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Digital copy of Witness 634's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences in Care at Brig-Y-Don Children’s Home and La Preference Vegetarian Children’s Home, as well as his experiences of education and Haut de la Garenne member of staff Gordon Wateridge. [Some details redacted].
February 24th 2015 - February 24th 2015
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Refers to birth in 1959, and early life at home with parents and siblings. Institutions Refers to admissions to Brig-Y-Don and La Preference on a temporary basis at the age of five or six, along with his siblings. Comments on admissions into Care due to mother’s need for a break from looking after her children, and recalls mother leaving Witness 634 and his siblings in the car park at La Preference. Describes feeling fear whilst resident at Brig-Y-Don, mentioning violence. Provides details of recollections of La Preference, describing fear and attempts to escape. Recalls staff at La Preference such as Joan Paisnel and her husband Edward Paisnel. Comments on the vegetarian ethos of La Preference, mentioning a smell and regular servings of broad beans. Recalls that older children were required to care for younger children. Recalls an allotment near to LA Preference, and an old coach or bus. Describes fear of Edward Paisnel due to his behaviour. Comments on believe that Edward Paisnel was protected from prosecution for the sexual crimes he committed around Jersey during the 1960s. Refers to Edward Paisnel’s interest in black magic, also mentioning Edward Paisnel’s mother’s alleged interest. Comments on the perception by neighbours of Edward Paisnel as a good man as an illustration of how Edward Paisnel could fool others. Refers to book written by Joan Paisnel about Edward Painsel, and belief by Witness 634 that Joan Paisnel was aware of abuse and criminal sexual activity perpetrated by Edward Paisnel. Provides details of education at St Helier Boys School, mentioning truancy and corporal punishment by caning. Refers to teacher Mr Berry, and explains that his fear of school stemmed from his experiences at La Preference. Recalls complaint by father regarding caning, and Witness 634’s transfer to Les Quennevais School at the age of 12. Social Services Notes lack of access to records kept by Brig-Y-Don or La Preference or by Social Services regarding Witness 634’s time in Care. Does not recall involvement with Children’s Services, or the allocation of a Child Care Officer. Abuse and Consequences Recalls physical abuse as a means of punishment at Brig-Y-Don. Details emotional and physical abuse of La Preference residents by Joan Paisnel. Refers to emotional abuse by Edward Paisnel. Describes physical abuse by Edward Paisnel when Witness 634 was 6 years old. Provides details of inappropriate behaviour by a neighbour towards Witness 634 and his siblings. Refers to physical abuse by father. Refers to sexual abuse of female Haut de la Garenne residents and other female islanders by Gordon Wateridge, also mentioning pregnancy. Refers to physical abuse of male Haut de la Garenne residents by Gordon Wateridge. Comments on severe impact on abuse on Witness 634’s life, and his wish to keep away from children. Events since leaving Care Left Care before attending secondary school. Left Les Quennevais School to begin employment. Recalls the presence of Jimmy Savile and Agnes Savile on Jersey, mentioning a shop where Jimmy Savile would sleep on the couch. Recalls speaking with a man who remembered his mother giving shoes to children at Haut de la Garenne who did not have them. Provided evidence to States of Jersey Police about Gordon Wateridge, who had previously been employed at Haut de la Garenne. Comments on experiences of Gordon Wateridge over a 20 year period, and refers to motivation to provide evidence to Police due to knowledge that an individual would be providing Gordon Wateridge with a reference. Describes Gordon Wateridge’s sexually obsessive and physically aggressive personality. Refers to guns held by Gordon Wateridge, with the knowledge of the Honorary Police, and Gordon Wateridge’s claim that he had been in the SAS [Special Air Service], rather than in the Territorial Army as assumed by Witness 634. Refers to regret in having provided evidence to [States of Jersey] Police due to the short sentence imposed upon Gordon Wateridge. States dissatisfaction with the outcome of Gordon Wateridge’s prosecution. Recalls seeing Gordon Wateridge at a charity event for the children’s ward at the General Hospital. Details conversation with an Honorary Policeman who had seen Gordon Wateridge watching girls on the beach. Discusses long term consequences of abuse, mentioning difficulty being near children, and difficulties with physical intimacy. Recalls fighting as a young man. Informed parents of abuse, and later reported the abuse to Witness 634’s doctor, who referred Witness 634 for psychiatric counselling. Comments on the long wait for mental health services on Jersey, and suggests that the delay in mental health treatment could be shorted. Describes difficulty coping with reference to child abuse in the media, and his need to seek counselling. Advocates for an improvement in the care taken by authorities to ensure the wellbeing of children. States belief that individuals knew of the abuse, and that individuals within the States of Jersey covered up abuse. Refers to own prison sentence, and states that sex offenders should be given longer sentences in order to provide a deterrent to sexually abusive behaviour. Comments on difficulty of the Inquiry to prevent abuse occurring in the future, mentioning corruption and police checks.
Brig-y-Don Children's Home
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1 pdf file
|Level of description|
PDF file - please click on the link to download