Sunday, 16 July 2017

Graham Power on Local Investigative Journalism and Blogs.


Former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM.

On 3rd July 2017 the Independent Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry published its long awaited report. It was a damming and scathing report for the States of Jersey and a complete vindication of the Victims and Survivors who were finally listened to and more importantly believed after decades of being ignored, vilified, threatened and pilloried for attempting to stop the abuse happening to them and for trying to bring their perpetrators to something that resembles "justice" in such a corrupt system. Victims and Survivors remained courageous and dignified and displayed tremendous resolve and tenacity in their plight to be heard. Their vindication has been far too long coming and never more deserving.

Others were vindicated by this Inquiry, to include former Deputy Chief Officer and Senior Investigating Officer (Operation Rectangle) Lenny Harper and the team he led during Rectangle. Graham Power the (possibly illegally) suspended Chief Police Officer was also vindicated and  "reasons" given for his suspension were shown to be (according to the COI) "LIES."

VFC interviewed the former Police Chief the day (4th July 2017) after the Committee of Inquiry published its report. Because the  story was changing almost by the hour we had to interview him again some days later where we exclusively reported he had submitted a criminal complaint, against the politician who suspended him back in 2008 Deputy Andrew Lewis. Which (as far as we are aware) was only covered by BBC Radio Jersey. ITV/CTV has been made aware of the revelation but is unwilling to report it.

Which brings us on to the subject of this Blog Posting and (an extract from) the original interview with Mr. Power. What role did the local Mainstream Media play during Operation Rectangle and what role did Bloggers like Team Voice play? Who were "investigating" and who were (not) "reporting?" what was being reported and what wasn't? How was it being reported?


Former Health Minister and whistleblower Stuart Syvret

Mr. Power's observations, and opinions, of the local Mainstream Media are far from complimentary. It should be emphasised that his opinions on the JEP are (for want of a better word) "historic." He is not making comment of the paper in its current form where we believe there has been a huge turn-around (for the better) under its current Editor. That's not to say that it now practices "Investigative Journalism." It does hold authority to account, better than it ever has, and does report stories that would never have been reported previously. This includes a comprehensive "Saturday Interview" with former Health Minister, and Whistleblower Stuart Syvret. The JEP accurately portrayed the "human story" of being a whistleblower in Jersey and its consequences. We hope to supply a link to that story when one becomes available.

Finally the COI's report has vindicated the work done by Team Voice. We have been vindicated, and thanked, by Chief Minister Senator IAN GORST. This Blog has even been complimented by Deputy Andrew Lewis who has said publicly; "it is a well written Blog"...........Praise indeed.

Team Voice is proud of the part it has played, and continues to play, in giving Victims and Survivors a voice. We are proud of the "investigative" role we have been able to play during this dark period in Jersey's history in order to bring the truth to our readers and viewers. We have been putting the truth out there despite threats of physical violence against us, to include being slashed across the face with a Stanley Blade. Death threats, racial abuse, disability hate, and constant intimidation from those who DON'T want the truth getting out.

We are thankful to the brave whistleblowers who have shown enough confidence in Team Voice to have leaked us many, many, documents which we have published (at great risk) in order to get to the truth.

We are humbled, and extremely thankful to Mr. Power for the acknowledgement and recognition he has given to Team Voice in this interview.

If you support our work and want to give a voice to the voiceless please share this Blog on Social Media Facebook/Twitter etc?




Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Former Police Chief lodges Criminal Complaint Against Sitting Politician.



Former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM

Following the publication of the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry (COI) Report and the revelation of the legal opinion from the island's Attorney General that Deputy Andrew Lewis, after being branded a liar by the COI, will NOT face prosecution for perjury (like you and I would) as he was allegedly covered by Parliamentary Privilege when giving evidence to the COI.

Team Voice has interviewed former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM and asked him his thoughts on the COI's findings and recommendations and indeed his thoughts on Deputy Lewis apparently (legal "opinion") being protected by privilege or not as the case may be. Mr. Power's observations (as one would expect) are far ranging/reaching on this and all subjects discussed in the exclusive interview.

Deputy Andrew Lewis.

He tells us that the public were duped into believing Deputy Lewis and all States Members who gave evidence to the COI were doing so under the same circumstances as everybody else giving evidence. Why was he asked to swear an oath before giving evidence? Why didn't the  Panel ask him to just be truthful as there was no point in swearing an oath? Victims/Survivors and witnesses (who weren't politicians) gave evidence under the threat of prison for perjury. Andrew Lewis didn't.

There are other opinions on the definition of Parliamentary Privilege that don't sit alongside that of the Jersey Attorney General. Mr. Power, for instance told us:

"It has been suggested to me that there is no known precedent for the use of privilege to escape prosecution for perjury and that the AG is quoting the law out of context in that the overall purpose of the immunity is to allow members to speak openly and honestly without fear of legal reprisals. Not to lie through their back teeth."

The former Chief Police Officer asks what implications this might have further afield (Grenfell Tower Inquiry) and much more. By referring Deputy Lewis's apparent lies to PPC isn't this already going against the COI's recommendations and in particular recommendation 7 (Below)?

Regular readers will be aware that PPC has already looked at the evidence against Andrew Lewis when VFC made a complaint about his apparent lies but PPC did NOT act on my complaint and further denied me a properly constituted (PPC) Hearing where I would have been granted the protection (which I need(ed)) of privilege enjoyed by Deputy Lewis. my complaint to PPC can, and should, be read HERE and HERE.

Recommendation 7 features heavily in this interview which is why we have published it below so readers can make themselves aware of it when considering the action/inactions of the government in the coming weeks/months or even years. It has to be said that it doesn't look like the best of starts after spending £23m on an "independent" judge-led Inquiry which found that one of our politicians lied and our politicians want politicians (PPC) to look into it.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst.

Team Voice can also exclusively reveal that the former Chief Police Officer has lodged a formal criminal complaint against Deputy Lewis with the Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst. Mr. Power is asking that the Chief Minister put into place an "independent" criminal investigation into the actions of Deputy Andrew Lewis. At time of publication the Chief Minister had not responded to Mr. Power and we hope to keep readers updated as we are.

Readers are encouraged to watch this interview (below) in its entirety as it is full of thought provoking revelations few might have thought about. One thing readers/viewers can be certain of  Mr. Power is not going away any time soon. In fact VFC has been liaising with Mr. Power for not far off a decade now and we have to say we have never seen him as animated, and determined, as he is now. He looks to have the bit between his teeth and so he should. He, and his family, have been badly wronged. This needs to be put right and he is determined for this to happen.

Recommendation 7: The “Jersey Way”

13.41 Throughout the course of the Inquiry, we heard reference to the “Jersey Way” notwithstanding that there did not seem to be any set definition of the term. On some occasions it was used in a positive way, to describe a strong culture of community and voluntary involvement across the island, and this is something we recognise as a strength of the island, from the many contacts we had with voluntary organisations and individuals who give generously of their time to serve the interests of others. On most occasions, however, the “Jersey Way” was used in a pejorative way, to describe a perceived system whereby serious issues are swept under the carpet and people escape being held to account for abuses perpetrated. A Phase 3 witness told us: “we [also] have the impossible situation of the non-separation of powers between the judiciary and political and there is a lot of secrecy, non-transparency and a lack of openness. This brings with it the lack of trust, the fear factor that many have spoken about and contributes greatly to the Jersey Way”. 

It is this strongly held perception by many of those who experienced abuse that will continue to undermine any attempts to move the island forward from the matters into which we have inquired. We therefore recommend that open consideration involving the whole community is given to how this negative perception of the “Jersey Way” can be countered on a lasting basis.

13.42 Jersey has a long and proudly held tradition of governance, but that is not to say that steps should not be taken to reflect the modern world in which the island exists. As with many long-established jurisdictions, there can be a resistance to change, which is something that seems to be acknowledged. We are of the opinion that this serious matter cannot be addressed without further consideration being given, in the light of our findings, to recommendations contained in the Clothier and Carswell Reports.

13.43 While these involve constitutional matters, we are firmly of the view that the progress that must be made in relation to future care and safety of children in Jersey will be undermined if they are not dealt with such that all perceptions of there being a negative “Jersey Way” are eradicated once and for all. Achieving this would, in our opinion, provide a very strong visible marker that there was a deep determination in the island to use the conclusion of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry as a platform to ensure that the island’s children and young people will be looked after in a caring and compassionate system that is underpinned by a system of governance in which there is the utmost confidence among all of the island’s citizens.(END.)



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst. Interview IJCI Report.


Chief Minister Ian Gorst.

Yesterday (Mon July 3rd 2017) saw the publication of the long awaited report of the Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry which can (and should) be read HERE. As readers would expect Team Voice will be reporting on the report's content/findings in more detail in the coming weeks/months.

Firstly we should say that the report vindicated the Victims and Survivors of horrendous abuse over a period of decades. They were listened to by the Child Abuse Inquiry and most importantly they were believed. A landmark day for the survivors.

VFC was granted an in-depth interview (video below) with Chief Minister Ian Gorst who acknowledged the vindication of Victims/Survivors and went on to acknowledge/vindicate Team Voice for its determination to give them a voice.

We asked the Chief Minister questions that don't get asked by the local Mainstream Media, indeed we asked him about the local MSM, who despite (in some cases) have improved their reporting (or not) in recent years still have many questions to answer for their role in forming public opinion against the original police investigation (Operation Rectangle) and by implication the Victims/Survivors and their campaigners.

Chief Minister Gorst is encouraging States Members and members of the public to read the Inquiry's report in its entirety. He wants people to try and understand the extent of the abuse dished out to vulnerable children who were in the "care" of the States of Jersey and elsewhere. We too encourage readers of this Blog to read the harrowing stories given in evidence by Victims/Survivors and others.

Unless people have read the transcripts/evidence of abuse Survivors' to the Inquiry they will have no idea of the horrors they were subjected to. This (we argue) is because the local MSM has down-played that evidence/abuse and not reported on it at all.

A particular story they haunts me to this day and I believe will haunt me for a long time to come is of a Victim/Survivor giving evidence to the Inquiry. He was, courageously, reliving/telling his story of when he was an eight year old boy at Haut de la Garenne when he was anally raped by one of the staff. His anus was bleeding for days and through embarrassment/fear he tried to mask the anal bleeding by stuffing toilet roll in the wound. When that did not "cure" the "problem" he was taken to the hospital where the "doctor" "diagnosed" him with piles and back he went to Haut de la Garenne. The Victim/Survivor told the Inquiry that his abuser told him if he spoke of the abuse to anybody he will be sent to St. Saviour's mental hospital.

Can you imagine being an eight year old vulnerable child put into an institution of "care" where you are being anally raped/tortured and then being told/threatened that a place exists (St. Saviour's) worse than where you are at?

The same day this evidence was given to the Inquiry local ITV/CTV reported that evidence of abuse was given at the Care Inquiry by Victims which included being flicked by towels in the shower. This is why the local MSM's role in public opinion against Operation Rectangle, and by implication, the Victims and Survivors should have formed part of the Inquiry's TOR's and why everybody should read the Inquiry's report to get a real understanding of what torture these vulnerable children really went through because the MSM hasn't told that story.


Former Home Affairs Minister Deputy Andrew Lewis.

We also asked Chief Minister Gorst what he is going to do about former Home Affairs Minister, and current PAC Chairman, Andrew Lewis. Deputy Lewis has now been labelled a "liar" by the Panel of the Care Inquiry. The Panel believes that not only did the Deputy lie to the Island's parliament when he (possibly illegally) suspended the Chief of Police during a live Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) but believe he also lied (under oath) to the Inquiry itself. Is that not perjury?

The Chief Minister was visibly uncomfortable with that question and answered it by saying the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) will need to look at it. When told by VFC that a complaint had already been made about Deputy Lewis' "lies" (long before the report was published) PPC refused to deal with it. The Chief Minister told us that PPC will HAVE to deal with it.

Regular readers will be aware of the complaint to PPC against Andrew Lewis but for our many new readers it can be read HERE and HERE. The question has to be asked: "Is PPC fit for purpose and will a Vote of No Confidence be brought against it?" We are told that a Vote of No Confidence against Deputy Andrew Lewis IS being drafted and attracting strong support from across the political divide.

Also discussed in the interview below are the recommendations of the Care Inquiry and if /how they can be implemented. "The Jersey Way" is another topic discussed and much more.

Team Voice would like to thank Chief Minister Gorst for being approachable and engaging with Citizens Media. We also thank him for the support he has given to the Care Inquiry, his vindication of Abuse Survivors and finally his vindication and support of Team Voice's campaign.

We'd like to take this opportunity to remind the media that there will be a Press Conference held by Campaigners for Abuse Victims/Survivors at the Royal Court Building 1:pm in the Blampied room. The Press Release can be read HERE.










Sunday, 2 July 2017

What To Look Out For In The Abuse Inquiry Report.


Former Deputy Daniel Wimberley.

In little more than twenty four hours the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry will (should) be publishing its long-awaited report. (3:pm Monday July 3rd 2017)

Ahead of its publication former Jersey politician, and Anti Child Abuse Campaigner, Daniel Wimberley has put together a number of crucial questions which need to be addressed and "what to look out for" in the report.


Submission (to VFC) of Daniel Wimberley.

Hillsborough is in the News right now – it took 28 years and a series of inquiries before the truth finally was uncovered, and prosecutions brought. I am sure we all want to believe that the Abuse Inquiry here in Jersey gets it “right first time”. But will it? 

I have my doubts, and we need to be ready, as a team, to go through this report at speed and test it to see if it is reliable. The media will want comment and we should be ready to respond with reasoned views, whichever way they go, as soon as we are able.

So, in this post I list some standout moments, moments which encapsulate key issues for the panel. These startling admissions or contradictions in the evidence must have registered with the Panel.

To do a quick audit of the Report we can focus on how the Panel deals with these key moments. We can see if they have been paying attention and if their conclusions are likely to be well-founded.

And if they have ignored, or missed these moments, then it is likely that the Report and its conclusions, in the relevant areas, will not be of much use, and a sad waste of money.

Let us hope that they have done the job properly, it is all we can hope for.

Please add your own standout moments in comments, additions to lists of examples etc.. 

If you want to help with the team readathon, let Voice know. We assume the Report will be searchable so it should be possible to type in a string of words and find them. If there are hard copies available, we assume they will have a comprehensive index. 

So, here goes . . . 


Former DCO/SIO Lenny Harper.


STARTING AT THE TOP . . . 

The relationship between Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper (LH), and Attorney General (AG), William Bailhache (WB) 

Question 1: 

Is Paragraph 36 of LH’s First witness statement referred to at all in the Inquiry report? If it is, how is it treated?

NOTES 

At stake here is the credibility of on the one hand the Senior Investigating Officer, and on the other the prosecuting authority.

Here is para. 36: 

“I cannot recall any occasions where the Attorney General did agree to charge employees of the SOJP in relation to malpractice/corruption. Even where we had caught members of the IT department fraudulently buying computers and recording equipment for their own use at home, use which included taking topless photos of their wives, the Attorney General refused to take action. There was even one occasion where we had CCTV evidence of a particular Special Branch Officer indulging in sexual activity in the Special Branch office with a foreign national, and then letting her look at confidential papers on terrorism, and yet no charges were brought.”

The whole issue of LH’s mistrust of the AG is in this paragraph. Why were some at least of these cases not prosecuted? 

I have searched on WB’s witness statement and the transcript of his hearing for the words “equipment” “recording” Special” Branch” and “CCTV” and there were no results. 

NB The Boschat affair was covered by the Inquiry from both sides. The letter of advice for the then SG Stephanie Nicolle is reproduced as an Exhibit of WB’s witness statement. 

The gist of her letter is that the goings-on between the police officers involved, especially Sean Osmand, and Boschat himself appear to be not right, but that there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Her letter is in WB’s exhibits. (It is 95% not there, replaced by a series of solid black squares.) 

It could be that the Panel were able to read other background about the matters in paragraph 36. Then we will see if that is so from their report.


Former AG/current Bailiff William Bailhache


Continuing with WB 

Question 2: 

(again, what is at stake is his credibility) Does the Inquiry report consider the discrepancies in the 2 extracts below, is the Report’s analysis thorough and convincing, and what conclusion does it come to?

Extract 1 

The AG’s letter (not sure to whom) says: "He (witness K”) received consistently good reports from those responsible for monitoring and evaluating his performance." 

When “MR. K.” is questioned about this by Inquiry Counsel Patrick Saad, Mr. K. says the reports, and, monitoring, didn’t exist. More precisely, there were no WRITTEN reports, only verbal ones. But the words of the AG William Bailhache suggest written formal reports. 

Extract 2 

William Bailhache’s June 2009 public statement says about allegations of cigarette burns: ..… but there is no physical sign of any injury” 

But from Jason Payne-James registered medical practitioner, and specialist in forensic and legal medicine’ we get this: "On examination of his back there were numerous pale mature scars generally less than ... in size down to about [so much] in size. They extended across [an area of the back], they were in no fixed pattern and of no particular shape. They represent areas of skin that have sustained damage of an extent enough to result in residual scars. Causes could include cigarette burns” From his report for the redress scheme, written June 2014


Former Home Affairs Minister/current Deputy
Andrew POWERGATE Lewis.


Andrew Lewis (AL) and connected issues 

Question 3: 

Does the Inquiry report say AL lied to the inquiry panel on oath? Or that he lied to the States? If not, how do they come to that conclusion, and is their reasoning credible? 

If they conclude that he did lie, and if they suggest a prosecution or similar process of some kind, do they address the conflict of interest which will then arise between the AG’s role as lawyer for the government (and therefore, of Ministers) and the AG’s role as public prosecutor?

NOTES 

On December 2 2008 AL made a statement to the States announcing the suspension of Chief of Police (COP) Graham Power (GP). During the questions and answers which followed the statement he said the following words: 

“I have read an alarming report from the Metropolitan Police which led me to this decision (to suspend GP) in the first place.” ………………………

"As far as the accusation you raise about the Metropolitan Police, when I saw the preliminary report I was astounded. So much so that my actions, I believe, are fully justified. If the preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal. So my successor will have an interesting time. The report that I was shown gave me no doubt at all." (My emphasis)

But in the report by Brian Napier QC (para. 101) we read: 

"As previously has been noted, neither Mr Lewis nor Mr Ogley saw the Interim Report. Neither did they seek to see it. The reason given was the nature of the information that was contained therein. It was, said Mr Ogley, a police document and it was inappropriate that he (or anyone else) should have access to it. Mr Ogley says that he was told both by the Attorney General and Mr Warcup that he should not look at the interim report and neither he nor Mr Lewis did so." (My emphasis) 

Conflicts of interest 

Question 4:

Including the Lewis case, does the Report address the conflict of interest between the AG’s role in Jersey as lawyer for the government (and therefore, of Ministers) and the AG’s role as public prosecutor? What steps do they suggest to deal with this, and are they adequate?

Sir Philip Bailhache 

Question 5: 

Does the Inquiry report say anything at all about the words spoken by the Bailiff (Sir Philip Bailhache) to AL, telling him in effect to stop speaking about the Met Interim Report. in the extract below? (For those who have not considered these words before, I suggest you take a close look, and reflect on their significance.) 

These words were spoken in the in camera Q&A with Home Affairs Minister Lewis, about why he has just suspended the Chief of Police Graham Power. 

The Deputy of St. John (Andrew Lewis): 

"I am bringing a Chief Officer to account. I am giving him every opportunity to defend himself. As far as the accusation you raise about the Metropolitan Police, when I saw the preliminary report I was astounded. So much so that my actions, I believe, are fully justified. If the preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal. So my successor will have an interesting time. The report that I was shown gave me no doubt at all ..."

The Bailiff: 

Minister, do not go down this road, please.

The Deputy of St. John: 

... that the actions that I took were justified and we will await the outcome of the investigation as to whether it was. 

Now why would the Bailiff say such a thing? This is about whether the Panel were inquisitive about what is going on. 

Andrew Lewis not getting any advice sent to him direct

Question 6: 

Does the Inquiry report set out clearly exactly who in the LOD sent what advice to whom and when about the possible suspension of GP, people such as head of Human Resources Ian Crich, and Chief Executive, Bill Ogley? 

Does the Inquiry report consider why Lewis was never (so far as I know) sent legal advice by the Law officers even though he was the Minister for Home Affairs (MHA) and as such the only person who can suspend the Chief of Police? 

Andrew Lewis and how the suspension of GP was approached

Question 7:

Does the Inquiry report consider why Lewis could say things like what is quoted below, from the transcript of Day 136 and what conclusions does it draw?

Ms McGahey, Counsel to the Inquiry, asking about the phone call made by AL to GP on the evening before the suspension meeting on November 12th 2008:

“You didn't tell him, did you, that you were going to consider his suspension?

A. (Andrew Lewis) Why would we want to do that?


Former CEO Bill Ogley.

Chief Executive (CE) Bill Ogley (BO) and how the suspension of GP was approached

Question 8:

Does the Report consider the legal advice which Bill Ogley had received from the Law Officers about suspending Chief of Police Graham Power? Is the way it does this thorough and convincing, and what conclusion does it come to?

NOTES 

Ms McGahey to Bill Ogley: 

Q. ………. But he (the AG) is the principal Law Officer. You have in your hands an email and absolutely it is in parentheses in the context of an email principally about the press statement, that says "Surely you will want to have the full Met report before you suspend". Is that expression of opinion not worthy of being taken very seriously?

…………………………..

Q. Did you know that the Solicitor General had advised that you should ensure that the interim report from the Metropolitan Police didn't have any caveats or qualifications in it before you relied on it as a basis for suspension? 

A. We were not allowed to see the interim report, or be aware fully of its contents. 

Q. And so you didn't know whether it had any qualifications or caveats?

A. No. And I'm not sure that I know of that advice. If you could put it before me I would be interested to see it.

The only person who knew of the caveats was Deputy Chief of Police David Warcup (DW). Bill Ogley here seems to be handing him the responsibility of telling other people about these caveats. How does the Report deal with this?

Bill Ogley, Andrew Lewis, and lying

Question 9:

How does the Inquiry Report deal with what Bill Ogley and Andrew Lewis told the Wiltshire Police investigation (Operation Haven) about the dates of the letters written to GP about his suspension? Does the Inquiry come to the conclusion that they lied (see below), what is its reasoning, and what conclusions do they draw?

NOTE

My notes show that both BO and AL lied to (or “misled”) Wiltshire about the dates in what are effectively sworn statements, but I may be wrong on this. Can someone please confirm this and give references, preferably from Inquiry evidence?

Destruction of evidence.

Question 10:

Does the Inquiry report have a section on this crucial issue, drawing together all they have been told and drawing conclusions? Did they truly inquire about the various instances they were told about?


Former Deputy Trevor Pitman.


NOTE

My impression has been that they are unaware of the importance of this issue and completely lacking in any desire to inquire (Inquiry – the clue is in the title) But I may be wrong. 

Here are five cases which I remember – please commenters, tell about others.

a) Mario Lundy (Director of Education) witness statement paragraph 24 says that a manager who joined . . . . destroyed the day books 

b) Trevor Pitman’s witness statement where he mentioned 4 (if I remember correctly) boxes which were found, handed over to a “senior” person, signed for and then disappeared.

c) Hewlett witness statement or transcript, but no reference, sorry

d) “chaotic filing” at Childrens’ Services no reference, sorry

e) LH witness statement (if I remember correctly) refers to missing records

the skull and the coconut

Question 11:

Does the Inquiry come to a sensible and defensible position on this question? And what was the role of the media and politicians in highlighting this one object, and how does the Inquiry evaluate their motives for doing this?

NOTE

There is only one possible position, is there not? An object with collagen in it cannot be the same object as an object with no collagen. So the piece identified originally as maybe a fragment of a child’s skull, and which when sent away for testing, had collagen is not the same object as the “piece of coconut”. But this involves some awareness of what can and does go on at forensic testing establishments. LH refers to it a statement he makes somewhere, but did he tell the COI? Did they ask?

LH’s handling of the media

Question 12:

Does the Report make a clear distinction between what Harper said and wrote and what a) others like Ben Shenton and Frank Walker said that he said and b) what the media said that he said? Does the Report come to a balanced view about the pros and cons of his media approach?

Judges’ attacks on LH

Question 13:

How does the Report describe and interpret the appearance on front pages of the JEP of judges Montgomery and Pitchers, both with headlines and copy attacking Harper?

Does the Report analyse these attacks and their refutation by LH? Did the Panel fulfil their duty to inquire into how these assertions came to be made within judgements and how these highly controversial assertions came to court and were dealt with in court?

NOTE

There is a huge amount at stake in the answers to these questions. They are linked to the answer to Question 5. Were the Inquiry Panel interested in the possibility of a politicised judiciary? Were they inquisitive about this possibility?

Accusations that LH and GP created a bullying culture in the States of Jersey Police (SoJP)

Question 14:

How does the Inquiry report cover this issue?



Former Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand.

NOTE

The accusation of bullying by LH and GP was a vital part of the “war” waged by in particular Minister for Home Affairs Ian Le Marquand to discredit the top team at the Police.

It is of course a very serious accusation, particularly in a uniformed organisation such as the Police with strict lines of command. LH says this (first witness statement paragraph 23 and second witness statement paragraph 57):

“Quite early on in my career at the SOJP, it was clear that many Jersey politicians did not approve of our efforts to tackle bullying. We were openly criticised in the media by these people and on one
occasion were referred to as the 'politically correct KGB stalking the corridors of police headquarters.”

…………….. 

Mr Gradwell claims that there was a culture of bullying among senior officers within the force, naming myself, Graham Power, Shaun Du Val, and David Minty. He seems to have turned this on its head. I had to take firm action on arrival within the force to stop a minority of officers from bullying, but it had nothing to do with the senior ranks of the force. These matters included assaults, inappropriate behaviour and comments, and even holding a gun to an officer's head, as well as racist abuse. I detail a number of these incidents in my exhibit LH/l. The records of each case should still be available at Police Headquarters. Despite being labelled the "politically correct KGB stalking the corridors of Police Headquarters" by one politician, we were very successful in dealing with this, to the extent that officers were happy to report incidents to us.

Ian le Marquand was forced by GP to publicly withdraw accusations of bullying.

Former Health Minister Stuart Syvret.

Removal of Stuart Syvret (SS) from ministerial post

Question 15:

Does the Inquiry report recognise the importance of this dismissal and tackle this subject in detail, fairly and robustly? Were SS’s criticisms of the childrens’ services right? Was Mike Pollard’s letter to all staff criticising the actions of the Minister right? How does the Inquiry report deal with the “conspiracy” in the Civil Service – the 2 simultaneous meetings documented by the File Notes of GP and Alison Fossey?

Does the Report connect the removal of SS from his ministerial post to the sacking of social worker Simon Bellwood and the suspension of Graham Power? What conclusions does it draw about these events? Does the Report connect this apparent conspiracy with the apparent conspiracy surrounding the suspension of GP?

The role of the media

Question 16:

Does the Inquiry report analyse how the media in Jersey reported on the abuse which occurred, the investigation by the Police, the political dimension and so on? There are academic teams who do content analysis of media – did the Inquiry commission research?

Were the media objective and unbiassed? Were they challenging? Does the Inquiry report consider both traditional and internet? Has the Report described the impact media had on politics and society in the area of child sexual abuse in the past and has the Inquiry report made robust and useful recommendations about the role that the media could play in the future to help bring about a society free from child abuse

Does the Inquiry report explain why they called no editor or journalist as a witness?

NOTE

It is as if the Panel did not think the media were part of the TOR, But they most certainly are. See TOR 4 “Examine the political and societal environment during the period under review . . .”

IN CONCLUSION

I have left out many areas, concentrating on the political and social issues. This is long enough as it is.

I think that they will actually do the job on Childrens’ Services and how they failed and ways to improve them. I have far less confidence about the areas focussed on here.

I have not covered recommendations for the future, that is a separate task. First we need to know if the Committee of Inquiry’s diagnosis of what went wrong and why it went wrong is based on a real understanding of the issues.

I hope that this list of some key issues is useful, and that people add their own issues, and add their own examples e.g. of evidence which has gone missing.

Daniel.