Thursday, 3 March 2016

Oral Evidence of VFC (Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry).

As part of phase 3(d) of the on-going Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry: To assist in the development of recommendations for the future care of children in Jersey, the Inquiry invites submissions (maximum 3000 words) from organisations with expertise in the care of children and young people and from departments tasked with providing services that contribute to the welfare of children and young people in Jersey.” VFC was invited to make an oral submission after submitting a written submission as part of Phase 3(c), which we published HERE.

Below is a rough copy of my Oral submission today which lasted about an hour. Many of the points were elaborated on and were pretty much positively received by the Panel.

I started off by thanking the panel for giving me the opportunity to make a submission and after explaining that “I make the submission as a father of two children, member of the public who has real concerns for the current, and future safety of children and whistle blowers on the Island. I don’t claim to be an expert but am happy to share my knowledge and experience as a lay member of the public in the hope that the Panel will take on board some grass-roots observations and experiences.”

Oral Submission:

“You’ve heard from all the so-called “experts” in this field and one must remember a number these “experts” have been employed by our government while the Abuse was taking place. Indeed a number of them, unbelievably, (or not) are still employed by them.

I have nothing to gain by speaking with this Inquiry, indeed, quite the opposite.

Jersey, and society as a whole, needs to start thinking outside the box. Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

I’ve listened to many an “expert” witness at this Inquiry and I’ve heard nothing new. They are all saying the same things “minister for children” “Ombudsman for children” Child’s advocate.” What is that really going to achieve? I argue absolutely nothing; it’s civil servant/politician platitudes. Alan Collins said yesterday "you could go through a hundred years of Hansard of people arguing about this very subject we’re wrestling with today in 2016."

What I haven’t heard from ANYBODY is how could society, or the government and its authorities understand the paedophile?

In mid 2009, I think it was, I asked the then Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand, what he has in place for paedophiles BEFORE they offend? Where can a potential paedophile go for help/understanding if they are having sexual urges towards children? What can be done BEFORE they reach the so-called Jersey “Justice” System? Not surprisingly he didn’t have an answer and didn’t seek to look for one.

Surely the best way to protect our children is to start understanding their predators? Why does a paedophile have to harm a child before he, or she, gets any kind of attention? Prison is NOT a deterrent; prisons all over the UK are full of paedophiles. Courts, across the UK, are full of them.

I’d like to see some kind of a study into paedophiles and a confidential “help centre” or phone “hotline” set up. Somewhere, or someone, they can go to and speak about their urges/feelings in strict confidence. Possibly a Councilor/shrink or someone of that nature.  If we can understand the paedophile, then in turn, we can protect our children.

Where would the money come from? This could be easily achieved through government departments all chipping in a few quid. Health&SS, Education, Home Affairs, who are the current so-called “corporate Parent.”

I have to say, as touched on earlier, that most of what I’ve heard at this Inquiry, I could go to ANY Inquiry tackling Child Abuse, and its concealment for decades, and hear the exact same box ticking platitudes. If this Inquiry wants to make its mark and really want to stand out from all other Inquiries, and leave Jersey’s children with a fighting chance after it leaves Jersey then it has to start looking outside the box, and recommending that there is more help/support and understanding of paedophiles or potential paedophiles. If we can stop them harming our children rather than locking them up after they have ruined a child and their family’s life then I think any child/parent would thank you for it. Then Jersey could truly be A WORLD LEADER in the protection of children.

For children to be made safer in Jersey the whole culture needs to change and “The Jersey Way” needs to be cosigned to history and that isn’t going to happen any time soon. The “Power’s That Be” need to start listening to those who challenge them, they need to take on-board the criticisms leveled at them. As things stand they (TPTB) go all out to silence and ruin anybody who challenges them. Anybody who questions power need to be silenced in case it damages the reputation of Jersey. They can’t see the irony that those who purport to be looking out for Jersey’s reputation are the very people who are ruining it. For centuries the corrupt/politicised judiciary has been subjecting those who rock the Jersey Boat to Kangaroo Courts. I can elaborate on a couple of cases if the Panel wishes (which I did).

Victims/Survivors, from a starting point, need to be believed and not trashed or discredited. This is something that was suggested by the then Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmmer in the wake of the Savile atrocities and clearly hasn’t been accepted by some, including witnesses to this Inquiry. Victims/Survivors are STILL being accused of compo seeking/criminals/addicts/trouble makers on this island and this is Post Savile/Kincora/Mid Staffs/North Wales/Rotherham/Rectangle. This mindset needs to change. The media should, and could, play its part in this. They (the media) could just drop one word, which would help in this regard. The word “historic” is being used to describe this Inquiry’s work although the word historic doesn’t feature in the Inquiry’s title and indeed it is investigating allegations of Abuse up to 2014. 

The Panel needs to look at the democratic deficit and how Jersey is structured if it is to make any meaningful recommendations in its report. The role of the Judiciary needs a very close examination, as they are the unelected/unaccountable real power of Jersey. The AG holds all the power and is structurally conflicted. He advises the Executive AND Scrutiny. He advises Ministers and then decides what cases get prosecuted against the State, or don’t get prosecuted which is more often the case than not.


If the UK refuses to restore good governance and the rule of law on the Island although, as mentioned in my PREVIOUS SUBMISSION it might not be the best outcome due to its own perceived, or otherwise, corruption.

I would firstly recommend that there is an independent Department/Director of Public Prosecution set up that is appointed by, and overseen by, the UK. possibly the Privy Council? Ministry of Justice? That way the Attorney General’s Office would be less conflicted and some much needed trust and confidence could be put back into our so-called “Justice” system. A fairly recent Social Survey found that 50% of the public had no confidence in the judiciary, 60% didn’t trust the local State Media and 75% didn’t trust the Government.

Secondly, as in my PREVIOUS SUBMISSION, I would suggest that the Panel look into, and recommend, Mandatory Reporting. One of the reasons this abuse was able to go on for so long is because it was easy to turn a blind eye and not “damage Jersey’s Reputation.” Mandatory Reporting would be a deterrent.

Thirdly there needs to be an off-island independent body set up for whistleblowers. You heard only the other day, (Jo Olsson) and all through this Inquiry that people are still, if not even more scared, to speak out against management/authority. How this body would be set up and paid for would be something the Panel would need to look into but I am willing to research a few ideas in order to assist if that is required.

Finally I would recommend that the Inquiry should recommend that the UK should oversee, and ensure, it’s final report/recommendations are followed up. The Inquiry has been told by many witnesses that its recommendations will be ignored by our government. Indeed Ian Le Marquand, while giving evidence as a witness to the Inquiry, uncontrollably laughed when asked, by the Chair if  he believed its recommendations will be acted on. There are millions of £’s worth of reports/reviews etc. Gathering dust at the States Building. The good people of Jersey and more importantly Victims/Survivors and the children of today and the future don’t deserve this to be another twenty three million quid’s worth of dusty report on a shelf.(END)


  1. VFC - you truly deserved the applause you received at the conclusion of your submission today. You did not appear as a 'professional', but an honest and earnest member of the public who has been so outraged and hence 'engaged' with this chapter of Jersey's history that you spoke as you found, but also as many people truly feel.

    I have faith that the Inquiry will deliver, and also have the measure of the issues we have in Jersey. Issues that, if they are not resolved will mean nothing will change. Your input made that quite clear, and I hope was taken on board.

    Proud of you VFC and honoured to know you as a friend.

  2. Let us be quite honest if any ordinary member of the public outside of the victims themselves and the few 'professionsls' (police chiefs and politicians) who fought for them deserve real applause and credit it is YOU.

    This COI would not be happening if YOU had just sat and watched TV or gone fishing. You and your family should be very, very proud indeed. Well done.

    And long may your excellent blog - probably the best of its type in Europe - continue.

    1. Just read your report and saw the last comment pop up. Whoever wrote it I must say I could not agree more. You have done our island proud.

    2. Queen of Beans3 March 2016 at 21:25

      Voiceforchildren is probably the most defining citizens media blog of our era.

  3. I agree with all of the comments above.

    I would only add that I hope people realise the extent of the dedication, effort and courage required to produce such a high quality blog in the prevailing circumstances.

    May you never lose it.

    1. Former Deputy Trevor Pitman4 March 2016 at 11:15

      The comment at 21.09 is so on the money I could have almost written it myself. Every word is true. You - and Rico of course - deserve great credit indeed. It is also good that for all of its undoubted faults the 'Care' Inquiry is also endorsing your professionalism in requesting your evidence.

      We can only hope come December they do something appropriate with all of the evidence - rather than just give their report to the States, Birt and the Bailhache brothers et al who are the key players in so much of the failures being allowed to happen.

      Well, we can hope.

  4. Neil on radio today is a "campaigner" not a "dreaded" blogger, how times change!!

  5. This is a bit premature.
    All witnesses want recommendations to be implemented and if they didn't why would they have bothered to attend?

    1. @14:22 "This is a bit premature. All witnesses want ......."

      How would you know what all witnesses want?

      Especially as some of the witnesses are accused of being the vilest child molesters, serial rapists, sadists and child batterers?

      People who the police wanted charged and the law offices refused to charge and the CoI allowed to give multiple testimony under different names.

      Do they want children's rights to be protected any more than the Bailhache brothers?

      I think not.

  6. Excellent.

    It was a good moment yesterday. As I sat there watching VFC deliver our closing argument it was a proud moment. A long hard road summed up just right. There was respect from council for your views and passion.

    We have all stepped up to the plate..

    Years of dedicated hard work.

    Well done VFC. Its not easy to do what you did. Onwards we go.

  7. It was extraordinarily well delivered, with original proposals for reform and it was well received by the Panel. So good in fact that I was wondering if it was really you...brilliant stuff.

  8. As comment at 11:51. Good to hear you back on BBC Radio Jersey. Without being cut off, in your prime!?

    1. Well done VFC

      What day and time and can we catch it on the iplayer?

    2. BBC ...... too little too late

      After 4 minutes, at about 2h12m30s
      "er, an abrupt end to that interview there"

      I trust that the BBC did not edit anything important out there VFC?

      It is striking how the BBC presenters frame everything in terms of "care" and "what could be improved", and religiously avoid the "A" word.

      Well done VFC.

  9. Why the abrupt end to that interview? Was it an accident or on purpose?

    1. To be fair I don't think there was anything sinister. In fairness to the BBC (and the JEP) they have reported fairly and accurately, for the most part, of the entire COI.

      BBC gave my interview, with Chris Rayner, a good airing today, although I can't remember what I said (the bit that got cut off) I think the most important parts were aired.

  10. Hi Neil,
    Totally agree with all the above, I heard you this morning and was so proud for you, that you are finally getting the acknowledgment that you deserve.
    Rico the same, well done for keeping up with it and not letting the troll win.

    Will second you on saying the BBC Radio have stepped up the game, well done to them.

    This report I hope as you said comes up with some out the box thinking and recommends that our Child Services are paired with somewhere like Scotland. So no one can get to close, that they can't get sacked!

    As you said "this £23 million report, CAN NOT just get left on a Shelf" like the rest of them, think you named 5? All saying pretty much the same, that Jersey is failing Children, for the lot of them to be collecting dust!

    Fair play to you, remember when I heard you on Jersey Radio's The Phone In! I used to go on as well and we weren't aloud to rock any boat and it got that bad for the BBC, that all they could do was pull it off air! We were touching to many well closed closet doors! And good old Emille he was one person the Radio didn't know how to handle. So they just stopped letting the Fuxking Plebs have a window to vent there disgust.

    You knew your facts better then anyone and still do to this day, the boat would have to leave the harbor early in the morning to catch you out of your depth. You know more facts about the goings on then the people the facts are about!

    Is Le Marquand still in that Toilet? Think he should stay in there and maybe Lewis should get into the next cubicle, when the report comes out.

    I was there for his second day of testimony and toe curling it was, looking through your fingers, thinking he's not going to say it again? And he did! The committee saw through him, there's no doubt about that.
    In the Hansard as the QC was quoting from, I could be wrong but not once is there any mention of a Letter! French or other? The guy was made a foul of! He could not say those two words, that would of blowen the Fuxking doors off! Could he? "Warcup" " Letter"!

    You've had a long journey and from that rough diamond you have become the polished gem that you knew you always were.

    Anyway, well done you.


  11. Well done Neil you got strong relevant points into a short space of time, and spoke well, interesting that you are now a campaigner, and invited on to radio to be interviewd. Both you and Rico and other team voice members have spent years on this, well done Jersey owes you and of course not forgetting Stuart for his sacrifice also.


  12. On reading about the two civil servants who flew business class to South Africa and who had pre booked to play in a golf tournament, I was reminded of the furore that exploded regarding the two police officers who flew business class to Australia to interview two survivors from HDLG. Lenny could answer criticism as the officers took no rest days and flew from one end of Australia to the other ,flights had been authorised by Home Affairs. However the true facts were never made clear by the MSN only the blogs told the truth. I wonder how this fiasco will pan out?

    1. They should be sacked. Absolute arrogance. But who will ask questions in the States bar Higgins as they were when LH sent police to Australia? King is a bit of a buffoon anyway judging by the fantasy film debacle. But Mr Gallichan's job is attracting rich parasites to Jersey isn't it so perhaps the 1 (1)k attitude to other taxpayers money has rubbed off?

  13. Ex Deputy Pitman asks the SIX million dollar question. Will the COI ensure their report goes over the Old Boys' heads to give us half a chance of anything positive happening? If such a place exists of course? I seem to recall Mr Pitman saying he had asked for an answer to this question right at the offset. Which I guess means that if he still feels the need to ask the same question some two and a half years later the chances are pretty remote.But well done to you as the other posters have said. The sacrifice of you all and people like Mr Syvret and Trevor and Shona Pitman in particular has been huge.

    1. With mention of Shona Pitman I note that according to the Filthy Rag Bowron's police are looking for a driver who swerved toward a pedestrian but did not actually hit him or her.

      What a difference between this and the incident you reported 18 months ago when Shona was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing and with no fewer than three witnesses.

      Police said not enough evidence to prosecute the driver who had failed to stop at a red light didn't they! Rag didn't report it either as far as I recall.

      Yet another example of how in Jersey the law is only applied according to who you are. Nothing changes.

    2. Really? This story sounds unbelievable even by your Jersey standards. If this blog did report such a story could you please tell me the date so I can look it up?

    3. The particular story was published HERE. It was the eighth most read Blog of 2015 receiving in excess of 200 comments.

    4. More than 200 comments! S**t! Yet no action taken?

      Chuck in the three witnesses for consideration but "not enough evidence" to prosecute and you begin to understand how "Mr K" got away with it.

      You almost have to admire our Bent Crown officers and glove puppet police chief. They just don't care how obvious their corruption is just like Syvret has always said.

      Banana republic in the English Channel.


  14. What gets reported and what does not ? The civil servants on a five day mining conference need not be there as several private companies were representing Jersey, but the JEP has kept it quiet that Philip Ozouf was also in South Africa, and went on to Johannesburg and then Rwanda giving a cost of only £7K total for him and his civil servants, making a total of £22,000 with King and companys costs.

    That's if you a believe a word they say ? Remember they carry credit cards issued, and settled each month by the treasury department using the taxes people pay. Will this be investigated properly ?

    For lower earners that rely on buses, the fare has just gone up 50p per person per trip. From Town to First Tower is now £2.00. Any question's please write to any minister any where in the world at any time.

    1. "Any questions to any minister anywhere any time." PMSL. Ive read somewhere that cost of a flight on Virgin Galactic's suborbital SpaceShipTwo have jumped to $250,000. Well I think a lot of tax payers would gladly dip into the public purse to the tune of $125,000 to buy Ozouf, and the Bellyaches a one way ticket each. Lewis they can simply strap to the outside.

  15. Firstly I want to express my absolute congratulations to you for the many years of struggle (and vilification) you have had to endure at the hands of the local MSM....WELL DONE. Now on the matter of our two 'globe trotting' VIP's (Very Immature Plebs) Mr King has stated he traveled for twenty (later changed to nineteen)hours by air and then woffle, woffle. I am a very traveled person myself and there are not many places I have not been to, BUT if my memory serves me well flight time from LHR to Singapore is about 12hrs so how does it take 19 hrs to get to South Africa? King should have been sacked after the 'film fiasco' never mind his adapted version of this latest escapade. It is a very great shame we all now have to pay our taxes via ITIS, when we had the system before we really had the POWER to simply say "NO" I will not be paying any more tax, and if we all said the same what would 'they' do??? La Moye is not that big.

  16. Just like to echo what most of these comments are saying. Well done Neil.
    You have done a fab job and will be remembered as a hero in history. I remember when you were thinking about giving up VFC. So glad you didn't. Your posts then were fabulous then and you have gone from strength to strength. What an advocate for the children and the man or woman on the street you are. Thank you for your continued effort throughout this painstaking uphill struggle for us all. And sincere thanks to Rico too. You two are gems.

  17. Well done for all your hard work over the years.