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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry. (Team Voice Discussion 2)



Sunday morning, just passed, Team Voice sat down to chat about the ongoing Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry and where we are at with it, what our concerns are, and how our confidence, in the Inquiry, isn't as high as we would have hoped.

The video below is the continuation of that published by Rico Sorda HERE.

In this part of the video we discuss the role of the local State Media, who thus far, have exclusive rights to the media room, at the Inquiry building, after Bloggers (Jersey's only independent, and trusted, media) were very suspiciously, and dubiously, banned from using the media room, and its facilities, as we previously reported HERE.

We ask if the local State Media is STILL betraying the victims, and survivors of abuse by not doing, what any self respecting journalist should be doing, and challenging this Inquiry rather than just repeating whatever the Inquiry wants it to.

Jimmy Savile at Haute de la Garenne.

Serious questions need to be asked about the Jimmy Savile alleged £50,000 bribe as revealed in witness "Mrs A's" statement to the inquiry yet no questions were asked of the witness when she gave live evidence to the inquiry. How could this possibly be? We asked some questions HERE. How was it possible for The Sun newspaper to report on the alleged bribe, when it had NO reporters at the Inquiry Hearing? Why did the local State Media (who did have reporters at the hearing) bury this revelation? We asked those questions HERE. Alongside that, in Witness "MRS A's" LIVE EVIDENCE she Said "I do not trust the media on what they put out now and that's a very very sad part of life." Which wasn't questioned by the Inquiry Team nor was it reported in the media. Considering the Inquiry is aware that the local State Media stand accused of complicity in the Jersey cover-up it's even more alarming that no questions were asked as to why the witness/victim did not trust them.

When another witness, giving LIVE EVIDENCE to the Inquiry, spoke of how, after speaking out at an anti Child Abuse rally in the Royal Square, (in 2008) he was scared of being arrested.  Why was a line of questioning, by the Panel, or its lawyers, not pursued on this? An abuse victim STILL scared of speaking out, in 2008? If the culture of the Island is different now surely there should be no fear of speaking out? If that fear still exists then this could show that there has been no change of culture and those who speak out still fear being punished. The Inquiry should be picking up on this as it might go some way to explain why so many victims/survivors/witnesses/whistleblowers are so reluctant to give evidence to this inquiry.

Recent history has shown us that these kind of Inquiries should be challenged/scrutinised at the time, not years later. By challenging this Inquiry now we hope to avoid a repetition of past ("accredited") media failings that allowed all kind of Inquiries to cover up the truth. Stephen Lawrence, Hillsborough, Bloody Sunday, to name but a few.

The victims/survivors, and the good people of Jersey, deserve the truth. Since we don't have an independent mainstream media who will ensure we get to that truth, then once more it is left to the Bloggers.

Inquiry Spin Doctor Liz Mackean.

We want this Child Abuse Inquiry to succeed but in order to do this we have to publicly challenge it. We (Team Voice) have remained too silent for too long regarding the huge short-comings of this Inquiry and will now set about making all these short-comings (there are many) public in the hope it will force the Inquiry Team to up its game. Behind the scenes we have been attempting to gain answers from the COI, for months, and have consistently either been ignored or fobbed off. We have consistently tried to work WITH the Inquiry, and still wish to do so. But for reasons only known to the Inquiry/media Team they refuse to work with us and make life as difficult, and humiliating, as they possibly can for this BLOGGER. In stark contrast Eversheds, and Liz Mackean (Spin Doctor for the Inquiry), are arranging interviews for the State Media with Abuse Victims (didn't see anything about that in the protocols). I was told today, by a member of the Inquiry, that a "special chair" has been ordered for me so I can use my ipad (but not the internet) in the public hearing room after the humiliating, and dubious, banning of Bloggers some six weeks ago from the media room. I have also asked that they order a sign/placard with an arrow on it and the words "Spot The Cripple" just in case the "special chair" isn't humiliating enough for them/me. I'll let readers know how this progresses.  The time has now come to make all these short-comings public.........The Victims, and Survivors, deserve nothing less..........Much more to follow.






22 comments:

  1. This is why you bloggers were barred from the media room. It's because you ask the questions that should be asked by real journalists. Another cover up on its way.

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  2. If you have tried to work WITH the enquiry folk and they continue to work against you and humiliate you then it's clear to me they are on the side of the pedophiles.

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  3. Hope the 'special chair' isn't an electric one VFC!

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  4. just this week I had dealings with the COI. I am informed that its not the business of the COI to challenge anyones statements. They are there purely to take statements from anyone who is willing to talk to them.
    exJHB

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  5. Why do they call it an inquiry if they don't inquire?

    Elle

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  6. More whining from the side-lines and self serving guff about "keeping silent" to give the CoI a chance to prove itself. If you really have the evidence (not hearsay) that this CoI isn't working then please stop alluding to it and drag it into the open.

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    Replies
    1. Well here's a start:
      http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/jersey-child-abuse-committee-of-inquiry.html
      (Ex.Deputy Daniel Wimberley's questions remain materially unanswered)

      Jerseys bloggers have built up trust by acting responsibly AND coming up with the goods
      e.g. fingering the lying Home Affairs Minister Lewis:
      http://ricosorda.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-transcript-of-in-camera-debate.html

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  7. from the video first video on Rico's blog
    http://ricosorda.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/jersey-child-abuse-inquiry-team-voice.html

    .......bloggers have been banned from being able to effectively report (media room facilities)
    .......witness transcripts are coming back with inaccuracies AND HUGE OMISSIONS

    Jersey is still stuck in the past and in a culture of cover up.

    A culture which teh UK is at last dragging itself out of
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=RybUqcF1xi8

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  8. Yesterday I attended the public hearing, with a number of others, to support JEAN NEAL while she gave live evidence. Jean who is an extremely strong, and brave survivor, broke down as memories came flooding back and it all got a bit much for her where she asked for s short break which was granted. A number of us believed she would be comforted by somebody from the victim support team when taken to a room at the back/front of the building.

    Unfortunately this was not the case. Instead she was taken to the room by the Inquiry's spin doctor Liz Mackean, as there was no victim support present at the inquiry.

    Today, an equally brave and courageous, lady was giving live evidence where she too broke down as it all got a bit too much for her having to relive the harrowing memories of her childhood she was asked to articulate. The witness (Miss D) was also allowed a break, but as the previous day, there was no victim support available at the inquiry.

    Present at the hearing were members of the Jersey Care Leavers Association (JCLA) who approached a member of the Inquiry Team, and when it became apparent that there was no victim support available to the witness, the JCLA offered some support but it is unclear at this stage as to whether that offer was related to the witness.

    I asked three members of the Inquiry Team, Spin Doctor Liz Mackean, Eversheds employees Angharad shurmer and NATALIE MINOTT why there was no victim support available for both days/witnesses.

    True to the Inquiry's form not one of them were able to give me an answer and told me they would make inquiries and get back to me. If they do get back to me, and do actually have an answer, I will look to publish it on here.

    The question has to be asked; How on earth can a £6m "professional" Inquiry expect vulnerable witnesses to relive some of the most harrowing memories of their childhood and not expect them to need some kind of victim support? Why wasn't victim support put in place before the witnesses were due to appear? Who's negligence is this?

    Of course you won't see or hear any of this mentioned by the State Media because they won't want to lose their privileged position in the Media room, like the Bloggers. (Jersey's only independent media)

    Serious questions need to be asked concerning the alleged failings of this Inquiry, more importantly, they need to be answered.

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    Replies
    1. I've received a reply from the Inquiry concerning the availability of witness support and reproduce it here.

      "In respect of your query regarding on site witness support, as promised I have looked into the query and as explained today the witness support team are not always on site but they are available on the telephone. During the course of providing evidence to the Inquiry a member of the Inquiry team greets the witness and attends to their needs during the day. If a witness requests that a member of the witness support team attends the hearing this can be arranged. As you also saw in both yesterday's and today's hearings, if the witness requires a break they are encouraged and supported to do so.

      We have tried to ensure independence of the witness support team therefore they are from Northern Ireland which does mean we need to know in advance if a witness wants that level of support. The on island witness support team are available at much shorter notice but it is recognised that there may be a concern about independence, and for that reason they are not on site daily, but their service is available to all witnesses to the Inquiry. "

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  9. Methinks there will be another inquiry into the inquiry.

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  10. Well done TV for highlighting these issues.

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  11. VFC,

    The JEP from yesterday Friday 3 October is worth a read, page 4. It covers the evidence of Jean Neil and mentions the case of Clos des Sables. It goes on to say that Jane and Alan Maguire of Blanche Pierre are expected to feature in witness statements next week. The JEP reports that:

    "The pair faced prosecution for child cruelty offences in the late 1990s, but Mr Maguire claimed to be too ill to stand trial. However, no medical evidence was given to the courts in Jersey to support his claim.

    After they appeared in the Magistrate's Court in 1998, the case against the Maguires was abandoned because of insufficient evidence.

    By 2008 the States police believed it was likely that Mr Maguire had died, but he was exposed that year by BBC Panorama, who found the Islander living in France. He died in 2009.

    Ten years earlier, a confidential Social Services report into Blanche Pierre was carried out, looking at alleged abuse between 1986 and 1990, when the home was run by the Maguires. It stated that children were beaten, were made to eat bars of soap and had disinfectant poured down their throats.

    The report said: 'Mrs Maguire committed and condoned gross acts of physical and psychological abuse towards the children in her care.' It found her guilty of gross misconduct and recommended her dismissal.'

    A spokesperson for the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry said 'The issues arising in these two cases go to the heart of the Inquiry's work, in particular the conduct of social services, the police and the courts in dealing with allegations of abuse.

    The notable feature is that because all of the allegations are in the public domain, the alleged abusers can be named.'

    Next week alleged abusers known to have died may also be named before the panel, which is being chaired by Frances Oldham QC."

    (End of quote, with thanks to the Jersey Evening Post)

    Anyone who has followed events online since 2008 will not be surprised by that report. The phrases that should leap off the page, for new readers, are that "no medical evidence was given to the courts in Jersey to support his claim" and "in particular the conduct of...the courts in dealing with allegations of abuse". One must not pre-judge the conclusions of the Inquiry but what possible reason can the Jersey judiciary have for not asking to see medical evidence for Mr Maguire?

    The $64,000 question is, WHY was no evidence asked for?

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    1. First off, credit to the JEP for publishing this, and it has to be said that things seem to have changed, for the better, since Mr. Sibcy has taken over as editor. That said it still has a very long way to go in order to undo all the damage it has caused victims and survivors.

      As regards the Maguire sketch and why no medical evidence was asked for in the court, then it has to be looked at who was the Attorney General at the time and any conflict that might have been apparent. Former Senator, and Health Minister, Stuart Syvret could, can, and hopefully will, shed some light on this whole sordid and ghastly episode?

      There are many still living, and I believe, still in positions of authority who have serious questions to answer. One of those is ANTON SKINNER.

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    2. As does Mario ("the most violent and cruel of them all") Lundy have very serious questions to ANSWER.

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  12. VFC. I understand there are imported security staff at or around the inquiry. It may be worth you asking one of them what he knows about a large house, that used to belong to a rich person, near Hautlieu that was fitted up with electric doors or similar to shut off parts of the house so the rich and well connected could have 'parties' that they wouldn't want to be found out at if raided.

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  13. With all that is now coming forth at the inquiry are we really expected to believe that this Islands ONLY newspaper, in existence for over 100 years knew nothing of these events? in a small Island like Jersey and especially during the years in question this simply is not credible or possible. Unfortunately the 'washing out of the mouth with red carbolic soap and the rapping across the back of the fingers with the edge of the ruler (not the flat side) was common practice in my states primary school as was the liberal use of the cane. But abuse at the levels indicated at HDLG and other such places was on a different plain altogether and by all that is right should have been reported at the time, why was it not? even as a child the very mention of this place was used by many parents to strike fear into their own children if they misbehaved, what did our own parents know of this place that our only local newspaper didn't?

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  14. RE the JEP/Maguire abuse
    So the JEP finally reports some of the information which was available on Stuart Syvret's blog SIX YEARS AGO in May 2008:

    http://freespeechoffshore.nl/stuartsyvretblog/jersey-child-abuse-disaster/


    "...however, the Attorney General had decided not to proceed with a Royal Court case as this was NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. The Committee then instigated an investigation [disciplinary] into Mrs. J. Maguire"

    ..............

    The Act of Court records that the prosecution was abandoned 20th November 1998.

    “Her Majesty’s Attorney General declared that he abandoned the prosecution against Alan William Maguire and Jane Marie Maguire on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support it.

    The Court therefore discharged the said Alan William Maguire and Jane MarieMaguire from the prosecution and, by virtue of Article 2(1) (c) of the Costs in Criminal Cases (Jersey) Law, 1961, ordered the payment out of public funds of the costs of the defence”.

    ..................

    "The Committee was advised that Mr. and Mrs Maguire had been investigated by the department in 1990. The situation in 1990 arose from complaints made by staff"

    "We have the Times report indicating that the suicide of young people was accepted without too many questions being asked."


    "...Indeed the Ms Ingles mentioned in the Southern report has confirmed that she and others challenged Skinner’s decision to give Jane Maguire ANOTHER JOB in a staff meeting; Skinner apparently reacted very badly to having his authority challenged and made it clear that he would not be changing his mind.
    Another member of staff told me that Skinner was “furious” that his authority was challenged. Furious indeed! Nothing compared to the fury felt by MS.X, the child who spent two years suffering at the hands of the Maguires, after Skinner et al KNEW they were abusers.
    She has been betrayed – the JEP should be featuring HER story and calling for Skinner’s head – is he still on the board of Silkworth Lodge, still in charge of Jersey’s mental health charity."

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    1. From
      http://freespeechoffshore.nl/stuartsyvretblog/the-betrayed/

      "134. The Blanche Pierre Group Home (BPGH) was a family-scale foster home, operated by the States of Jersey, and staffed on a full-time residential basis by a States of Jersey employee, one Jane Maguire, and her husband, Alan Maguire.

      135. Throughout much of the 1980s, the Maguires routinely subjected the vulnerable children in their care to psychological and physical abuse and torture, often to a horrifying degree.

      136. Alan Maguire also engaged in sexual abuse of children.

      137. Much of the abuse committed by the Maguires was known to their employers, the States of Jersey. However, senior managers regularly ignored expressions of concern by more junior staff members, and failed to obey the law, and protect the children in care from such criminal conduct.

      138. Amongst those senior managers who failed to prevent, or halt the abuse of the children were: –

      138.1.1. Geoff Spencer;

      138.1.2. Anton Skinner.

      139. Eventually, in 1990, the abuses became too well-evidenced to continue to ignore, so the aforesaid two mangers conducted an internal investigation into the matter.

      140. Even though it was clear that the Maguires had committed many criminal offencesagainst the children, the managers concerned failed to report the matter to the police, instead merely permitting Jane Maguire to ‘retire’ from running the BPGH, and, instead taking up employment in the Family Development Centre.

      141. The politician in charge of the then Children’s Service was one Iris Le Fevre, the then President of the Education Committee. Mrs. [Iris] Le Fevre wrote, at that time, a letter of thanks to the Maguires.

      .........

      150. Throughout much of 2008, the Police re-investigated the criminal actions of the Maguires, and were of no doubt the two abusers should be extradited from France, and prosecuted for the original offences, and further offences which had come to light. However, the police were repeatedly obstructed by the then Attorney General, William Bailhache, brother of the former Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache and Crown Advocate Stephen Baker.

      .......
      154. 42 Don Road Family Group Home.

      155. The Don Road Family Group Home (DRFGH) was another States of Jersey operated family-scale orphanage, run by a Mr & Mrs Bonner.

      156. The Bonners – like the Maguires – routinely inflicted savage assaults and other abuses upon the children in their care.

      157. The States of Jersey Polic
      e Force, as a part of their historic abuse investigation, attempted to have the Bonners charged and prosecuted.

      158. However, notwithstanding that they had received advice from a lawyer employed by the then Attorney General William Bailhache, that sufficient evidence to charge was present, and having arrested the Bonners, the Police were forced to release them without charge following interferences by Mr. Bailhache."

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  15. After the education report found Jane Marie Maguire guilty of gross misconduct and recommended her dismissal [no mention in here of Mr. Maguire's sexual assaults on children in their charge, perhaps because he was not actually employed by Education] she was "allowed to resign" before being promptly re-employed in a different capacity within the Jersey care system.

    Clearly she was still viewed by those at the top to be the "right sort" :

    Iris Le Feuvre
    President, Education Committee

    Our Ref: ILEF/SJR/G.H

    26th July 1990

    Mr. & Mrs A. Maguire
    Flat [Address Excised] Road
    St. Helier
    Jersey

    Dear Mr & Mrs Maguire

    On Wednesday the 25th July, 1990, the Education Committee was officially informed of your decision to retire as house parents of the group home, Le Squez.

    The Committee recalled that you have been house parents to the children of the group home since 1980 and during the past ten years had cared for many children on our behalf.

    Several members of the Committee, including myself, were already familiar with your excellent work during this time having served on the Children’s Sub-Committee, and have always been impressed with your total commitment to the children in your charge.

    It is therefore with regret that we learn of your retirement. Although we fully appreciate that after ten years of extremely hard work for our children a change of direction and a rest from the 24 hour-a-day commitment you have shown over all these years was well deserved.

    My Committee therefore asked that I write on behalf of every member to thank you for your many years of excellent service on behalf of the children in your charge and to wish you all the very best for your future. We were delighted to learn that Mrs. Maguire will continue to work for the Committee in our developing Family Centre service and therefore would not be losing your services all together.

    Once again many thanks for your 110% commitment and hard work, the proof of which will live on in the children for whom you have shown much love and care.

    All best wishes

    Yours sincerely
    President, Education Committee.

    YOU REALLY COULD NOT MAKE IT UP !
    But Jersey continues to elect the very same type as Constable Le Feuvre
    (okay, Constables are generally appointed without an election)

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  16. So when will the States of Jersey be issuing an unreserved public apology to (Ex) Health Minister Stuart Syvret? when all that is now being brought to light is 'exactly' what Stuart Syvret stated in the states chamber so many years ago, only to be howled down by the likes TleM and all the other little footstompers. These so called humans know full well who they are and one can only imagine how they try to reconcile what they did then with what we know now. They will go to their graves knowing just how low they did sink to try to prevent the truth coming out. Shame on you all.

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