Sunday, 9 February 2014

Tom Perry On Radio 5 Live.

In January 2012 VFC published a Guest Posting from Abusee and anti Child Abuse Campaigner Tom Perry. Tom's posting was on the subject of the word "historic" being used by the media, and others, when it concerned child abuse that served/serves to diminish the crimes committed against children but not generally used for any other crime. The Blog Posting can be read HERE.

What we were unable to report back in January 2012 is that Tom was involved in a court case that recently saw his abuser, Roland Wright, from Caldicott Prep school and other abusers  found guilty of Child Abuse crimes, and in the case of Roland Wright, sentenced to 8 years imprisonment, DECADES after the crimes were committed so not quite so "historic" for Roland Wright and his family as much as it isn't for Tom Perry who tells Stephen Nolan on Radio 5 Live (below) the he (Mr. Perry) is serving a life sentence as a result of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Roland Wright.

Tom has been, and is, campaigning for "Mandatory Reporting" to become legislation in England, Wales and Scotland. In short the legislation will make it illegal to turn a blind eye to Child Abuse. A subject highlighted on VFC with a Guest Posting from Peter Saunders who is the Chief Executive Officer of Association of People Abused in Childhood or NAPAC for short. Mr. Saunders' Guest Posting can be viewed HERE.

VFC once more asks readers (if you haven't already) to sign the petition requesting this Mandatory Reporting to be made into legislation, in the hope that if the UK adopts the legislation Jersey might follow suit? The petition can be signed HERE.

Tom Perry (and countless other Abuse Victims/Survivors) has shown immense courage, and determination, in order to bring abusers/paedophiles to justice notwithstanding his contribution to the BAFTA Award Winning, Channel 4, Documentary "Chosen" and appearances on Mainstream media, to include his recent appearance on Channel 4 News, both of which can be viewed HERE.

Below is an interview with Tom on the Stephen Nolan Show from BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast the night before last which will only be available on the iplayer for a week so I thought it worth keeping hold of and publishing here in the hope that Tom can inspire others to speak out against their abusers. Victims/parents might recognise when they are being groomed, or have faith that no matter how long it takes, these animals do get brought to justice however lacking it (justice) is in Jersey at the moment.

Please sign the PETITION and follow @mandatenow on Twitter.

VFC credit BBC RADIO 5 LIVE for this recording.



  1. Mr Perry is an inspiration and great ambassador for survivors which comes across in bucket loads in this interview. Every parent or guardian should listen to the interview if for no other reason than to learn how their children are groomed. I signed the petition some time ago.

    1. Tom Perry,yes what an amazing gentleman

      The abuser of him and all those boys finally faces some sort of justice at 83 after enjoying 50 odd years of freedom
      And of course freedom to abuse further. The real number of victims of the headmaster and other staff probably runs into the hundreds

      It seems the victims have been working towards this conviction for a number of years and it has been a difficult road.

      As a man in his 50's/60's Mr. Perry is wonderfully composed and philosophical but you can only guess at the internal demons he had to fight in the years between. Maybe one day he will share this part of his story. The right coping strategies are probably important to understand, compartmentalise and rationalise and to avoid decent into suicide or drug fuelled oblivion as happened with some of the other boys.

      Being beaten and threatened so that you can be raped could lead to an overlapping set of problems to abuse facilitated by grooming. I imagine that in both situations (or mixed situations) the road to recovery starts with an understanding of what has happened (to rationalise & come to terms) and then (importantly) with an ability to forgive yourself through an understanding of power balance within the 'human condition'.
      These (or alternative) understandings (of sexuality/human condition) will not come easy to the young, or to a troubled mind and a confused psyche so concealing can be vital to control the damage and achieve a permanent recovery.

      Reporting and making other people safe can be a source of pride and inner strength and prevent the demons from re-surfacing

      Thank you Tom Perry. It is so important to have an immaculately well spoken man from an exclusive school recount his experience. This brings it home to people that grooming and abuse is not just a danger and a tragedy for poor people. -People who some (particularly in our community) perceive as of being of less 'worth' and never going to amount to anything anyway. Of course 'polite' Jersey would deny this but they regularly revel their attitude by their actions and inaction.

      Some of the techniques are the same but Mr. Perry's experience is less relevant o HDLG than to the abuses under Bailhache at Victoria College.

      Mandatory reporting of suspicions is of critical importance. Probably every major abuse scandal both here and on the mainland (Savile, HDLG ....and probably many which have gone undetected) could have been prevented ore reduced if mandatory reporting laws were in place.

      VFC, It could be most interesting to canvas opinion on Mandatory Reporting of various historic characters including Mr. Bailhache and Ex. Jurat Le Breton.

      Bailhache & Bailhache are unlikely to condescend to reply because they share responsibility for this, and any other shortcomings in Jersey Law.

      Then also canvas States Members and the various echelons of children's services and education.

      The JEP is getting desperate and way wish to join you in your campaign LOL

    2. Oops, spotted a few typos on my above comment but none as bad as the one corrected here:
      "These (or alternative) understandings (of sexuality/human condition) will not come easy to the young, or to a troubled mind and a confused psyche so COUNSELINGS can be vital to control the damage and achieve a permanent recovery."

      "concealing" abuse is only important to the perpetrators and those who benefit from protecting them.

      The benefit to protectors/concealers can come in all sorts of forms. From shared responsibility to job security, from family or friendship cohesion to access to good old fashioned cash.

      So many reasons for not doing the right thing in Jersey?

    3. Jersey will never adopt this legislation because as Bill Ogley once said it could bring down the entire goverment I signed the petition regardless.

    4. Anon at 12:16
      I believe it was Chief Minister Frank Walker who said that
      (didn't he also later say something like "don't worry there won't be any prosecutions" ?)

      Mandatory Reporting will not bring down the government (or would it?)

      It would be interesting if the Mandatory Reporting law were made retrospective. Even retrospective reporting would probably only take out a few misfits like Bailhach, Pryke ........

      but who knows?

      Retrospective legislation is very uncommon but could be justified in this case.

    5. I believe it was Bill Ogley who said "this could bring down the government" and awaiting confirmation from former SIO Lenny Harper. I seriously can't believe that Jersey will follow suit in legislating for Mandatory Reporting even if the UK does but here's hoping.

    6. From former DCO and SIO Lenny Harper.

      "It was Bill Ogley Ogley, although Frank Walker was sitting beside him. Frank Walker had bollocked me for going public, talking to Stuart Syvret, and calling people victims. When I refused to back down Ogley said "don't you realise this could bring down the government?"

  2. November 19th 2013 Deputy Mike Higgins asked the Chief Minister if Jersey would adopt Mandatory Reporting. He was fobbed off by the Assistant Chief Minister in a disgraceful display of non-commital and waffle. Here is the Hansard record of that question. (part 1)

    3.8 Deputy M.R. Higgins of the Chief Minister regarding calls in the U.K. to create a criminal offence of failure to report suspected child abuse:

    Would the Chief Minister support calls by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer Q.C., for a change in the law to make it mandatory for all persons in authority or who have responsibility in relation to children, to report child abuse when they believe that a child has been abused or is about to be abused under a penalty of imprisonment or a fine and if not, why not?

    Senator I.J. Gorst:
    I would like to ask my Assistant Minister who sits on the Children’s Policy Group that deals with these matters to answer this question.

    Senator P.F. Routier (Assistant Chief Minister - rapporteur):
    I am pleased that the Deputy has asked this question as I am asking the Children’s Policy Group to work with the Independent Safeguarding Chair to consider whether legislation of this nature should be introduced in Jersey.

    The Bailiff:
    Deputy Higgins, do you want a supplementary?

    3.8.1 Deputy M.R. Higgins:
    Yes, perhaps the Assistant Chief Minister can give us a timetable when he can expect to report back or is it going to be after the next election or a year’s time or next week or when, please?

    Senator P.F. Routier:
    It will be on our next agenda when we meet.

    3.8.2 Deputy T.M. Pitman:
    Given not only the decades of concealed child abuse at Haut de la Garenne, but in a week which has also seen the Jersey Evening Post fail in an attempt to block evidence from the Sharp Report into an abuse cover-up at Victoria College being used as evidence in a court case, does the Assistant Chief Minister feel it is now time for Jersey to really show the world that we have moved on from protecting institutions and, indeed, high-ranking public employees, to show that children are at the forefront of our thoughts and our efforts as they undoubtedly should be and that this would be a great way to do so?

    Senator P.F. Routier:
    There has been a considerable step-change in the way Jersey organises its safeguarding policies in recent years and I am pleased to be part of that work. Members will be aware that the Council of Ministers has also established an Adult Safeguarding Group as well as the Children’s Group and we have appointed an Independent Safeguarding Chair. I think Members can feel hopefully reassured that things are a lot different now than what they were in the past and that we will be hopefully dealing with things in an appropriate manner.

    1. Part 2.

      3.8.3 Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:
      I wonder if the Assistant Chief Minister would inform the House whether he is personally in support of the proposed change to the legislation?
      Senator P.F. Routier:
      Since the suggestion was made by Mr. Keir Starmer, I have looked at the issues relating to that and I have to say that there is conflicting evidence. Certainly the Chief Executive of Action Aid does not think that it is an appropriate thing to do but that there are more important things like ensuring that child protection is working and in place and to have a mandatory reporting system probably may not be appropriate. But we are going to look at all the evidence that is available across jurisdictions because I know that in Canada and Australia they do have that provision within their legislation, but we will look at all the evidence that we can find to see if it is appropriate for Jersey. I am not in a position today to say whether I support it myself.
      3.8.4 Deputy S. Pitman of St. Helier:
      Will this legislation apply to Jurats who formerly supported paedophiles in their former jobs and also Bailiffs who have allowed Jurats to sit who have supported paedophiles in their previous jobs?
      Senator P.F. Routier:
      I would imagine that if such legislation were progressed, that it would apply to all members of our community.
      3.8.5 Deputy M. Tadier:
      Does the Assistant Chief Minister at least acknowledge that presently there is an expectation that all persons in authority or who have responsibility in relation to children should report child abuse where they believe that a child has been abused or is about to be abused?
      Senator P.F. Routier:
      Yes, certainly. The people who work within the States bodies currently are expected to report all incidents which are likely to have involved abuse of children and adults. We are currently working on the memorandum of understanding for all States departments to sign up to and I expect that that will be carried out very soon so that all departments will have signed up to a memorandum of understanding.

    2. part 3.

      3.8.6 Deputy M. Tadier:
      Supplementary, please. Given the fact that the Assistant Chief Minister agrees with the principle of the question, does he agree that the only bit that needs to be resolved is what kind of punishment or recourse should be taken if somebody does not sign up to this or does not discharge that duty which we all agree is a normal thing to do?

      Senator P.F. Routier:
      As I said, if legislation is progressed, the penalties would be subject to review by and the advice of the Law Officers’ Department as with any legislation which is progressed within our Island. No doubt the appropriate penalties will be assigned to the legislation, but I have to say that is if we progress that legislation. There are other ways of achieving what we all want, which is the protection of children.

      3.8.7 Deputy M.R. Higgins:
      I must say I am more concerned now than I was before I asked the question and the reason is that the Assistant Chief Minister will not give a commitment. He says he thinks in principle it is a good idea. He thinks that people should be making reports but what penalties are there if they do not make reports at the present time? We know that abuse has gone on in this Island in many of its institutions and we are going to have a Commission of Inquiry to look at many of the issues. There is still abuse going on. There are others who are not caught by the scheme. That is what annoys me. The Assistant Chief Minister talks about the Independent Safeguarding and Standards Panel. I am not even sure I have got any confidence in that panel. I am aware that we have got a written answer from the Chief Minister …

      The Bailiff:
      Deputy, could you come to your question, please?
      Deputy M.R. Higgins:
      Yes, okay. The question is the Independent Safeguarding and Standards Panel he has mentioned has refused 2 serious case reviews that I am aware of, one regarding H.G, which the Chief Minister was putting forward - they did not think it was appropriate - and there is another one where the family should have the case reviewed. We are still failing people. Does the Assistant Chief Minister think that the Independent Safeguarding and Standards Panel is enough and will he answer what existing penalties there are for people who do not report abuse?

    3. Part 4.

      Senator P.F. Routier:
      I am really disappointed in the approach and the line of questioning and the doubt that is put into people’s minds about the ability of the Independent Safeguarding and Standards Panel to operate effectively. I believe that they are working very well and they do have procedures in place to ensure that both children and adults are being protected and they are carrying out their function appropriately. With regard to any penalties or things put in place where people are found to have been carrying out abuse, we have our court procedures which currently are in place but we are always monitoring that to see whether there are any adjustments that need to be made. I will leave it at that.

      3.8.8 Deputy M.R. Higgins:
      The Assistant Chief Minister has not answered the second part of the question, which is what penalties are in place at the present time for people in authority with responsibility for children who do not report their belief that child abuse is taking place? In other words, they do not report it, they just turn a blind eye.

      Senator P.F. Routier:
      I find it very difficult to answer that question because I believe that the processes that we have in place currently with all the multi-agency child protection schemes and the current working of our Adult Safeguarding Panel and our Children’s Safeguarding Panel are working very well. I know the Deputy may be disappointed that he has not been able to convince them to carry out particular cases but they are independent and they make their judgments which they think are appropriate.

      Deputy M.R. Higgins:
      With respect, he still has not answered the question. The question was what penalties exist for members of the Civil Services or public service who fail to report child abuse where they believe it is taking place at the present time. What penalties do they face, anything? Will they be fired? Will they be reprimanded? What?
      Senator P.F. Routier:
      They would no doubt be reported to the States Employment Board and whatever available procedures are in place would be carried out by that board.

  3. VFC

    Another excellent blog update. Tom Perry is brilliant and a hero.

    Thanks for also adding relevant the Hansard transcript. These statements by Senator P.F. Routier inspire no confidence whatsoever that anything has changed enough to ensure child safety in Jersey. Where is the outcry from the majority of the public? No wonder your fellow investigative journalist Rico Sorda is asking the public if they even care about child abuse.

    What are the implications of not having any mandatory reporting requirements? At the very least it remains much harder for whistleblowers, and we know they are the ones already demonized for telling the truth about child abuse.

    What happened when teachers reported child sexual abuse in the past in Jersey? Or the social worker who blew the whistle on abusive solitary confinement in a local care institution? Or the Heath Minister whose microphone was switched off when speaking out on child abuse? How about when honest and independent police refused to accept political interference in their child abuse investigation? What happened to them?

    The law should require all potential whistleblowers to report (and for police to investigate) credible allegations, as those above did, and take away any disincentive from the less brave to do what's right. In several well-documented Jersey cases, concerned employees have made attempts to report abuse to their superiors, only to be silenced and then persecuted. A mandatory reporting law can empower those who would otherwise be refused their employer's permission to report abuse. It could also hold their superiors to account if they attempted to cover up abuse.

    Given the cover-up complicit system in place, it seems very unlikely for Jersey to ever approve a mandatory reporting law.


  4. What is happening to Stuart Syvret's blog?

    1. It has been suspended by Google following a court judgement from Jersey. Hope to have a more detailed explanation published on here in the next day or so.

    2. Yeah he broke the law by writing highly toxic rubbish on a blog so the courts have ordered Google to act which they have done. Pretty standard stuff and long over due.

    3. Thank you for the measured, informed and articulate diagnosis of the unfolding events. I’ll hopefully have a Blog up later today to explain things in a little more detail.

  5. Can you please tell us how to access his blog ? It is supposedly reserved under other hosts.

  6. Is this a first for Google in removing an entire Bloggers ''Blog''?

  7. Google do not care whether what he was saying on the blog was right or wrong.There is an outstanding court order instructing him to remove certain items, which he has consistently failed to do. What choice do you honestly think Google had ? It's not down to them to investigate the veracity of his claims. It is down to them to ensure that information people publish on their sites does not contravene legal constraints. Stuart's actions (or inactions) have breached a court order.

    Despite what you might believe, Google don't care about anything but the legality of their actions, and hosting Stuart's blog, given our local court decision, was placing them in an actionable position.

    The uncomfortable truth is that Stuart has had plenty of opportunities to remove the offending information, and has failed to do so. He could still have his blog, albeit with slight alterations, but his intransigence has cost him everything. Now where have we heard that before ?

  8. In this day and age... having a blog removed because of DATA PROTECTION LAWS is big new for all journalists and reporters of every ilk.
    As far as I am aware, nobody has gone to court with a libel suit - many have been offended and embarrassed by revelations on this blog but i don't believe anybody has actioned him for telling an un-truth.

    This may yet turnout to be a massive home goal for the Jersey establishment.