Tuesday, 19 March 2013


Following on from VFC's PREVIOUS POSTING  today there were two questions tabled in the States of Jersey (the island's Parliament) relating to the current position of the suspended (or not) Dean. 

Deputy Trevor Pitman asked;

"Will H.M. Attorney General inform the Assembly what procedures are followed in the event of a vacancy in the office of Dean of Jersey and who is responsible for making any appointment to the post?"

Deputy Roy Le Herissier asked;

Would H.M. Attorney General explain how the appointment and management of the day to day performance in regard to the Dean is divided as between the Crown and the Bishop of Winchester?"

Given the background to the current suspension of the Dean of Jersey by the Bishop of Winchester, done with the public support of the Archbishop of Canterbury no less, these questions would have provided any progressive modern government with a welcome opportunity to assert its positive credentials. It was a good chance for the Jersey Establishment to state its commitment in protecting the vulnerable, to assert the importance of following the correct procedures when issues arose, and to openly and publically state its intention to work with the Church of England in order to ensure that Jersey operated to the highest standards in cases where the interests of the vulnerable were concerned. Such commitments would of course have been in stark contrast to the recent policy of siding with the alleged abuser, and throwing the victim off the island when she had the nerve to protest about her treatment. Nevertheless, the Church is, or ought to be, renowned for its ability to repent and forgive so a bit of repentance might have been worth a go.

But that is not what we got.

In response to this challenge the Establishment reverted to type and did what it does almost better than anyone (with the possible exception of the better organised elements of the Sicilian Mafia.) It closed ranks and defied the world to do anything about it.

With a straight face, the political and legal establishment told the Assembly that contrary to what the Archbishop of Canterbury might think, the Dean of Jersey was not suspended. He was welcome, should he so wish, to take his seat alongside the great and the good in the States of Jersey, the St Helier Parish Rates Committee, and all of the other formidable features of his role. Listeners, to this morning's debate, may have got the impression that the Establishment would positively welcome him back to the top table in a direct challenge to any insubordinate Bishop who had dared to question their authority in the matter.

Members tried to establish just to whom the Dean was actually accountable. Apparently he was accountable to the Jersey Ecclesiastical Court which was presided over than none other than the Dean himself, although it was conceded that if the Dean was the subject of any complaint the chair would be taken by that renowned champion of victim’s rights, the Deputy Bailiff, William Bailhache who was Chairing this morning's States sitting, so no conflict of interest there then.

Members also attempted to discover just who actually selected and appointed the Dean. They were told that it was the Queen herself no less. However, given that most members were aware that Her Majesty does not as a rule place job adverts in the newspaper or conduct interviews of candidates, questions were asked as to who actually selected the candidate and advised the Queen on the appointment. The full Establishment, led by the Solicitor General himself, expressed total ignorance. They had, it appeared, absolutely no idea how the selection process operated. That is a little surprising given that a number present were active participants in the selection of the current Dean who we understand took part in a selection process which involved dinners and meetings with the “Great and the Good” intended to ensure that he was the “right sort” and would “fit in” with the pillars of the Jersey Establishment. Well he fitted in right enough. Arguably  putting the interests of a suspected abuser before those of the victim and attempting to bury the whole thing is about as “fitting in” as you can get at the top levels of the Island’s Government.

In today’s exercise in what passes hereabouts for “democratic accountability” the Island’s worthies will have impressed each other but we suspect, few others. No doubt they will have regarded what took place as a heavyweight analysis of the legal and other reasons why they had primacy over matters affecting the Dean, and an assertion of their political authority. We suspect however that to much of the real world it will have been seen as a bunch of Ruritanian pipsqueaks hanging onto the shrinking remnants of their status.

The test now lies with the Church of England. Will they put victims first and take on the dark forces of the Jersey Hierarchy or will they back off and let normal service resume? Time will tell but all of a sudden a good deal more than the Dean of Jersey and Church Procedure appears to be at stake.

Submitted by VFC reader(s).


  1. Fills you with confidence for the COI doesn't it?

  2. This does not surprise me but I feel faintly sick! To quote Stuart Syvretr 'you couldn't make it up'. My impression to date is that the Dean is 'semi suspended' in that the Bishop has withdrawn his commission but in order for him to be fully suspended, the Queen, through the Lieutenant-Governer would have to withdraw the Letters Patent. I do realise he may then remain Dean through custom. Would anyone know if this is the case?

    I hope the C of E continues with its' plan to seek legal advice. The present situation of no-one seemingly in charge is farcial and needs clarifying as to which law is the primary one.

  3. Ahh, remain in situ as it's "custom". Would that be the same "custom" that ignores young girls who go to their parent's church for help as they are being beaten at home then? FUME !!!!

    The Bean is not the Rag

  4. The Bishop of Winchester should hold his ground so it can be shown once more that the Jersey Establishment make up their own rules when it comes to investigating any sort of abuse on the island.

  5. I think we are going to see many more of these cases over the next few years. Plenty more of "oh no, this is Jersey and we do what suits us, when it suits us. And you have no right to meddle in our affairs" An attitude that will with no doubt be Jersey's downfall in the end.

    " We have an allegiance to the crown of England that give us special privileges in return.....but we are seeking independence from the Crown" Which make you wonder if "SIR" Philip Baillache isn't guilty of treason

  6. Do you suppose Ian Le Marquand will now attempt to illegally suspend the Bishop of Winchester? It's not beyond the realms of possibility of this lot!

  7. You have already referred previously to the talk ("God and the Law a Short History")to be given today by Advocate Richard Falle the sometimes Magistrate - and you have suggested that it was he who issued the "binding over order" to the young woman as above.

    As expected, Advocate Falle was very careful not to stray into sub judice matters and he certainly did not refer to the binding over decision but every seat was (unusually) occupied to hear him. He acknowledged the topicality of his chosen subject...
    Of most significance was his analysis of the origins and role of the Ecclesiastical Assembly, and how it fits into the Island system with the Parish churches at its centre.
    Also that the Churches and their lands belong to the Parishes hence the ratepayers' ultimate responsibility to maintain them etc (formerly from the Tresor fund now largely diminished).
    In this context he raised the anomaly of non-Christian ratepayers being obliged to pay although this might well be contrary to Human Rights obligations and subject to political reform in the future...
    Yours truly asked the obvious question about non-Christians witholding an appropriate % of their rate contribution ("give it a go")...but it is evident that a revision of this payment practice could seriously undermine the status of the Dean and other Rectors if the Parish churches had to support themsleves like other denominantions do...
    Advocate Falle also explained how many Jersey oaths and prayers - for lawyers, Jurats, Judges etc - that include a Godly and/or biblical promise or express allegiance to the Queen, may not be appropriate either today and also incompatible with Human Rights standards.
    Oaths, he suggested, that included promises that are routinely ignored are diminished in force...
    Unfortunately, he was a bit unsure whether the Dean had been sworn before the Royal Court but the audience was able to confrim that he was... and that the words of that oath would be interesting to know. It was not included in the Jersey Code of 1771.

    ...So, yet another example to show how neglected is the wholesale reform of Jersey practice and of the need for a thorough examination and codification of all laws so that certainty and clarity might be achieved. Such calls have been made over the centuries with monotonous regularity for which 28 September "Jersey Reform Day" should serve as a sign post towards progress, this and every year...

  8. Hi VFC,

    Im sure I heard the Deputy Bailiff, William Bailhache, say something along the lines that it a was the alleged victims lawyer who asked that she be bound over to leave the Island, and that the alleged victim had agreed to this. Was that correct?


    1. Rico.

      Yes, I believe you heard correctly, although I thought it was the SG who said it?

      It would/could be very interesting to find out who the alleged victim's lawyer was and no doubt this will come to light very soon. We know who the alleged abuser is, we know who the alleged victim is, we know who the Magistrate was who bound her over to leave the island so it can only be a matter of time before this next piece of the puzzle falls into place.

  9. I wonder if the Jersey Way could put it up on his site. It came during the Chief Ministers questions without answers. Im sure it was the DB who stepped in and explained it.


  10. Channelonline

    A campaign has been launched to overturn the suspension of Jersey's Anglican Dean on the day the island's Solicitor General questioned the legality of that suspension.

    Parishioners who support the Very Reverend Bob Key are being urged, by high-profile churchgoer David Morgan, to write to the Bishop of Winchester.

    The letter expresses "shock and concern" at the suspension of the Dean, calling the review into events "unfairly biased against the Dean" and that the whole approach is "a matter for grave concern".

    The Bishop suspended the Dean over the way he dealt with one churchgoer's complaint of abuse.

    Those actions will now be investigated in an inquiry led by John Gladwin, the former Bishop of Chelmsford.

    But today, in response to a question in the States about whether the Dean can be suspended by the Bishop of Winchester, Solicitor General Howard Sharp QC said: "No. The Dean is appointed by the Crown. It's right that a Bishop can grant a commission in respect of particular duties, and a Bishop can withdraw that commission, but the Dean is still the Dean until the Crown decides otherwise."

    The Dean Bob Key and his wife Daphne told ITV News there is support for them. They said, "They don't want to appear on camera at the moment, but they did say they're grateful for all the parishioners who've been in touch to offer their best wishes. They say there are so many cards in their lounge at the moment, that it actually looks more like Christmas in there."

    Meanwhile church wardens in St Helier have issued a message of support to the Dean. They say: "There are many highly difficult issues arising from the case including the validity of the enquiry [sic], the accuracy of some of its contents and the way the report has been written. Lawyers are involved in advising Bob. We are sure that Bob and Daphne will be among us again very soon."

  11. Yes it stood out like a sore thumb.

    The Establishments attempt today to blame it all on the young victims lawyer.

    But because this young victim by now would have been unemployed and destitute surely the Lawyer they supplied her with, would have been a legal aid Lawyer?

    And by the way it was also said today that she, the young victim, was not deported but given the choice to leave Jersey, and thats what she chose....

    Still a lot of questions that will hopefully be answered in the matter of time.

    1. To be frank, the alleged victim probably couldn't wait to get as far away as possible from this island, likewise the Jersey Establishment probably couldn't to get rid of her.

      It still remains that after having employment as well as a volunteer worker with no police record, she reported alleged abuse and ended up destitute penniless bound over to leave the island with a police record..........."The Jersey Way."

  12. Did I just hear correctly on CTV the church are writing to members of congregations asking for parishioners to support the Dean.

    If so could it be requested that the report into the behaviour of the Dean also be sent to congregation members so they are aware of the full picture and the way the lady was treated by the Dean.

    Why is a simple problem turned into a huge distraction the Dean failed to cooperate follow procedures and left a person in duty knowing he had a history.

  13. The biggest question The Dean needs to answer is Why on earth did he not record in any way the first allegation of the alledged victim?

  14. A sorry day for Jersey.

    In clear defiance to what the C of E are doing under good practice and with solid evidence under
    the nature of the report and suspending the Dean. The jersey establishment are questioning the authority of the suspension and have little of no concerns for abused victims.

    I doubt if few parishioners or states members for that matter have read the report which is quite damning.
    The opportunity to send a clear message in that Jersey does not support "abuse" and will not tolerate methods of concealment and cover-ups has now been lost and I would not be surprised if other cases were to be found of this type if further enquiries are made.

    The method of closing ranks and rubbishing the evidence is a well known ploy and has served these people well. The Dean needs to make a stand and explain he's position and let people decide if he is of the right moral character and supports Christian values. There has been no public announcement and that may unfortunately mean he does not have a defence to the claims. Time will tell if there are to be a few more disclosures to this sorry episode.

    One commentator mentioned this does not bode well for the "COI".
    Well on the events so far I think it may have been trashed before it has started.

    The chief minister is a puppet to the real powers here and things are hotting up.
    Sir Philip needs to pass back he's knighthood and push ahead with independence as this is the only way that the Dean should be allowed back in the states assembly. Will be like one big happy family again.

  15. Why should the Dean of Jersey not be suspended by the Bishop of Winchester on what appears to be a serious matter, lets face it, Graham Power was suspended on no evidence whatsoever!

  16. The reason the defendant / victim is "encouraged" to agree to be bound over to leave the Island is that her agreement is required to make a BOTLI human rights compliant. The alternative sentence is usually a term of imprisonment so most people agree to be bound over. Before the advent of the Human Rights Law defendants could be sentenced to be bound over not to return against their will. The advantage of a BOTLI to Jersey is that it avoids the cost and potential flack associated with imprisonment of "difficult" cases of non-serious crime.

  17. It makes you wonder how the church warden and his wife are feeling at this present moment in time?

    It also makes you wonder who is caring about the well being of this brave and intelligent alleged sexually abused victim at the centre of all this?

  18. Ian Le Marquand will not only suspend the bishop Tim Dakin but also the ArchBishop as a retaliation into the Church medalling with Island affairs. The charge will be of a constitutional matter relating to the Deans suspension. This should last a few years till they retire and then the JEP will publish the facts which will relate to made up reports and of the Bishops travel being of "first class" standard and fees being misrepresented.

  19. Where should we write to parishioners to ask them to support the real victim, here? Shouldn't matter if it is Church of England or Church of Jersey, the ultimate authority should be God, or there is no point to any Church structure. Any parish will only be diminished further if they do not immediately place all effort in the case into locating and supporting this vulnerable victim. Christians who want that label to apply to followers of Christ's principles, might simply ask themselves and each other what He would have done.

  20. Presumably the lawyers will be looking for constitutional precedents and they might be able to discover how the "womanising Dean" Wiliam Le Breton (father of Lillie Langtry)was removed from office - if he ever was. He was Rector of St Saviour and then St Helier.
    There is no doubt that he was sworn in before the Royal Court according to his Royal Letters Patent in 1875 (like his father before him) but when he was removed in disgrace to serve as the lowly vicar of Kennington (London) he seems to have taken his title as Dean of Jersey with him. No other Dean was appointed until Le Breton died "worth only £5" in 1888, still in London.

    No doubt a "Vice-Dean" was appointed in his absence to serve the people of Jersey and more recently the Rev Peter Manton (Rector of St John 1965-1985) was sworn in (1975) before the Royal Court in that capacity.
    He too was removed from office for his sexual activities.

    Clearly the archived records relating to these appointments and departures will still be within the system so it should not be too difficult to discover how previous administrations viewed the constitutional arrangements and the oaths etc that were appropriate.

    THe victims of these two senior officials are unlikley to have ever received anything like justice or apology - but presumably it would not be too late now for those concerned with the latter to seek some form of recompense from the Church of England or the Church of Jersey, if somebody came forward to accept constitutional responsibility? Mike Dun writes

  21. Apparently when Syvret quoted Matthew 18 in his famously infamous Christmas Speech in the Jersey Parliament and the Bailiff (Bailhache) forcibly silenced him by cutting his microphone the Unclean Dean (amongst many others) FAILED leap to his defence.
    ".... But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea...."

    Dean Bob Key then apparently went on to use this same quote in a public hand wringing spectacle in front of the "great and the good" of Jersey when Syvret was proved right and these sentiments were more fashionable.
    Being too invested in the Jersey-way this same dean then failed to make records of the young woman's original complaint which probably undermined any future police investigation

    Hand wringing and hail Marys all round then back to business as usual. Yes, it is best to keep your eyes tight shut if you are in the business of brown nosing.
    All respect and best of luck in the future to this brave but challenged young woman who seemed to be making such a success of her life until she violated the Jersey way.

    Some people in this island are expendable and others are clearly not
    In another game set & match

    Latvia 0, Jersey All stars 1
    It would be so interesting to see the crash report on that spirited away Lotus Elise
    No report = no evidence in the eyes of the controllers of Jersey Law

    Whereas wrecked lives and wrecked cars can just evaporate into insignificance once the debris has been swept under the carpet.
    However the world has changed and these things remain a stain on our island for all time.

    Read the rough diamond:

    Christian, You must change the truth - not hide it.

    If you share a guilt by what you allow then a good portion of that guilt becomes yours for all time.
    The camels are getting fatter and the eye of that needle is closer than even Jersey's closed ranks

    Mash this and put this on your Church noticeboard. It will be taken off (but by whom ?)
    Satan works in mysterious ways.

  22. Jersey’s Solicitor General was asked questions about the Dean’s suspension in the States Assembly on Tuesday. It is an established principle that the most accurate information comes from the organ grinder rather than the monkey atop. The replies of Deputy Bailiff William Bailhache’s can be heard here:


  23. Traditionally, if there is a dispute with the UK, the AG responds on Constitutional issues for and advises the Crown (the UK point of view) and the SG speaks for the States...
    From memory, back in the dark ages when Ph Bailhache was SG and V. Tomes was AG they had a falling out over legal advice in the States Chamber and Harrison (?)left his Crown Officer's job following a similar sort of spat...the point being that all is not always total harmony in the red carpeted corridors of the Royal Court - especially at the point where they enter the States Chamber environs aka plebsville.
    So watch out for the slightest deviations in procedures - they can be significant.

  24. Well, doesn't this just say it all about The Jersey Way. The filthy Rag's editorial on this affair ends with this, which to me reads like 'don't mess with Jersey or our way of doing things, or else'. Oh dear!

    'It is, therefore, of particularly great importance that the formal investigation now to be carried out by the former Bishop of Chelmsford will be suitably nuanced, open-minded and attuned to the understanding that Jersey has its own time-honoured procedures which are not to be lightly dismissed or over-ruled'.

  25. I have translated the quote from the JEp to include the real meaning (in brackets) alongside the published words :-)

    'It is, therefore, of particularly great importance that the formal investigation now to be carried out by the former Bishop of Chelmsford will be suitably nuanced (hopefully ineffective), open-minded (open to persuasion from the oligarchy) and attuned to the understanding that Jersey has its own time-honoured procedures (expertise in cover ups) which are not to be lightly dismissed or over-ruled' (look what we did to Syvret, Harper, Power, Bellwood etc).

  26. Well said Anonymous at 20.25. Someone is asing for protest letters to be sent to the Bishop. I have just written to him to support his action - we are not ALL behind the Dean as one online comment I read stated.

  27. The final lines of the JEP Editorial tonight, as Gee Gee notes, are a fine example of the “Jersey Way”. What is being asserted is that the principles and hierarchy of the international organisation that is the Church of England are suspended when it comes to Jersey. A small speck in the ocean is entitled to carve out and assert its exceptionality. This is not just arrogance, it is delusion.

    All this bluster is to reassure the regular readers of the JEP who seek reassurance in its homilies. Many of these good folks will see straight through an act of whistling in the dark. Others are more gullible.

    These words from the Editorial are exquisite mendacity:

    “What is clear, though, is the wave of sympathy and outrage which has greeted the Bishop’s action, evidenced by the letter writing campaign now being organised in support of Jersey’s popular and widely respected Dean ….”

    There is no wave of sympathy, only bewilderment and shame. No one is outraged by the Bishop’s assertion of his rightful authority. If there is a letter writing campaign, it is being orchestrated from the editorial offices of the JEP. The alleged popularity and respect, if indeed it existed in certain elite circles, is now subject to a degree of reserve. In short it is a fairy story from the scribbles at Five Oaks.

    Suspension is not a neutral act in Jersey, precisely because those very same apologists of the existing order made it so in the disgraceful treatment of a senior police officer and Chief of Police.

    The Dean was foolish enough to allow himself to become the Chaplain to the Establishment. He failed to place the requisite distance between the religious and the temporal. The Church of England in Jersey has been deferring to the wealthy and powerful in society and forgotten its mission to care for the poor and the powerless.

    The status of office can be intoxicating and should always be tempered with humility. Those that are raised up can soon be cast down. Certainly, the failings of an individual can, eventually, be forgiven.

    Less forgivable, is the instrumentalisation by the Jersey Way of this affair for overtly secular and political ends. The Beast, the evil that is the Jersey Way, hates the light of external scrutiny and accountability. Have no doubt that its every action is evil.

  28. Is anyone creating a similar show of support for the victim of ABUSE in this case????

    1. Should have a new Blog up on Sunday along those lines.

  29. Ralph Mauger lost his appeal yesterday against conviction and sentence for child abuse but following his trial several Jersey Church leaders spoke to give him a good character and plead for leniency.
    Wonder if they are still so pleading and whether they are among those now lobbying support for the Dean?

  30. Dear Church Leaders: Religion is not a matter of patriotic tribalism. Successfully arguing for leniency for paedophiles will only make you proportionately responsible for every future child who is sexually assaulted by the same offender. Supporting any coverup of abuse makes you collectively responsible. Think about the position Christ took on the weak, the meek, the innocent children, and make his priority your own, or else accept that you are serving a different master. You are dragging the name of your religion through the pits of degeneracy by placing fellow members above the Word. You are bringing real damage to the image and purpose of Christianity.

  31. A similar thing happened to me when I was living outside London in the mid 1980s when I was 9 years old. I complained to my parish priest (Roman Catholic) that I was being raped by my parents and the other junior parish priest, a teacher at my school. The junior parish priest was moved, the teacher was moved and my father was told by the main parish priest to move to the other side of England or he would go to the authorities. As a little girl I assumed he was the authorities. It left me a long way from a few caring people in my church (unaware of what was happening) and plonked down in the middle of nowhere - and the abuse continued. My heart goes out to the brave person who stood up and complained as she should. She has great soul and great courage.