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Digital copy of John Anthony Le Boutillier's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences in the care of the States of Jersey, particularly in respect of his time at Haut de la Garenne, Norcott Villa [Family Group Home] and Blanche Pierre [Family Group]. [Some details redacted].
October 7th 2014 - October 7th 2014
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life States that he was born in Jersey in 1971 and was taken into care because his father was unable to look after him [and his sibling] after his mother left the family home. Refers to the impact of a brain injury on his ability to recall his experiences. Institutions Refers to his time in the care of the States of Jersey between the ages of 1 and 18 at Haut de la Garenne, Norcott Villa [Family Group Home] and Blanche Pierre [Family Group Home]. Describes living at Haut de la Garenne between the ages of 1 and 4. States that due to being so young when he was at Haut de la Garenne, he recalls little of his time there, other than that Morag Jordan was there. Recalls Morag having paralysis on the side of her face. States that he [and his sibling] moved from Haut de la Garenne to Norcott Villa when he was aged 4 where he lived until he was 6. States that he has a limited recollection of his time at Norcott Villa, recalling that it was run by a husband and wife. Also recalls another boy who was at Norcott Villa. Notes that he [and his sibling] were moved from Norcott Villa to Blanche Pierre when he was aged 6, where he remained until he was 18. Recalls that Blanche Pierre was a Family Group Home in the Le Squez housing estate on the end of a row of houses and consisted of two houses joined together. Includes recollections of the staff at Blanche Pierre, referring to the staff at the home when he arrived including a woman who attended church and smoked heavily. Recalls that when he was 8, Jane and Alan Maguire arrived and took over the running of Blanche Pierre as houseparents. Includes recollections of Jane and Alan Maguire and other staff who were at Blanche Pierre at the same time as the Maguires. States his father went to school with Alan Maguire and that the pair did not like each other. Describes being threatened by Jane and Alan with being sent to a different children’s home for misbehaviour, stating that children were told that Les Chênes and Heathfield were stricter. States that he was aware that a points system was in operation at these homes and provides details of his impression of Les Chênes and Heathfield. States that he did not see his mother once whilst he was in the care of the States of Jersey and has no recollection of regularly seeing his father, noting that this is apparent from his Social Services records. Abuse and Consequences Includes negative recollections of the couple who ran Norcott Villa, describing abuse he was subjected to when he wet the bed. Describes treatment by Jane Alan Maguire whilst he was at Blanche Pierre, referring to emotional and physical abuse. States that he was scared of Jane and Alan, noting that both would smack all of the children. Recalls being smacked by Jane and her threatening to involve “big Alan”. Describes being physically abused by Alan Maguire, stating that he used excessive force. States that Jane and Alan would hit him on the legs and face, recalling incident where he was left with a noticeable mark. Notes that he was told by Jane and Alan to scrub his face to remove the mark and provided an ulterior explanation when asked about the mark at school. States that the Maguires would also hit him and other children with a wooden spoon and that abuse would happen in front of the other children and staff at Blanche Pierre. Describes witnessing other children at Blanche Pierre being physically abused but asserts that he is unaware of any allegations of sexual abuse at Blanche Pierre. Describes impact of treatment at Blanche Pierre by Jane and Alan Maguire on his schooling, referring to inability to concentrate or communicate in class. Recalls seeing a school psychiatrist on a few occasions when he was aged 8 or 9, stating that he was too scared to tell him about his experiences at Blanche Pierre. States belief that a neighbour at Blanche Pierre provided a statement to the Police during investigations into allegations against Jane and Alan Maguire and has since stated that she could hear what was happening at Blanche Pierre. States that he reported the physical abuse that he and others had suffered at Blanche Pierre to his Child Care Officer after he left Blanche Pierre in 1989. Notes that his Child Care Officer acted on the abuse that he had reported and that Alan Maguire denied the allegations and suggested that he was lying. Notes that he subsequently retracted his allegations, citing fear of Alan. Children’s Services States that he had three Child Care Officers during the time he spent in the care of the States of Jersey, including Mrs [Madeline] Bird and Mr [Dave] Dallain. States that the Child Care Officers would visit him every couple of weeks or once a month, but notes that Jane or Alan would always be present during any visits. States that he never told any of the Child Care Officers that Jane and Alan physically abused him and the other children. Events since leaving Care States that when he was 18 he left Blanche Pierre on New Year’s Eve in 1989 without any of his belongings following an argument with Alan Maguire. States that the Children’s Service was not open over the Christmas period and as such subsequently lived with the parents of a friend for a short period before moving to a Boys’ Hostel. States that he started drinking and taking drugs after leaving Blanche Pierre, citing impact of childhood experiences. Notes that by the age of 21 he had been in rehab and had spent time in prison for drinking offences. States that he did not return to Blanche Pierre for a couple of years after he left, noting occasional contact with former residents. Refers to mother’s residence in England, referring to a visit to see her when he was 27 and lack of contact since. Includes comments about the impact of his alcoholism on the breakdown of his marriage and remarks about the strength of the relationship with his daughter compared to his relationship with his own father. Refers to being in steady employment. Includes comments about the police investigation in the late 1990s into allegations against Jane and Alan Maguire regarding the abuse of children at Blanche Pierre. States that he provided a statement to the police on 5 December 1997, noting that he and others came forward expecting to give evidence in the trial of the Maguires. Notes that the cases against the Maguires were dropped due to a lack of evidence and that the couple went missing shortly after, being found in France a number of years later. Refers to involvement of Stuart Syvret in campaigning for justice against Jane and Alan Maguire, noting remarks made by Mr Syvret about a cover-up on the part of the States of Jersey Police. Refers to attempts by the police to get Mr Syvret convicted of an offence in order to silence him. Includes comments about Mr Syvret’s actions, noting his decision to stop his involvement with him. Notes that Mr Syvret was imprisoned for 3 or 4 months charged with breaching data protection laws. Notes that he did not speak to journalists about his experiences after the Maguires were located and returned to Jersey. Refers to giving a second witness statement to the police on 24 April 2008 in respect of criminal proceedings against the Maguires, recalling being told along with other former residents of Blanche Pierre that the case against the Maguires was being dropped again. Refers to one former resident who denied the offences which had been brought against the Maguires. States that he considers that there is a history in the States of Jersey of covering up the treatment which children received whilst in the care of the States of Jersey. Refers to individuals being moved onto different role when allegations are made against them, citing examples of Jane Maguire and other members of staff within Children’s Services. Comments on lack of convictions of abusers and expresses opinion that States members want to avoid sullying Jersey’s name and reputation. Includes comments about the States of Jersey not admitting guilt during the Historic Abuse Redress Scheme, comparing this process to court proceedings. Includes remarks about the purpose of the Inquiry and belief that the States of Jersey should have admitted and acknowledged what happened and that abusers should have been or should be sent to prison.
9-11, Blanche Pierre Close | France | Haut de la Garenne | Heathfield, St Saviour | Le Squez Estate | Les Chênes, Five Oaks | Norcott Villa, Norcott Road | abuse | alcohol | child abuse | Child Care Officers | Children | children's homes | children's services | convictions | data protection | drugs | Education | emotional abuse | Family Group Homes | Hostels | IJCI | inquiries | investigations | Merit Award System | physical abuse | Police | residential care | Schools | Schools | witness statements | witnesses
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