreed to sleep with Centenier of the parish who sent him to the Royal Court. • Jersey Home for Boys/Haut de la Garenne Refers to his father's remarriage to a woman from a wealthy family whilst he was in care at Haut de la Garenne. States that he had no contact with his father and remained at Haut de la Garenne for 5 years, referring to limited contact with his family when visited by his mother once a month. Recalls being asisgned a number on his first day at Haut de la Garenne. Describes the clothing provided to him, noting that the clothing had his number stiched in. Compares life at the Home to Oliver Twist, describing mealtimes in the dining room. Refers to attendance at St Martin's School during his time at the Home. Includes recollecitons of the staff during his time at the Home. Recalls a system of bells at the Home, referring to the use of handbells for meals and a big bell in a tower at the front of the bell rung as children were coming home from school. Includes a description of the daily routine, noting that it was governed by the bells. Includes a description of the building at the Home, referring to the location of different rooms including staff offices, bedrooms, dining area, bathrooms, toilets, playrooms, games room and medical room. Recalls spending one occasion in the medical room with a nurse, commenting on memories of receiving medical treatment or medication during his time at the Home. Includes a description of the dormitories and recollections of former residents with whom he shared. Recalls frequently running away from the Home to see his mother, stating that he would use the fields to avoid the roads and being seen by the police. Recalls an annual week-long camping trip to St Brelade, commenting on treatment by staff during these trips. Recalls improvement in conditions, including in respect of food, beds and staff, upon the arrival of new member of staff after he was there for 2 years. Also recalls that the daily routine changed and the atmosphere became more relaxed, recalling the introduction of trips out including swimming at Gorey. Also refers to the arrival of girls from the nearby girls' home, recalling changes to the layout of the Home. Includes recollections of girls at the Home and staff at the Home. Refers to transfer from St Martin's School to St Helier Boys' School, commenting on his reputation as having coming from the Home. Includes recollections of three holidays organised by the Home whilst he was there, including trips to: North Wales and Snowdonia, a farm in Grantham and London, and a bus tour across France, Spain and Andorra. Rercalls seeing Cliff Richard and the Shadows at the London Palladium during the second trip. States that he left school when he was 15 and got a job as an apprentice plumber despite the court order stating that he had to stay at the Home until he was 16. Recalls moving to a hostel near Vauxhall Street with 5 or 6 other boys. Includes comments about the man who ran the hotel. Refers to his readmission to Haut de la Garenne following his dismissal from his job from stealing copper pipe and removal from the hostel for being in breach of his court order. Recalls getting a room to himself, going out late and getting drunk. Recalls visiting his mother at an asylum [St Saviour's Hospital] during this period, stating that she was admitted there because of her drinking. • Abuse Recalls being caned for minor discrepancies and misbehaviour, including for having soiled underwear. Recalls running away to see his mother frequently whilst at the Home, describing a cycle of physical abuse and abscondence. Refers to his mother pleading with police to not send him back to the Home after seeing bruises and marks on his body sustained from physical abuse, noting response of police. Refers to male staff member responsible for the official discipline administered in his office by caning. States that punishments were recorded in punishment kept on this man's desk, referring to discrepancy between the number of times he would be caned and the number of times recorded in the punishment book. Describes injuries sustained during abuse. • Events since leaving Care States that he left Haut de la Garenne aged 16 to become a trainee mechanic. Describes an incident where he and other individuals stole a Sunbeam Alpine from a garage and crashed it whilst being chased by the Police. States that one of the individuals was sent to Borstal and that he was sentenced to prison, fined and banned from driving, stating that he served his prison sentence at Newgate Street Prison because he lied about his age. Reflects on his time at Haut de la Garenne and impact of his upbringing and childhood on his life. States that he has no knowledge of sexual abuse at Haut de la Garenne, noting that he was never subjected to sexual abuse nor witnessed any other child being sexually abused. Comments on a rumour that male staff member had been arrested for sexually abusing a boy.
Holmes, Philip, Detective Constable
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