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Digital copy of Advice on Charge concerning Witness 264 by Stephen Baker, Advocate, BakerPlatt. [Some details redacted]. For Witness 264's Witness Statements to the Inquiry and the States of Jersey Police, see C/D/AW2/B1/7.
July 26th 2010 - July 26th 2010
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• Email dated 26 July 2010 from William Redgrave, Senior Associate, BakerPlatt to Alison Fossey, States of Jersey Police. Attaches draft advice from Steve [Baker] concerning Witness 264, asking for any factual errors or omissions to be rectified before being sent to the Law Officers' Department. • Advice on Charge concerning Witness 264 by Stephen Baker, Advocate, BakerPlatt. Names Witness 264 as the suspect and a former resident of Haut de la Garenne in the 1960s and early 1970s as the principal complainant. Refers to Witness 264's visits to Haut de la Garenne at weekends and taking children out on day trips and remarks about his marriage. Provides details of numerous allegations of sexual abuse made by the complainant against Witness 264 including an account of one alleged incident on Witness 264's boat. Refers to comments by Detective Constable Brian Carter regarding the complainant being a convincing complainant. Includes a background to the original allegation and summary of developments since. Refers to the complainant having pleaded guilty in 2004 to blackmailing Witness 264 in 2003 under the threat of exposing Witness 264 for committing sexual abuse on him when he was a young boy. Notes that the complainant subsequently also made a complaint of sexual abuse against Thomas Hamon, to which Hamon pleaded guilty. Refers to the complainant's suspended sentence for blackmail on the assumption that the allegations he made against Witness 264 were substantially true. Refers to Witness 264 denying the allegations in interview under caution and remarks about evidence collated indicating Witness 264's paedophile tendency. Refers to the Attorney General's advice in September 2004 regarding insufficient evidence to prosecute Witness 264. Provides details of further investigations since 2004, referring to two further witnesses who each say that Witness 264 sexually abused them and reference to positive remarks about Witness 264 by others. Refers to the complainant indicating in 2008 that he would no longer support a prosecution, by which point he had received a payout from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, before indicating support for a prosecution in 2009. Outlines dating difficulties regarding the case, referring to the complainant's multiple periods of residence at Haut de la Garenne and remarks about the complainant's recollection of the timeline of the alleged abuse being contradicted by written contemporary records. Includes an analysis of Haut de la Garenne visit records, setting out details about the number and frequency of visits to Haut de la Garenne by Witness 264 and entries relating to Witness 264 in the complainant's file. Includes remarks about unusual entries, absence of records for some time periods, and attempts to date alleged abuse. Refers to discrepancies in the timeline of alleged abuse according to the complainant and potential impact on the prospects of a jury believing the complainant. Comments on the frequency of abuse, outlining points by which the records undermine and support the complainant's account, stating that on balance it is more the case of the former. Includes a discussion regarding the question of why the abuse was not detected or reported at the time, referring to lack of detection by staff at Haut de la Garenne, absence of reference to alleged medical examinations, the complainant's fear of Witness 264 and the question of why the complainant did not say to his parents or others in authority that he no longer wanted to go out with Witness 264. Includes comments about other former residents' views on Witness 264, referring to numerous former residents who spoke positively of Witness 264 or made no complaint of abuse against him. Refers to one former resident who alleged abuse by [Colin] Tilbrook and [George] Maggs and brothers who were taken out by Witness 264, one of whom was briefly boarded out with him, neither of whom made any complaint against him. Includes consideration of the question of whether Witness 264 took children out alone, referring to support for corroboration in the Haut de la Garenne records, accounts of the complainant, Witness 264 and other former residents, lack of evidence regarding boat trips, and evidence by a former member of staff at Haut de la Garenne. Also includes comments about the complainants character, referring to history of numerous convictions for petty dishonesty, driving matters and blackmail, inability to retain employment and heavy drinking, as well as remarks about him by his contemporaries at Haut de la Garenne. Also refers to further evidence of indecent assaults by Witness 264, setting out details of allegations by two further witnesses since 2004 and commenting on the strength of the complaints. Comments on medical entries in the Haut de la Garenne records, referring to references to boys having medical complaints which could possibly indicate abuse around the time of a tirp with Witness 264, setting out details of the entries and commenting on probative value of the entries. Sets out details of evidence of Witness 264 downloading indecent images of boys, referring to Witness 264's disposal of his computer and a notebook found at Witness 264's home address containing addresses of websites and chatrooms indicative of such. Refers to Witness 264's explanation that he had been advised by his service provider to note down problem addresses in respect of spam emails so that they could be blocked. Refers to admission by Witness 264 that he had accessed some of the sites and assessment that Witness 264 has a sexual interest in young boys despite his denial. Includes comments about the admissability, propensity and strength of the evidence. Refers to application of the evidential test regarding sexual abuse allegations. Sets out criteria of the evidential test and applies them to the material available in the case, outlining features of the case favourable and unfavourable to a prosecution, stating that those factors against prosecution outweigh those in favour and assessment of likelihood of prosecution. Refers to lack of need to consider the public interest test due to conclusion regarding the evidential test. Sets out possible separate charges against Witness 264 concerning the making of indecent images, referring to lack of scientific evidence of such other than admission by Witness 264 in interview, difficulty dating the offences, statutory nature of the offences and difficulty proving the offence under the relevant law. Also includes remarks about prosecution of Witness 264 for these offences alone not being in the public interest, referring to Witness 264's age, mental infirmity and risk to children. Includes general conclusion that there is a great degree of suspicion that Witness 264 may have offended but inability to reach the view that the offences considered pass the evidential test.
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