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Abuse inquiry latest: Failure over abuse was 'unforgivable', says former police officer

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  • The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry was set up following a proposal by Senator Francis Le Gresley that was backed by the States in 2011.
  • It has been charged with investigating what went wrong in Jersey’s care system in the years following 1945.
  • It launched in April 2014 and the first public hearings began on 22 July 2014.
  • It is chaired by Frances Oldham QC, who is joined by by Alyson Leslie, who has led serious case reviews into child abuse, and Professor Sandy Cameron, a former director of social work in Scotland.
  • Hearings take place at 11-15 Seaton Place. Anyone who wants to contact the inquiry can email info@jerseycareinquiry.org, write to PO Box 551 St Helier Jersey JE4 8XN or freephone 0800 7350100 from 8.30 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday.
  • The latest phase, which focuses on Operation Rectangle, began on Tuesday 20 October 2015

Read about the earlier phases of the abuse inquiry here

THE former head of Children's Services was 'incompetent' and 'unforgivably' failed to deal with suspected abuse, a former police officer has said.

Barry Faudemer, who is now head of enforcement at the Jersey Financial Services Commission, told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry that Anton Skinner's failure to deal properly with allegations of abuse by Alan and Jane Maguire had been a missed opportunity to prevent further abuse. The inquiry has previously heard that Children's Services first received allegations of physical abuse against the Maguires – who ran the Blanche Pierre family group home – in 1990, but a police investigation was not launched until 1997.

During his evidence, Mr Skinner told the inquiry that he wanted to remove the Maguires as quickly as possible, so rather than pass the information on to police he gave Mrs Maguire another job and wrote a letter thanking them for their service in order to secure their removal.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Faudemer, who worked for the States police from 1979 until 2007, said that he was 'saddened' by Mr Skinner's failure to deal with the Maguires and was 'deeply troubled by the fact that Mrs Maguire had just been moved sideways'.

In his witness statement Mr Faudemer described Mr Skinner as 'incompetent', the inquiry heard.

Mr Faudemer, who is a former head of the police's Family Protection Team, said that when the police came to investigate allegations of physical abuse against the Maguires, the case was 'very challenging' and was subsequently dropped following a committal hearing at the Magistrate's Court.

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In 1999 a further allegation was made against Mr Maguire. However, the police were unable to investigate because the Maguires had moved to France.

Mr Faudemer said that the police were unable to issue a warrant because 'as soon as you bring Mr Maguire back on a warrant you are effectively charging him and you need to present him to the court, so there is no opportunity to interview him'.

Instead, Mr Maguire was invited back to Jersey for an interview, but declined to return.

Mr Faudemer also told the inquiry that there was a 'lack of awareness' during the 1980s of the scale of abuse. He added that things began to change during the 1990s and that witnesses and victims were encouraged to come forward as a result of a police media campaign.

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'We needed to raise our own officers' awareness as to the emerging trend that we were seeing and the information that we were gleaning from the cases that we were dealing with. There was a gradual learning curve and we needed to make sure we were on it.'

Failure over abuse was ‘unforgivable’, says former police officer

Sending three abuse victims to UK was ‘hardest decision’, says former Health Minister

SENDING three young abuse victims to the UK to receive specialist care was 'in some ways the hardest decision I have ever made', a former Health Minister has said.

Speaking at the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry yesterday, the now Housing Minister Anne Pryke said that the children needed the best possible care following years of abuse.

She was referring to the case of the 'X family', who former Deputy Paul Le Claire in 2009 said ranked as the most 'damaged children' in Jersey and described them as being in the 'top tier of all such children in England'.

And Deputy Pryke, who took over as Health Minister in 2009, told the inquiry that the matter was taken to the States in order to secure the required funding for the specialist care.

She said: 'I made the decision that to give the best possible care to those three children they should go off-Island.

'It was a traumatic time. In some ways it was an easy decision to make but in some ways it was the hardest decision I have ever made.

'Those three children were leaving Jersey - was it the right thing to do, leaving their home, leaving their Island with their peers? Or was it right that they should go off-Island to somewhere totally new for the best possible care?

'To this day I still believe I made the right decision for them.'

Last month a serious case review found that children from three families were subjected to sexual abuse which care authorities failed to adequately identify or address.

Responding to the findings, Deputy Pryke said: 'My aim was to improve the service, there were some implementations that for one reason or another couldn't be done – to have that serious case review just out is very disappointing.'

The Deputy also told the panel that implementing the 1,001 days programme - aimed at supporting the development of children from conception to their 1,001st day - was vital to improve child care. She added that ensuring that the various organisations which come into contact with children work cohesively together would also improve the system.

However, she said that she was unconvinced that a specific Children's Minister - which Chief Minister Ian Gorst yesterday told the States was being considered and would also include a remit for families - would be effective as she was unsure what it would cover.

She said: 'If you're supporting the children you need to support the whole family as well.'

She added: 'Early intervention is vital. The setting up of 1,001 days is important. We have been more reactive rather than proactive and that must change as far as I'm concerned.'

Former police officer defends actions over historical sexual abuse investigation

A FORMER States police officer has defended a decision not to launch an investigation into historical sexual abuse in 2006.

André Bonjour, who was head of the Criminal Investigations Department, said that a scoping report into Haut de la Garenne, made two years before the police investigation Operation Rectangle was publicly launched, lacked information and that the force could not proceed at that time.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has previously heard claims that Mr Bonjour stalled the launch of Operation Rectangle by not acting on a report written by then-Detective Inspector Peter Hewlett.

Mr Bonjour, a prominent member of the Jersey Sea Cadets, also denied allegations that he tipped off a suspect in a child pornography case, who was also a member of the organisation, enabling him to wipe his computer before police arrived.

The inquiry, which is now investigating the police response to allegations of child abuse, has previously heard from Det Insp Hewlett who said that in the mid-2000s he pushed for the States police to launch an investigation into Haut de la Garenne.

However, Mr Bonjour said that the decision was not his to make and added that the report lacked detail and failed to identify any potential victims or witnesses who would be willing to speak.

He added that Superintendent John Pearson, who was head of operations for the force, had asked for the report and that he had passed it on to him.

Mr Bonjour said: 'It had been asked for by Mr Pearson. I took it personally up to him in his office and handed it over. I did tell him I didn't think it was a scoping report.

'I can't recall what happened beyond John Pearson being given the report and I know that Peter has said that he asked on two or three occasion as to what happened to the report. I can't recall what discussions we had in that regard.

Meanwhile, Mr Bonjour denied any involvement in a case where a fellow member of the Sea Cadets was being investigated covertly on suspicion of indecent images of children.

Mr Bonjour told the inquiry that while he knew that the volunteer was being investigated, he removed himself from any cases involving the Sea Cadets due to his long-standing connection with the organisation.

When asked whether he had mentioned anything to the suspect, Mr Bonjour replied 'absolutely not'.

He said: 'Under no circumstances would I ever wish to see any child harmed in any way shape or form and I am absolutely categorical that I would do nothing to cause that to be the case.

'I am sorry that the victims are having to rely on this inquiry to find out all of the things that they are finding out.'

The inquiry was due to continue this morning.

Protecting Island's reputation was more important than uncovering child abuse, alleges ex-police chief

Thursday 5 November

SENIOR politicians and civil servants were more pre-occupied with protecting the Island's reputation than uncovering child abuse, ex-police chief Graham Power has said.

Speaking at the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Mr Power claimed that his relationship with ministers and civil servants was irreparably damaged in 2007 after he refused to support the removal of Health Minister and child abuse campaigner Stuart Syvret.

He claimed that the victims and vulnerable children were not 'on the radar' and that senior officials were simply obsessed with removing Mr Syvret from the Council of Ministers.

Mr Power, who was police chief between 2000 and 2008, said that there was a greater focus on protecting the Island's reputation than attempting to uncover potential abuse.

The inquiry heard yesterday that in 2007, the then States chief executive Bill Ogley presided over a corporate management board meeting comprising members of the police, Children's Services and other senior child care officials. Mr Power said that the purpose of that meeting was to gain support for then Chief Minister Frank Walker to lodge a vote of no confidence in Mr Syvret.

It came in response to Mr Syvret's repeated questioning of previous child abuse allegations.

Mr Power said: 'A plan was formed apparently in the Chief Minister's Department to respond to Senator Syvret's questions by removing him from his position.

'During the full corporate management board meeting, the mood was very much "look at what this horrible man Syvret is saying about us, we need to bring this to an end".' I didn't like the tone of that.

'We were told by Bill Ogley that the Chief Minister wanted rid of Stuart Syvret as Health Minister and that a way to do this was to begin a vote of no confidence.

'Because it might be contentious, the Chief Minister wanted support from us as the head of the relevant agencies. If he had that support he could then go to the meeting of the Council of Ministers and say, "Look I want to do this and I have the support of the key professionals".'

Mr Power said that Mr Syvret was simply doing his job by asking difficult questions and that he didn't want to be making political decisions as the chief of police.

'He challenged them and he was all for transparency and accountability and they were all for secrecy and doing things behind closed doors.

'There was a massive clash of political cultures and I wasn't getting involved with this group of individuals who were trying to drag me into it.

'How dare they? How dare they try and get me into this?'

When asked by inquiry counsel Cathy McGahey whether child protection issues were mentioned during the meeting, Mr Power replied: 'Quite honestly, I don't think the interests of vulnerable children got on the radar at all during that discussion.

'It was about what do we do about Stuart Syvret, it was about how do we protect the reputation of the Island against the things this man is saying. That was the tone.'

Mr Power said that he was effectively asked to support a vote of no confidence, which he refused to do. He claims that when he raised his points during the meeting, Mr Ogley said, "In that case, goodbye", or words to that effect.

'I had concluded that too much closeness to some senior officials would be professionally compromising for me and so I was professional, formal, but I was uncomfortable from that point and I could sense a change in mood.'

SENSITIVE information was 'leaking like a sieve' to the media during the police investigation into historical child abuse, the former police chief has said.

Graham Power told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry yesterday that there may have been 'some technical intrusion into some of our communications by journalists' which caused information to become public.

Giving one example, he said that when officers went to dig at Haut de la Garenne in 2008, a photographer from a Sunday tabloid was already on the scene.

He said: 'We intended to do a dig at Haut de la Garenne in secret and we turned up and there was a News of the World photographer hiding in the bushes.

'He knew about it before most of the cops who were going to the scene. He had time to get on a plane and come to Jersey and be hiding in the bushes.

During the hearing, Mr Power defended the overall high-profile media strategy used by the force – in particularly by lead officer Lenny Harper.

Mr Harper faced regular criticism for his handling of the media, including telling journalists that a fragment of what appeared to be a child's skull had been found at Haut de la Garenne.

Mr Power said that although there were some mistakes, Mr Harper's media-friendly approach and his many live press conferences ultimately encouraged more witnesses and alleged victims to come forward.

The inquiry was also shown a document which revealed that lawyers tried to get three abuse cases struck out by claiming that the defendants would not receive a fair trial as a result of the media reporting of the investigation. The appeals were rejected and all three were convicted.

In the report, the judge hearing the appeal accused Mr Harper of whipping up a frenzied interest in 'what turned out to be completely unfounded suggestions of multiple murder and torture in secret cellars' but ruled that the cases should proceed.

Mr Power said: 'Everything can be done better when you look back on it and it's clear that some of the media management caused some difficulties which had to be considered by a court.

'You had to go much stronger to convince people here.

'The people who stayed on their backsides and did nothing criticised the people who did something. The people who did something were not perfect, and that includes me, and not everything we did was the best that could have been done.'

He added: 'Let's not forget that the intense media interest was producing a product and the product was more calls, victims, witnesses, people offering evidence, and I think there was a correlation between the two.'

Friday's hearings have been postponed and will resume on 16 November.

Wednesday 4 November

Ex-police chief claims officers leaked information to criminal gangs

CORRUPTION and illegal behaviour within the States police was found to be 'off the scale' thanks to the work of ex-detective Lenny Harper, a former police chief has said.

During an Independent Jersey Care Inquiry hearing yesterday, Graham Power, who was police chief between 2000 and 2010, claimed that officers leaked information to criminal organisations.

He admitted that the appointment of Mr Harper to the role of deputy police chief had been a 'bold appointment' but that his investigation had helped to uncover widespread corruption within the force.

Mr Power, who was police chief during Operation Rectangle, the 2008 investigation into historical sexual abuse, told the inquiry that Mr Harper was a man who would 'lift stones and rattle cages' and that his 'intrusive nature' revealed more problems than could have been anticipated.

He added that the alleged corruption often appeared to be condoned at a senior level.

He said: 'The force had a history of inappropriate, illegal and unprofessional behaviour by some police officers.

'We suffered a lot from leaks to criminal organisations.

'There was a close association between members of the force and people who were career criminals.

He added: 'It was the scale and the casual way in which illegal, inappropriate behaviour was taking place, which was apparently condoned at senior level in some cases.'

Mr Power said that he supported the appointment of Mr Harper but that he told the selection panel during the interview process that 'if you want a quiet life, pick someone else'.

'The politicians appointed him.

'I said I would support that choice, but I did say "you make this choice with your eyes open – don't say that I didn't tell you that if you want a quiet life, pick someone else".'

Mr Power, who was suspended for alleged mismanagement of Operation Rectangle on three separate occasions, also told the inquiry that when he joined the force, most of the major investigations were handed to Devon and Cornwall police because of a lack of skills and equipment in Jersey.

Despite trying to make positive changes to the way the force was run, Mr Power said that the 'Jersey way' often meant that the delivery of such plans were held up.

He added that this led to local people being appointed to jobs that they weren't equipped to do.

He said: 'Procrastination is a big feature of the Jersey way. I don't know what would constitute urgency in the Jersey government machine. Nothing ever seems to happen on time.

'Decisions were always put off. Throughout several parts of the establishment, the tendency was to say "yes, that's a good idea", then they didn't do it.'

He added: 'The intentions are often good but delivery is hopeless and sometimes it was hopeless because of lack of skill, but sometimes it was hopeless because people didn't want it to happen. It was a very frustrating environment for anyone who liked to make things happen – impossible environment almost.

'Some of the foot dragging was deliberate.

'There was definitely an old guard who would resist change on principle, simply because it was change.'

Les Chênes was often only option

CHILDREN who had committed minor criminal offences were often sent to a remand centre simply because there was a lack of alternatives, a former Magistrate has said.

Former Magistrate Ian Le Marquand said that children were sometimes sent to the remand centre for want of alternatives

Ian Le Marquand, who is also a former Home Affairs Minister, told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry that there were occasions when children were sent to Les Chênes remand centre who should not have been.

Continuing his evidence, which began on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Le Marquand told the inquiry that a lack of space at children's homes and an unwillingness among the staff to take the youngsters meant that they were sent to Les Chênes.

He said: 'Sometimes there simply wasn't anywhere appropriate for youngsters to go to.

'Obviously the default position, if parents weren't willing to have the youngster... would be one of the children's homes, but sometimes the children's home would say: "We can't manage them; we can't cope with them; it is not appropriate for them to come back to us."'

When asked by inquiry counsel Patrick Sadd whether that meant children were placed in remand who would not normally have been, had there been appropriate facilities, Mr Le Marquand replied: 'Yes, absolutely, because the alternative was to send them back into either a situation where they were going to immediately abscond and run away or immediately misbehave.'

Mr Le Marquand, who had earlier told the inquiry that he did not believe that its recommendations would be implemented fully, added that Les Chênes was inadequate as a remand centre and that children could escape.

He said: 'Fundamentally, whilst we had no option but to remand children there, the building at Les Chênes was not designed to adequately serve a remand function.

'A remand centre ought to be secure – Les Chênes was not.

'The use of cells at Les Chênes was driven by its general inadequacy as a remand centre.'

'It's not satisfactory, and I think what happened was, recognising the weaknesses of the security of the premises, that some adjustments were made to the building.'

Tuesday 3 November

Paedophile’s honorary post ‘should have been revoked’

Former St Helier honorary policeman Roger Holland going into the Royal Court in 2001

A CONVICTED paedophile should have had his appointment to the honorary police revoked but the then Attorney General Sir Philip Bailhache failed to act when he became aware of the offence, a former St Helier Constable has said.

Former St Helier Constable Bob Le Brocq

Speaking at the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Bob Le Brocq, who was St Helier Constable between 1992 and 2001, said that he, and his former Chef de Police Ted Gallichan, were eventually made to be 'scapegoats' for Roger Holland's appointment to the honorary police in 1992.

In 1986, Holland was given 12 months' probation for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He was subsequently found guilty of further offences, including some which were committed during his time as an honorary officer.

Holland was sworn in to the honorary police by the Royal Court.

The inquiry heard that shortly after the swearing in, Sir Philip received an anonymous letter expressing concern at Holland's appointment given his conviction.

In evidence given to a committee of inquiry set up in 2002 to investigate the handling of Holland's involvement with the honorary police, Sir Philip said that even if he had been aware of the 1986 conviction, he would still 'likely have agreed' to the appointment.

He reportedly told that inquiry that, in his view, the Magistrate who sentenced Holland had decided that the offence was 'clearly not very serious' as it had only resulted in a probation order and that given the incident had been six years before the appointment, his conviction had been effectively regarded as spent.

Mr Le Brocq and the former Chef de Police Ted Gallichan were investigated in the early 2000s over claims that they failed to act properly over further allegations made against Holland.

The former Constable said: 'The Crown Officers were looking for a couple of scapegoats and Ted Gallichan and I were the two scapegoats.

'Had Sir Philip admitted he had got it wrong in the first place, it wouldn't have happened.'

The panel was shown a press release issued by Sir Philip in 2008 which said that he would 'rather a different decision had been taken at the time' with hindsight and set out why the decision was made.

The inquiry was due to continue this morning, with former police chief Graham Power scheduled to give evidence.

Funding doubt for inquiry proposals

A FORMER Home Affairs Minister has told the inquiry investigating historical child abuse that he doubts whether recommendations it makes will be fully implemented.

Ian Le Marquand said that while he was 'optimistic' that some recommendations would be implemented, he believed that funding issues may prevent any proposals from being carried out in their entirety.

As part of the inquiry, the panel, which is chaired by Frances Oldham QC, will issue a report on its findings during which they can make recommendations for the future provision of care in the Island.

When asked by inquiry counsel Patrick Sadd whether he thought that the recommendations would get funding, Mr Le Marquand laughed and said that he would be 'optimistic that something would happen, but I wouldn't be optimistic that everything recommended would follow'.

The inquiry is currently investigating the Island's legal and political approach to allegations of child abuse, including looking into the handling of Operation Rectangle – the 2008 police inquiry into historic sexual offences.

Mr Le Marquand, who served as a Magistrate before becoming a States Member in 2008, also told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry that in the early 2000s he became aware of a 'hardcore group of young offenders' which caused a spike in the number of cases going to the Youth Court.

He told the inquiry that in 2001, around 400 cases were brought before the Youth Court.

'It wasn't until they left the age group of the Youth Court that the numbers started to drop.'

Mr Le Marquand suggested that one possible reason for this was 'cross-fertilisation' due to the offenders being placed in children's homes or remand centres and that by sending the young people to such places the problem may have been growing.

However, Mr Le Marquand said that he often had very little alternative than to keep returning them to remand centres due to their repeat offending.

Thursday 22 October

‘Culture of fear’ stopped people reporting abuse

Former St Martin Deputy Bob Hill

JERSEY has a 'culture of fear' which prevents abuse victims from coming forward, a former States Deputy has said.

Bob Hill, a former St Martin Deputy, told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry yesterday that if someone in a position of authority is involved in either abuse or the cover-up of abuse, then the structure of the Island will allow them to get away with it.

He also claimed that when he was a member of the Health and Social Services Committee, he would not be told about cases of alleged child abuse.

Mr Hill told the inquiry that 'people are reluctant to come forward' for fear of the repercussions and that 'power is concentrated in a very few people' within the Island.

He said: 'It seems clear to me that, even if Jersey is able to put in place the most robust anti-abuse policy, if a prominent person abuses anyone or people in position of responsibility cover it up, both can get away with it if they have friends in high places.

'Jersey residents simply have to keep quiet if they want to keep their job and security for their family.

'The abuse happens because the system allows it to.'

He added: 'In London you get stabbed in the back and people see the blood come out, but in Jersey you get stabbed in the back and nobody sees the blood because that is the way it is done.'

Mr Hill also told the inquiry that, while he supported the idea of a Children's Minister in principle, the creation of the role would be pointless due to ministerial government and collective responsibility.

He said: 'I did think about having a minister of children and I think it still makes a lot of sense.

The inquiry, which has begun investigating the police's responses to abuse allegations as well as whether there was political interference, heard that the Health and Social Services Committee would not be told about abuse cases.

Mr Hill, who sat on the committee, told the inquiry that he was not able to make the proper inquiries because he was not given the correct information.

He said: 'The difficulty you had was when information wasn't given to you.

'Unless you hear some tittle tattle or someone talks to you about it, you don't raise it simply because you are not aware of it.

'I wouldn't go as far as to say that people lied to you but they may have been a bit economical with the truth and didn't tell you.'

The inquiry is due to resume the week after next.

Police wanted to investigate home in mid-2000s

RUMOURS of abuse at Haut de la Garenne persisted for years before the police launched its 2008 investigation into historical child sex crimes, a serving officer has told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Acting Inspector Peter Hewlett, who joined the force in 1985, told the inquiry that in the mid-2000s he pushed for the States police to launch an investigation into Haut de la Garenne.

He claimed that despite telling another detective that a scoping report should be carried out, there were delays in carrying out an assessment of the allegations because of the volume of other police work.

The inquiry heard that eventually Acting Insp Hewlett carried out a scoping report but that no decision was made on whether to launch the investigation for several months.

He also told the inquiry that he was concerned that launching such an investigation may 'open a can of worms' due to its enormity.

Mr Hewlett said that he heard a number of rumours over the years regarding abuse at the home, but nothing to substantiate the claims.

He said that one specific case prompted him to push the matter.

He said: 'Over the course of the years, there were a number of complaints that came in from ex-residents.

'I'm not talking about every month, but it may have been one every three years for example.'

He added that he felt that an investigation was needed otherwise complaints would continue to come to the police.

'I didn't know, so I was a little apprehensive as to potentially what may have been uncovered.'

Acting Insp Hewlett said that in a meeting in 2007 he told the then deputy police chief, Lenny Harper, that the investigation had to go ahead.

'In my opinion there was only one decision to make and that was to launch an investigation into what had taken place at Haut de la Garenne,' he said.

'That was my gut feeling as a cop.'

Wednesday 21 October

Lenny Harper ‘convinced himself’ of cover-up

Former deputy chief officer Lenny Harper

FORMER deputy police chief Lenny Harper, who led the 2008 child abuse investigation, convinced himself that a number of senior officers were 'untrustworthy' and that high-ranking States officials were 'responsible for a cover up', the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

Brian Carter, a former police officer who still works for the force as a civilian child protection liaison officer, told the inquiry that he did not see any evidence to suggest that child abuse was covered up during a police investigation in 2008.

He said that Mr Harper was 'very vocal' and would often 'fire from the hip'.

Mr Carter said that criticism of the lack of prosecutions as a result of the operation was not entirely justified as a number of the alleged abusers were dead by the time the investigation started.

He told the inquiry that the operation was transparent and that it would have been very difficult to cover up aspects of the investigation.

Mr Carter said: 'I thought there were so many individuals that, to me, it had to be transparent.

'A lot of people don't understand the criminal justice system.

'They think it is corrupt but it is not the case.'

He added: 'Had I known of anything that was corrupt I would have certainly made it and myself known to the people that needed to know.'

Children’s Services ‘failed to inform’ police of child abuse

CHILDREN'S Services often failed to act on child protection issues and sometimes did not tell police of potential abuse or remove children from an unsafe environment due to a lack of room in care homes, a police officer has claimed.

PC Emma Coxshall, who still works for the States police, yesterday told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry that the situation got so bad she eventually made an official complaint that the service was not informing the force of some abuse cases.

PC Coxshall joined the police in 1990 and served on the family protection unit between 1997 and 2006.

She said that the police and Children's Services would work together on cases but that the force would always have to lead the investigation.

During yesterday's hearing, an extract from a statement from former deputy police chief Lenny Harper's was shown to the panel.

It said: 'The States police had instigated a number of reviews into the Children's Services, and Emma Coxshall, an officer, had actually made complaints against the Children's Services as she was seeing a number of abuse allegations brought to her where the Children's Service had known of them previously.'

This was confirmed by PC Coxshall, who said that one of the complaints referred to a case conference review into a specific family.

PC Coxshall also said on one occasion, Children's Services warned a mother's abusive partner that the children would be taken away but that nothing happened despite continued assaults on the mother.

'It was just empty words. In my eyes it was like a go-ahead for him to continue.'

PC Coxshall later told the inquiry that a number of hanging files – documents where there is not enough evidence to proceed with an investigation but the information is held in case of future inquiries – were removed by Detective Sergeant Roger Pryke.

She said: 'Certainly when I walked in on that morning I recall him standing there and I saw the gap where there were hanging files which were no longer there.

'Obviously I would have asked him then and there why they weren't there.'

She said that she could not remember his explanation, but that she did not believe DS Pryke's actions were motivated by 'bad faith'.

It followed evidence heard on Tuesday from former police officer Anton Cornelissen that crucial evidence in another abuse case went missing and was later found in DS Pryke's locker.

Tuesday 20 October

Police ‘in cover-up bid’ over abuse claims against teacher

Teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes who was jailed for four years in 1999

STATES police officers tried to cover up abuse allegations against an ex-Victoria College teacher, a former detective has claimed.

Speaking at the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Anton Cornelissen said he began investigating claims into abuse by former teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes in 1996 but that he was hampered as several members of the force attempted to hide the abuse allegations.

Mr Cornelissen claimed that crucial evidence went missing and was subsequently found in a colleague's locker.

He also alleged that a former deputy head of the school, John Le Breton, who had left the college and become a Jurat, intervened by complaining to the Law Officers' Department when an arrest warrant was issued.

The panel heard that Jurat Le Breton allegedly questioned the facts of the case and asked the Law Officers not to issue a warrant.

It was claimed that former Victoria College deputy head John Le Breton, later a Jurat, asked the Law Officers not to issue an arrest warrant against teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes

Mr Cornelissen also claimed that when Mr Le Breton was still deputy head, he had been told about alleged abuse by a pupil but had not done anything and had 'in effect bullied at least one pupil to not make a complaint against Andrew Jervis-Dykes'.

The inquiry yesterday entered a new phase in which it will examine the handling of the 2008 police investigation into historical sexual abuse, named Operation Rectangle.

Mr Cornelissen, who is originally from the UK, moved to Jersey in 1993 and was seconded to the Child Protection Team in 1996.

He began investigating claims that Jervis-Dykes had abused several pupils, but said that the only person who supported the investigation was Barry Faudemer, the then head of the Child Protection Team.

He added that many of his colleagues in the force were ex-Victoria College pupils who did not want their school 'dragged through the mud' and therefore did not offer any support to the investigation.

Mr Cornelissen said that a short-time later, his secondment was ended when he refused to pass on confidential information about the Victoria College investigation to another colleague – Derek Upton – who was not part of the inquiry.

The case was dropped shortly after Detective Sergeant Roger Pryke took over the Child Protection Team.

However, Mr Cornelissen, who has since retired, and Mr Faudemer began reinvestigating the case about a year later, but claimed that many of the problems remained.

He said: 'It harped back to the old thing that "we don't want Victoria College investigated".'

He added that he was 'mortified' to think that potential victims had not been contacted in a year after he was taken off the initial investigation.

During the second stage of the Victoria College inquiry, Mr Cornelissen claimed that evidence went missing from his desk, including pictures, slides and an index box containing vital witness information. He said that the index box was later found in Roger Pryke's locker.

Mr Cornelissen said: 'The index box was very important because up to that point there was nowhere else that had the victim witness details, and I had made a summary.

'It was a crucial bit of evidence and of course it went missing.

'I don't know how it ended up in Roger Pryke's locker – it was in a large brown evidence sack.'

Jervis-Dykes was jailed for four years in 1999.

Ex-deputy police chief ‘was a bully’

FORMER deputy police chief Lenny Harper 'was a bully' and 'made a mockery' of the police force during Operation Rectangle, a former officer has claimed.

Former deputy police chief Lenny Harper

Anton Cornelissen told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry yesterday that he felt that Mr Harper should not have been made senior investigating officer of the probe into historical child abuse.

Mr Harper is due to give evidence to the inquiry on a date yet to be announced.

Mr Cornelissen said: 'Once Lenny Harper set his sights on you, you would be harpooned'.

He added that a number of colleagues were concerned about Mr Harper's handling of Operation Rectangle, saying that Mr Harper 'lacked the objectivity and experience to be the senior investigating officer'.

Mr Cornelissen made reference to the fact that Mr Harper told the media that officers had found a fragment of a child's skull on the grounds at Haut de la Garenne, which later turned out to be a piece of coconut.

He said: 'It galls me that Lenny Harper is viewed as a knight in shining armour by a section of the public in Jersey, including former care residents.

'I have seen newspaper articles praising him and presenting him as a victim of the Jersey establishment.

'On the contrary, I believe that Lenny Harper let the former care residents down by making a mockery of the police by briefing the media without having fully availed himself of the facts.

'In my opinion, he had his own advancement in mind as senior investigating officer of Operation Rectangle and I believe that he wanted to end his career on a big high.

'If it was not for Haut de la Garenne, he would only be remembered as a bully who used to force people out of the police.

'The media have given Lenny Harper a platform and a worldwide profile.'

Senior figures called to child abuse inquiry

Clockwise from top left: Former Chief Minister Frank Walker, former States chief officer Bill Ogley, Former Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand, the Bailiff, William Bailhache, former police chief Graham Power, former Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard, former deputy police chief Lenny Harper, and former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis

SOME of Jersey's most prominent figures – including the Bailiff and former Chief Minister Frank Walker – are to be called to give evidence to the inquiry investigating historical child abuse.

In a phase which is expected to reveal how senior officials in the Island reacted to abuse allegations, the panel is to hear from those involved in the high-profile child abuse investigation set up when reports of widespread sex crimes at Haut de la Garenne and other institutions surfaced in 2008.

Among those to be called are Bailiff William Bailhache, who has held numerous senior positions in the Law Officers' Department, former Home Affairs Ministers Wendy Kinnard, Andrew Lewis and Ian Le Marquand, former police chief Graham Power and his deputy Lenny Harper, who led the 2008 child abuse investigation – named Operation Rectangle – and former States Chief Officer Bill Ogley.

The inquiry will also hear evidence from former Deputy Bob Hill tomorrow.

The witnesses are due to give evidence on other child abuse investigations as well.

And on Tuesday, the first witness to be called, former States police officer Anton Cornelissen, claimed that several senior officers within the force attempted to cover up abuse

allegations made against former Victoria College teacher Andrew Jervis-Dykes in the 1990s.

He also claimed that the school's former deputy head, John Le Breton, who had left the school and become a Jurat, intervened in the investigation and tried to stop an arrest warrant being issued.

Outlining the new phase, which will examine Operation Rectangle and investigate whether there was any political interference in it, counsel to the inquiry Patrick Sadd said: 'Part of the inquiry's remit is to evaluate what policies and procedures were in use by the police when investigating child abuse, whether the policies and procedures were adequate and whether police followed those policies and procedures.

'These witnesses will be providing evidence on the approach taken by the police at different periods.'

He added that the panel will also be investigating the Law Officers' Department and the role it played in decisions to prosecute.

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