News Focus looking at some of the findings of the past 100-plus days
Documents released by the Care Inquiry include claims that Edward Paisnel was responsible for several ‘incidents‘
What next for the inquiry when it resumes next week?
TO date, the inquiry investigating historical child abuse has sat through more than 100 days of public hearings.
And it has also received thousands of pages of documents making further allegations of abuse in Island care homes.
The inquiry recently released thousands of pages of previously unseen documents which included evidence relating to police investigations, witnesses statements and care home papers.
The documents, which total more than 2,000 pages and are published online, largely centre on potential witnesses who are now dead, those who were unwilling to give live oral evidence and people whom the inquiry decided not to call publicly, as it felt that the most efficient way to receive their evidence was through the documents.
Last week, the JEP reported that among these documents were allegations of sexual abuse against a high profile 1960s politician, a potential paedophile ring and suggestions of cover-ups.
With the inquiry currently on a break from public hearing until next week, the panel have been analysing the new evidence as well as preparing for the next phase of its investigation.
THE Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has already heard several allegations against notorious sex offender Edward Paisnel – dubbed the Beast of Jersey – who terrorised the Island in the 1960s and early 70s.
It has been claimed during public evidence that Paisnel regularly visited La Préférence, a home run by his mother-in-law, to abuse young residents.
Paisnel regularly attacked women and children by entering their homes and avoided identification by wearing a costume that included a grotesque rubber mask.
His reign of terror came to an end when he was stopped for a motoring offence and police found the mask in the boot.
In the recently released documents there were allegations that Paisnel was responsible for a number of incidents at Haut de la Garenne, which has not previously been heard.
During the 2008 police investigation into historical child abuse, the force was told by a former resident of Haut de la Garenne, that Paisnel crept into the home through the windows dressed in a mack and gloves.
In an officer’s report, the witness said that he saw the Beast ‘use chloroform while the children were sleeping and remove them from their beds’.
A further witness claims that the Beast of Jersey was a regular visitor to the home and visited dressed as Father Christmas.
The officer’s report states: ‘There are numerous references to Paisnel visiting Haut de la Garenne both legitimately and under more sinister circumstances.
‘There is also one reference to Paisnel being employed at Haut de la Garenne as a groundsman it would appear (if [the witness] is to be believed) that [former house parent, Gordon] Wateridge, would pick the children who went out for trips with Paisnel.
‘It is an interesting point that when Wateridge was asked direct questions about Paisnel with regards to his knowledge of him and any association with Haut de la Garenne he answered “No comment”.’
In 2009, Wateridge himself was convicted of a number of sexual assaults against young girls and sentenced to two years in prison.
Despite the allegations made against Paisnel in relation to Haut de la Garenne, the Beast was not included in Operation Rectangle, as a police file states that there was ‘no firm evidence to hand in the investigation that Paisnel was responsible for any abuse that falls within the parameters’ of the investigation.
Included in the documents are minutes from police interviews with Paisnel. Paisnel declined to reply to most of the questions and on occasion challenged the police to ‘prove it’.
In 1971, Paisnel was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of 13 counts of rape, assault and sodomy.
He was later released and died in the Isle of Wight in 1994.
AMONG the thousands of documents, several police statements have revealed that a number of people felt that Children’s Services failed to adequately deal with allegations of abuse.
In a police interview in May 2008 Marisha Carter – a former manager at the Women’s Refuge – said she did not feel abuse allegations at Heathfield Children’s Home were dealt with properly.
She reportedly told police that she believed a former member of staff, referred to as Witness 753, had admitted having sex with one of the residents.
She claimed that although the member of staff was dismissed, she did not believe that Children’s Services told the police about the allegations.
Miss Carter also claimed that allegations had been made against a Witness 335, another former member of staff.
She says that at the time she told the member of staff what she had heard.
The man allegedly said that rather than contest the allegations he would flee the Island.
In a police statement, she said: ‘He was extremely agitated and appeared extremely concerned.
‘He stated that the boy in question had left the home but that he had been a trouble-maker while he had been a resident and that there were no foundations to the allegations.
‘He said that he intended leaving Jersey rather than face/contest the allegations.
'I was totally amazed at this and ventured the opinion that he should contest the allegations.’
An officer’s report relating to information given by the former Women’s Refuge manager said: ‘Miss Carter is very much of the view that the Children’s Services do not like any kind of criticism.
‘She is mindful of the fact that the Children’s office hold the budget to the women’s refuge.
'She does not speak highly of the management team above her.’
The inquiry has already heard allegations that Children’s Services attempted to cover up and pay off alleged child abusers rather than inform the police.