Monday, 23 May 2016

Lenny Harper Responds.

As the Jersey Establishment (and parts of its media) has recently upped the smear campaign against former top cop and Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) of Jersey's Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle). Lenny Harper has (reluctantly) issued a brief response (below) to some of the criticisms levelled against him and makes a couple of observations of his own.

For those following Jersey's ongoing Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry (COI), you will be aware that "Interested Parties" (IP's) were recently given the opportunity to make final submissions, to the Inquiry Panel, based on the evidence given to the COI by witnesses/Survivors/Victims etc.

As reported HERE by Rico Sorda the Jersey Establishment took (abused?) this opportunity to carry out an all out attack on those who lifted the lid on Jersey's dirty secret(s), exposed the scale of paedophilia on the island, and attempted to bring the Survivors/Victims something close to "justice." This attack was dutifully regurgitated by the State Media, and as far as we are aware, totally unchallenged.

Former SIO Lenny Harper.

Response from former SIO Lenny Harper.

"The past few weeks at the Committee of Inquiry into Child Abuse in Jersey has seen a succession of closing statements by various people and organisations. I chose not to present a closing statement as I believe that I said all I had to say in my evidence and that a further statement, which of necessity would have had to include rebuttals of some of the nonsense written about myself, would only further divert attention away from the victims/survivors and also detract from the main issues. These of course, being the abuse suffered by innocent children at the hands of the States of Jersey, and the disgraceful treatment handed out to them when they tried to report that abuse.

It did not come as a surprise to me, nor I suspect, to any of the victims/survivors or those who have been following the inquiry evidence, that once again, many of those failed organisations or individuals who were implicated in the actions of those organisations, totally ignored the suffering of victims or at best paid lip service to it. Instead they launched a repeat of the attacks on myself and others who had tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to obtain some measure of justice for those victims. Once again, the plight of the innocent victims took second place to an attempted character assassination of the people who had challenged them and refused to give in to their bullying. The same sort of bullying I notice, to which the Inquiry team were subjected to in the very recent past. It may be now that the Inquiry knows exactly the sort of treatment we were talking about when we said that the Jersey establishment came for whoever dared to stand up against them.

As I stated, I do not wish to present a new rebuttal of all the nonsense which would only entail an extension of the slanging match and erode further the focus on the abuse of children. However, there are two factually incorrect assertions made against me which show the desperate nature and intent of the establishment response to being caught out, and I will briefly mention those.

Mick Gradwell.

One of my successors, Mr Gradwell, made part of his closing statement, an allegation that myself and a well known and respected BBC journalist were in a corrupt relationship and that I had been giving him “off the record” briefings during which confidential police information was passed to him. Let me say straight away that nothing improper took place between myself and that BBC journalist. I did indeed meet him away from the environment of formal press briefings, always in public places, and never to discuss information he should not have had. Such meetings are a common occurrence. Indeed, the journalist when told of Mr Gradwell’s ridiculous claims contacted me and during the conversation confirmed that he and Mr Gradwell had also met at a service station in the UK where a similar briefing took place. It seems just a little hypocritical of Mr Gradwell to mention one without the other.

The other matter was the statement by counsel for the States of Jersey police claiming that the force now regretted appointing me to the investigation. My first impulse was to say well, of course they did. It exposed levels of abuse which for one reason or another had been suppressed in the past. However, I then saw the bizarre side of it. No one anywhere near the SOJP now had any part in appointing me. Graham Power appointed me initially, and then on the advice of the UK ACPO Homicide Working Group, reinforced that appointment on a full time basis. As far as I am aware, Mr Power has not been asked that question. Why state that you regret a decision you played absolutely no part in? It can only have been a ruse to raise further sensational headlines in a media only too willing to swallow it whole.

The SOJP lawyer claimed I had “done the victims a disservice.” Perhaps I did. They do not seem to be in much of a better position now than before the investigation I was part of. However, I have not heard it from any of them and I would pay more heed to the words of the victims/survivors than to the mouthpiece of an establishment trying to deflect from the issues.

These closing statements we have been listening to should have been an opportunity to focus closely on the abuse suffered by innocent children, abuse which has had far reaching implications in the adult lives of those treated so badly. Instead, once again, those victims and their suffering have been largely ignored or marginalised. Elements of the establishment have again turned their invective on myself and others who were doing their best to obtain justice for the victims.

This should not be about us. It was never supposed to be. The agenda of the inquiry was hi-jacked by desperate people who sought to protect their reputations at the expense of those who had been abused and ignored. I sincerely hope that the inquiry when coming to report will realise the reason for the diversionary tactics and blatant disregard of the very people that we should all have been trying to help.

Following decades of this abuse being ignored and even encouraged it seems to me that even now, the victims/survivors are in no better position than they were. The Jersey establishment and their friends in sections of the local media are still attempting to hide their failings rather than facing up to what went wrong. They are still attacking those who seek to challenge those failings. It does not affect me greatly here in the UK in retirement. My heart goes out to those in Jersey and elsewhere who still have to live with the ramifications of the vile abuse they were subjected to.

Lenny Harper."(END.)

As Mr. Harper has explained; It is (or should be) about Victims/Survivors of heinous crimes committed against them as children and how it shouldn't be able to happen again........It's Not......And it CAN.


  1. I hope the irony wasn't lost on the inquiry where Gradwell was accusing Lenny Harper of leaking information to the BBC reporter when Gradwell was rumbled for leaking info to David Rose. Nor the fact that Gradwell had an off the record meeting with the same journalist Lenny did!

    1. Not to mention it was Gradwell who said there were NO CELLARS at Haut de la Garenne.

    2. No whine in the cellar23 May 2016 at 21:30

      Yes Sir! Talk about kettles and teapots! I well remember Big Trev nailing this worm when both Mickey's mate Warcup and Le Marquand fingered him in the defining Scrutiny review of its era. How's the job hunt going these days Leaky Boy?

  2. Thank you for this posting VFC. Gradwell is a joke.

  3. I thought Gradwell had come back to respond to my request and tell us that No. 737 confessed to everything after Gradwell confronted him with the evidence at that planned interview under caution in December 2008. Now I find he just couldn't resist an encore to take a few pokes at Lenny Harper.

    Pathetic little man.

  4. One has to say that even with a few grey cells functioning it has been painfully obvious that the usual character assassination was kicked into gear over the past few weeks. Firstly we had the Islands Data Controller not only preparing a (so called) report and tabling it without having checked with the CoI if the content was accurate and more importantly while the 'live' CoI was in progress and even more importantly before their own report was tabled at that. Then we have, no doubt, highly paid QC's (paid with our money) making the usual fogging type statements as final closing comments to the CoI. As Stuart Syvret has quoted so many, many times "You could not make it up". If anyone believes that the Data Commissioner decided entirely on their own that this report and it's timing were necessary prior to the full CoI report than we can expect the squadron of flying pigs to arrive any time soon. As one of thousands of tax payers who have had to watch this farce go on and on I personally am sick to the back teeth of the PTB refusing to face up to the awful truth and accept that hundreds of young vulnerable kids were systematically and willfully abused by the government agencies in this Island over many decades. Truly disgusted

  5. Much has been made of the (bogus) fact that remains of a child were not found at HDLG but what about the bones that were fresh and fleshed when burnt. This fact was highlighted in Lenny's evidence to the BDO scrutiny panel.I also remember seeing some anthropologists report on one of the blogs, perhaps Lenny could confirm this.
    And we have never had a satisfactory explanation regarding the teeth, remind me wer they milk teeth which had been shed naturally or not ?'

    1. Everyone wondering about the latest set of character assignations on Harper and co by disgraced Establishment boot-kissers like Martins, Gradwell and Glasgow should read the Scrutiny report into the previous character assassination by BDO mentioned above. It remains a must read five years on and with behaviour like the above only seems to get more relevant and damning with every passing year. Maybe worth posting another link for the uninitiated?

    2. This report is as relevant and damming with every passing year and can be read HERE.

    3. Isn't this the Scrutiny Inquiry that Tricky Micky Gradwell wouldn't attend even though his boss Warcup was happy to?

    4. Indeed the disgraced Mick Gradwell didn't appear in front of this panel nor offer it any evidence. Unlike Mr. Harper who gave compelling testimony which was published in three Blog Postings by VFC. HERE, HERE, and HERE.

  6. In answer to the point at 11.48 today, it was the report of Professor Andrew Chamberlain dated 1st May 2008 which first identified the bones in question. Prof. Chamberlain described the bones as being "the remains of a juvenile person." He also said "the episodes of burning and deposition are likely to have occurred soon after the death." For some reason this report seems to have disappeared into thin air and was never referred to by Mr Gradwell or Mr Warcup. Some days later Prof. Chamberlain had a conversation with the Anthropologist Julie Roberts which she recorded in her log book, and which thankfully, I kept a copy of. During that conversation he told her that when burnt the bones were still "fresh and fleshed." This was another key bit of evidence which Gradwell and Warcup either lost or just threw away. Lenny Harper

    1. "In her log Julie Roberts documents a telephone conversation she has with Professor Chamberlain of Sheffield Uni.

      “I received a telephone update from Professor Chamberlain. He said that preliminary analysis had shown that the fragments KSH137 were almost certainly human juvenile bone, but he wanted to confirm his findings by comparing them to a known juvenile sample. He also stated that the bones were in a good condition and he felt that they had sufficient collagen in them for C14 dating to be successful. He also stated that the bones were slightly burnt and that in his opinion this had occurred when the remains were still fresh and fleshed as no microbial activity was evident.”

      Professor Chamlberlain.

      "The bone material shows features that are diagnostically human and most likely represent the remains of a juvenile person. The state of preservation of the remains indicates that they had been exposed to heat but this had been insufficient to cause much biomolecular damage (indeed, by sterilising the material the heating may have had the effect of reducing the opportunity for subsequent microbial damage to occur). The material is sufficiently well preserved to enable further chemical analysis including extraction of collagen for radiocarbon dating and dietary isotopic analysis, and the state of preservation of the material may render it suitable for the extraction and characterisation of biomarkers such as DNA."

      Lots more can be found HERE.

  7. It tends not to feature much on the Jersey dissident blogs, which is a big mistake, but the different factors of the Jersey child-abuse cover-ups scandal and everything associated with them, all come down to the functioning (or not) of the legal system on the island. Whenever you come down to some collision of view between authorities, or major argument over what happened, when, or the validity of what's been claimed, you should always be able to look to a functioning legal system to act as the testing mechanisms of any such dispute.

    But if the system in question doesn't have an effective legal system, then all of the other disputes are entirely subservient, and largely irrelevant to that point. You can never expect to get anywhere in this battle if you don't have a functioning legal system.

    The key whistle-blower on the side of the abuse-victims and survivors and whistle-blowers, who remains at the mercy of your entrenched 'Establishment' is Stuart Syvret. But he has not given evidence to your public-inquiry. He claims to be justified in taking that decision. He claims his basic human rights have been abused by the process, and he claims to be especially justified in coming to that view given what he claims to be past human rights abuses he's already suffered in the course of his opposing the Jersey child-abuse cover-ups. A simple question is, 'do his claims withstand objective, lawful scrutiny?'

    Not only your local system, its authorities, but the public-inquiry itself, ought to have, and should have, tested the position of that vital, core witness by bringing in to play what is imagined to be a working, objective, functioning legal system in Jersey, by the act of subpeaoning that reluctant witness.

    That neither party, your conflicted local authorities, nor the actual public-inquiry itself, felt able to make a subpoena attempt against that witness is, in so many way, THE answer to THE question, at the heart of all of this.

    Think about it: a core 'witness', and directly involved 'interested-party' itself - your actual Police Force - has just launched the most extraordinary and biased personal attack against the witness, Syvret, but has failed to exercise its right to have Syvret subpoenaed - even though it has the right, has the resources, and has the power to have required the public-inquiry to subpoena him.

    Your Police assert Syvret should have been subpoenaed. So why didn't they require that? They have that right, they have that power.

    Why have events not taken that course?

    If Stuart Syvret has not been subpoenaed to appear before this public-inquiry - even though your Police under its post-Graham-Power leadership rabidly denigrate Syvret, and claim he should have been subpoenaed, well then the failure to subpoena Syvret is shared by the Jersey Police.

    And who is supposed to put this ludicrous state of affairs right? The witness himself, perhaps?

    Your answers sit in plain sight.

    London Law.

    1. Is it really the case that the police could issue a subpoena to require a person to appear before the COI as a witness? This seems incredibly unlikely: surely the COI is the only body capable of issuing such a subpoena?

      I wonder if London Law could explain where in law this power is vested in the police?

    2. Please read what "London Law" actually wrote, IMO they have already answered your question:

      "Think about it: a core 'witness', and directly involved 'interested-party' itself - your actual Police Force - has just launched the most extraordinary and biased personal attack against the witness, Syvret, but has failed to exercise its right to have Syvret subpoenaed - even though it has the right, has the resources, and has the power to have required the public-inquiry to subpoena him."

      NOTE: "and has the power to have REQUIRED the PUBLIC-INQUITY to subpoena him."

      that is how public inquiries work outside of Jersey's legal La-La Land!

      So no, I don't think "....the police could [themselves] issue a subpoena to require....."

      A more interesting question is that surely a functioning police force would give serious consideration to arresting members of the CoI team?

    3. OK, I have re-read London Law's comment, and while his or her comment is more ambiguous than the section you quote, let's accept he or she specifically meant the the police have the righht to require the COI to issue a subpoena. In practice, this amounts to exactly the same thing, and so I would ask what is effectively the same question: what law gives the police have the right to require the COI to subpoena a witness?

      London Law is presumably a lawyer; I am not, but I frankly do not believe that the police could have any authority to direct the COI in such a way. The Jersey police presumably have no special status before the COI: police officers who apear as witnesses presumably do so in an individual capacity, and the force can presumably make representations to the COI in the same way as any other interested party. But require the COI to do something? I don't think so.

      So the question to London Law stands: what law gives the police this power?

  8. Very well put @21:22
    It is jaw dropping that this £26 million has been spent to dig us into an even deeper hole

  9. Remember that the victims of mental,physical and sexual abuse had their human rights stripped from them without choice. Even if the COI isn't perfect these brave people came forward. That's what its about. A band of brothers.

    1. @Rico
      Yes I hope that telling their story and the camaraderie of "A band of brothers" (& sisters) has been valuable and cathartic to those who chose to take part (in spite of their reservations)

      But no, a "A band of brothers" is not what this is (or should be) about.

      This is about WINNING.

      Every individual will have a different take on what "Winning" is, or looks like.

      ......winning back self respect
      ......winning recognition
      ......winning financial recompense (however inadequate)
      ......winning a platform to tell their story
      ...... etc etc

      The most critical aspect of this "winning" winning improved safety for today's children and future generations.

      Survivors have an absolute right to choose what their own success looks like but those who consider themselves as campaigners need a more holistic approach.

      Do you feel we have won, or are even near winning that vital improved safety for future children?
      .....or have we been taken for a ride on a very expensive gravy train which has taken us back to more or less where we started? (bar some very useful MSM disclosure)

      Please let's not get involved in repeating the now tired arguments about whether Ex Health Minister Syvret was right in sticking to his requirement for a level playing field and legal representation prior to engaging with this CoI.

      You are both right. You are the belt and Mr.Syvret (& others who chose not to waive their rights) are the braces. You need both if your pants are going to stay up in the company of Jersey's establishment players!

  10. Stuart should have just given his testimony. He didn't. That ship has now sailed..

    lets see what happens in December


    1. rs "That ship has now sailed."

      Indeed ...fully loaded with people's rights.

      Where is that ship going?
      Who is driving?
      ....does it have a compass (moral or otherwise)
      ....or even a rudder?

      The CoI is a toothless tiger on a leash.

      As said by London lawyer
      the CoI had the power to subpoena Syvret but lacked the testicular fortitude

      WHY ???????

      Yes let's see where will the ship be in December.
      Will it have delivered justice or closure?
      How many times will the the ships log have been resubmitted to the authorities before they will approve it for publication?
      Will it still be listing ....or even still afloat?

      I do hope everyone can swim!

      The blueprints were okay. It's the conractors who were nobbled at the outset:

      We respect everything you do Rico.
      I just don't think you have all the answers.

      Hope for the best but expect the worst
      and respect other people's choices.

  11. Why would the COI want to subpoena Stuart? It would have to be through a Jersey Court that Stuart doesn't recognise plus Stuart wouldn't accept or recognise any such Subpoena.

    How long would this action take and would it be justified? Plus at what cost to the taxpayer?

    The other question being does Stuart have anything else to give that hasn't already been mentioned on his blog. How long would this action take. Just easier to pop down and get it done.

    The COI are not going to have Stuart jailed.

    It was his decision and fair enough.

    I don't have all the answers.

  12. Rico says, 'Why would the COI want to subpoena Stuart?'

    For the same reasons the COI would want to subpoena any and all of the obvious key witnesses who have not given evidence. Because the COI don't have any choice in the matter.

    Because subpoenaing key witnesses is what public-inquiries do. It is why public-inquiries have the statutory powers they possess.

    A public-authority, such as the COI, is obliged to take all reasonable steps to meet its statutory purpose. If key witnesses are known to exist, then the COI is obliged, and I mean obliged, it doesn't have a lawful 'choice' in this situation, to take the reasonable steps to interview those witnesses. Statutory public-inquiries such as this COI have the lawful powers to subpoena witnesses and to compel attendance precisely because it will often be necessary to a public-inquiry to do so. In the absence of such powers, key witnesses may be left out of the process, vital evidence and testimony missed, key facts remain unknown, and the real truth not be obtained.

    You, Rico, raise questions of time, and of cost. How long has the COI been going now? About 2 years? If my memory serves, Stuart Syvret made his concerns known to the COI at the very beginning of those 2 years, and made the entirely reasonable points he wanted compliance with the Salmon Principles, and compliance with his Human Rights as guaranteed under the ECHR. That would involve giving him unconditional legal representation, that is, legal representation without requiring him to sign away his rights first. The COI was given the astronomical budget of 26 million for just such purposes. Syvret's position was and is totally correct in law. The position of the COI is wholly unlawful.

    Look, let's not play games here. It is very very obvious to all people familiar with the Jersey child-abuse cover-ups scandal exactly what's going on with this particular matter. Syvret wanted, rightly, legal representation, not only so he could take advice about safeguarding himself against the inevitable state-reprisals which will happen once the COI has gone [and so far, sure enough, we see the Data Protection Commissioner, and the Jersey Police both limbering up, flexing their muscles, and getting the state-reprisals against Syvret warmed-up and ready to roll] , he also wanted legal representation so his lawyer would ask questions at the COI, against the Establishment witnesses. The COI, being a biased exercise, and knowing what it had to deliver for its paymasters, knew that a lawyer working to Syvret's instruction and asking questions through the COI of the Establishment witnesses would have been a disaster for them. That's why the COI took the truly remarkable and untenable decision to instead break the law and refuse Syvret legal representation.

    It was an immense gamble for them. They appear to have been convinced Syvret would cave-in and agree to engage with a process which was just another abuse of his human rights. They were wrong, and the error of judgment is of dramatic impact. It means that the Jersey public-inquiry proccess has no vires, that is, no legal validity. It would have had validity even WITHOUT Syvret’s participation, if only the COI had taken ‘reasonable-steps’ to TRY and interview Syvret, such as an attempted subpoena. That they didn’t take ‘reasonable steps’ by making any such attempt places them in an unlawful position. And they know it.


  13. ....Continued from above....

    So why adopt such a ludicrous policy? It’s obvious to everyone. The very first thing Syvret would have done in response to such a subpoena would have been to ask the court to order the COI to give him legal representation. And as there are limits to how much corruption even your courts can get away with, the court would have agreed with Syvret and ordered the COI to give him legal representation. Then, he would have had a lawyer, and all those deeply deeply troubling questions he would have wanted his lawyer to ask through the COI would have happened.

    And because the COI and its bosses wanted to make sure that that did not happen, and because the COI is a biased body, it chose instead to act unlawfully. It chose to take that gamble, and hope and pray no-one noticed, rather than try and make Syvret attend because the instant they tried to compel him, it would become unavoidable they’d have to provide him with legal representation.

    It is amazing that the Jersey child-abuse public-inquiry would rather act unlawfully, and essentially join in with witness-intimidation by your Establishment against Syvret, effectively, to the great relief of your corrupt public-authorities and many of the child-abusers and cover-up criminals, actually prevent Stuart Syvret from giving evidence to the COI.

    That is what the COI has done. It, in its unlawful actions, has constructively prevented a vital core witness whose testimony would have been dramatically important for the side of the abuse-survivors, whistle-blowers and for future safe-guarding standards, from giving testimony.

    You ask the wrong question Rico. Rather than ask ‘why would the COI want to subpoena Stuart?', we need to ask the question, ‘why would the COI NOT want to subpoena Stuart?'

    The answer to that question is because the COI knew it had to, come what may, and above all other considerations, make sure Stuart Syvret never obtained effective legal representation. The instant they subpoenaed him, they’d have to give him legal representation. And they were ordered to make sure that never happened.

    London Law.

  14. Well, we can be quite sure of this much. Those few people who haven't been paying attention, and who may still have harboured doubts about Syvret's fear of state-reprisals, won't doubt the situation now.

    In recent day's we've seen not one, but two actual state authorities make direct, intimidatory, personal attacks against the witness Stuart Syvret. The attacks from your Data Protection Commissioner weren't that much of a surprise. But for your actual Police Force to engaged in a remarkably overt example of witness-intimidation and threatening behaviour of the kind we've just seen is frankly jaw-dropping.

    Your Police Force has just confirmed the concerns of Stuart Syvret by making a direct, public, attack upon him; an attack which he will no-doubt be experiencing as intimidatory and threatening.

    I suppose the States of Jersey Police Force is in the habit of interfering with witnesses in this way?

    In a lawful environment this would be described as 'misconduct in a public office'. At least.

    1. Joined up Thinking25 May 2016 at 20:13

      This is what Rico has said on the subject:


    2. On the 24th may at 19.19 I wrote to the Inquiry and asked: "where are the transcripts for days 145 and 146?" Those were the days of the closing statements, including that of the SOJP.

      I pointed out that the hearings had taken place on May 18th and 19th, 5 and 6 days previously.

      On June 1st at 06.05 I got this reply from a member of the legal team:

      "Thank you for your e-mail. I am currently awaiting instructions from the Inquiry Panel and hope to shortly be in a position to provide an update."

      The transcripts of Days 145 and 146 are still not up on the website, I have just checked. 14 days have now gone by.

    3. to Daniel

      It was not 14 days but 21 days which went by

  15. Or to maintain the maritime analogy .....

    Joined up Sinking!

    1. On reading the excellent comments on this thread I have this hunch that in their final report this CoI will join the establishment an blame Syvret (whom they did not subpoena)

      Get that! in this lawyer infested island the whistleblowers get the blame while the culprits skulk off scot-free?

  16. What was stuart going to say that he hadn't already said on his blog and been to prison for? Is there a hidden bunker buster out there?

    "It was an immense gamble for them. They appear to have been convinced Syvret would cave-in and agree to engage with a process which was just another abuse of his human rights. They were wrong, and the error of judgment is of dramatic impact. It means that the Jersey public-inquiry proccess has no vires, that is, no legal validity."

    I'm sure that's given them 2yrs of sleepless nights.

    It is what it is.

    1. 'I'm sure that's given them 2yrs of sleepless nights.'

      So why hasn't anybody else including potential abusers avoided giving evidence with this excuse?

    2. Anonymous at 08:44, 'So why hasn't anybody else including potential abusers avoided giving evidence with this excuse?'

      As this blog specialises in important facts we won't find in Jersey's establishment media, lets respond to that trolling with a few facts.

      Firstly, the premise of the comment is obviously false. In fact there are a lot of other, very obvious, missing witnesses. We don't known what their reasons are for not giving evidence, because none of them have issued a public explanation.

      Secondly, and as mentioned above, in fact a large number of obvious and centrally involved core witness have not appeared before the COI. What distinguishes Stuart Syvret from people like Pollard, and Pollard, Chapman, Martins, Baker, Le Feuvre, Pitchers, McColl, Cougan, De La Haye, etc, etc, etc, is that Syvret is the only one of the missing witnesses to have had the integrity to state his case re appearance before the COI publicly.

      Of all the missing witnesses, Syvret is the only one of them to have given a public explanation. In his case we know why he hasn't appeared. In the case of the all of the rest, we don't have an explanation. We're still facing the culture of secrecy with the rest.

      Thirdly, Stuart Syvret is the only person to have already been subjected to illegal, police-state suppression. So his expectation that his human rights re effective legal representation get met are obviously justified.

      You see? This blog is not the JEP. Here we like the truth, and can trust facts.

    3. I did not appear either and I gave an explanation. Or rather, my explanation is on the record.

      As VFC blogged on July 21st 2014, I wrote to the Inquiry for a second time in that month (I had written before in April) quizzing them about the way they were proceeding.

      The blog quoted my press statement about the letter I wrote:

      Campaigner Daniel Wimberley has put 13 questions to the inquiry chairman, Frances Oldham and her panel.
      In his letter to the Panel Mr. Wimberley says that his giving evidence depends on getting satisfactory answers.
      “The concerns of the public and stakeholders are even more understandable when one recalls that the first inquiries at Hillsborough and in North Wales both failed and had to be repeated for the truth to at last come out. We do not want the same to happen in Jersey.”

      I did not receive satisfactory answers. In fact I received no formal answer at all, which meant that as they had not made a ruling, neither my letter nor their reply was published on their website.

      And as they did not answer my questions or give me any reassurance at all that they were the real deal, I did not give evidence.

      Just in case some do not get this, giving evidence is not a picnic, I would have taken weeks possibly months preparing, writing and giving oral evidence. I was not prepared to do this as I did not think the COI would be a serious affair and would skate over what I consider to be the key questions.

      Readers can see my press statement in full and also my letter and judge for themselves at VFC's blog on this: (sorry no link, can someone do this?)

  17. The direction of these recent comments is interesting. To me, as a long-standing observer of the British Isles constitutional situation, so as a follower of 'events' in Jersey, I'll agree with the enthusiasm of the person at 20:33.

    But if I may offer some assistance towards a deeper understanding of the modalities of power to be seen in the sub-text of 'events', I have to take issue with a fellow external observer, 'London Law', who's seen the target, taken aim, but has missed it.

    The diagnosis is wrong in the following sense. If the authorities' way out of this was as simple as giving Syvret a lawyer, they would have done so. As one practitioner to another, you will know most clients can be 'managed'. And in fairness to our profession, most clients need 'managing', for their own, often emotionally clouded & non-expert benefit. But on the other hand, there are clients who have a 'problematically' accurate and challenging understanding of their own circumstances and case. With such clients, 'managing' them can be a demanding, professionally taxing task. Especially if their understanding of their case and the relevant and extant law is correct. Even if you sincerely wish to do your very best for such a client, serving them is going to make you sweat and require of you the highest standards of performance.

    It is mainly corporate law in which we see such demanding standards. Not least because of the involvement of other kinds of professionals who will know from their own, expert perspectives, what it is which needs to be achieved on behalf of their employers. The descriptor is 'intelligent client' when referring to such a contract. It's a rare thing for an individual, especially one in the most unusual circumstances of Syvret, to constitute an 'intelligent client', but that's the case. Meeting this particular client's requirements could very easily be the most taxing contract of one's entire career. Not least because at the heart of the case is the explosion of the state-shaming British child-abuse cover-up scandal and his role as a key whistleblower in this era, and such attendant dramas as the actual unlawful suspension of a Police Chief to enable the state suppression of the client, who only happened to also be the leading opposition member of a legislature at the time.

    My hunch, for what it's worth, is that one of the main considerations behind the very high-risk decision to refuse to give Syvret legal representation funding, is that even if such funding had been given to him, no lawyers would take on the brief. The reason being he'd rightly require of them they tackle the most shocking and basic abuses of his and his former constituents' human rights; abuses which are the responsibility of the government (UK government, that is) and are which plainly so severe as to have constitutional implications.

    Whilst I think 'London Law' has it right, as far as they go, I think they fail to see the power of their own analysis. So high-risk is the decision to refuse to give Syvret legal funding, it has to have a deeper explanation than only the discomfiture of the Jersey authorities which would, certainly, have arisen from his lawyer placing questions via the public-inquiry to the establishment witnesses. I think the scenario the COI (and their instructing clients, obviously, who I think you'll find are closer to Westminster than Jersey) really feared, was Syvret going to the UK legal market, and being unable to find any lawyers willing to take on the British establishment, which is what the brief requires and demands. Nothing less.

    I believe that 'tumbleweed-and-silence' scenario, in the British legal marketplace, and what it would say of the rule of law in this nation given the dramatic factual background, is what the authorities have most feared.

    1. You arrogant p£@*k! If I engage you as a lawyer, and you accept the engagement, then I expect nothing less than total commitment to giving me the full understanding of the legal position, and all possible scenarios for me to make the decision on how my case proceeds. I do not want "managing" whilst you bulldoze the case in your chosen direction, possibly even one selected in some dodgy back room meeting between you and the opposing lawyer.

      "Even if you sincerely WISH to do your very best for such a client, serving them is going to make you sweat and require of you the highest standards of performance."

      Fu$%^*g unbelievable. I don't give a fig about your wishes, its your duty to advise me to the best of your abilities and fight for my best interests. anything less makes you nothing better than a common whore touting for business and faking it. I expect you to sweat and I expect the highest standards.

      I've seen the way you lawyers work, particularly on legal aid cases where your duties and responsibilities to your client remain the same, but your service is usually at less than the bare minimum. The quicker you get a legal aid client to accept whatever deal the other side offers the quicker you can get back to the bar for a G&T and a "civilized conversation with like minded intellectuals". For "intellectuals" read "tossers" in the real world language. Your attitude stinks.

    2. Oh and another thing.

      "Syvret going to the UK legal market, and being unable to find any lawyers willing to take on the British establishment, which is what the brief requires and demands. Nothing less."

      I would hope that there are a few truly diligent, honest, and fearless lawyers out there who would recognize the complexities of the case and be prepared to support the case in the interests of true justice. It seems to me 00:12 that you really don't give a toss about real justice, only your big fat fee and an easy life.

      Simple Simon

    3. @ Sewermouthed Simon
      You misjudge "fellow practitioner" @00:12

      I think you will find that you are insulting a gentleman with a functioning brain and moral compass who does not deserve his(?) pro bono efforts slinging back in his face.

      In the real world you mention a legal practise is a business and businesses are run to their own ends. In this real world, the most you can expect from a business is value for money -not charity.
      I know the legal aid you mention is not charity, but another real world adage is "you get what you pay for" *IF YOU ARE LUCKY*

      I for one appreciate fellow practitioner's advice and straight talking ......telling us his take on how it is.

      Yes Syvret would likely get a fresh faced boy or girl out of college with less to lose and keen to make a name for themselves but despite their best intentions it is unlikely they would be up to the job.

      You don't like the word "manage"? Fine, substitute the words guide, advise etc.
      Even the best professional cuts the cloth according to the client's budget. You would likely need "managing" on this point. It is unlikely that you or * I * could afford the full and immaculate service you demand.

      I left the comment 20:33
      "On reading the excellent comments on this thread I have this hunch that in their final report this CoI will join the establishment and blame Syvret (whom they did not subpoena)
      Get that! in this lawyer infested island the whistleblowers get the blame while the culprits skulk off scot-free?"

      Lawyer @00:12 does not take umbrage at being likened to an infestation.
      Rather he agrees and adds further observations on the shortcomings of his profession and the depth and breadth of undemocratic state power.

      get over yourself and recognise when you ate talking to a "good un".

      Some lawyers are prepared to rock the boat:

      P.S. what's wrong with being a tosser btw?

    4. Nothing wrong with being a tosser if that's what you want to be!

      I do actually appreciate lawyer @00:12 pro bono thoughts but I don't agree with some of them or indeed consider my "arrogance" comments inappropriate. Indeed I find your response quite frankly continuing in the same vein.

      You lawyers are ones for being very precise with your words but come on, really? Did I mention the word business, no! If you are implying I mean that then say so. Managing has a very clear definition, look it up if you need to. You are the one trying to soften it and justify it by suggesting it should read guide or advise. I think the wording and intention is however perfectly clear.

      My most recent experience of legal aid is seeing a friend receiving very poor advice and almost complete lack of attention and interest under that system. Stepping in and part funding proper advice ended in a result that the legal aid lawyer said would not be possible. So you are right you get what you pay for, but absolute attention to the legal points and correct advice on those is not a "lucky" option but an obligation IMHO. Legal aid is intended to provide legal advise to people who cannot afford it for whatever reason, and I don't believe anywhere in the legal aid scheme does it advise lawyers to "do only what you have to because you are not getting paid for it" or in other words ""you get what you pay for" *IF YOU ARE LUCKY*". Please correct me if I am wrong.

      Also please don't try to assume what I can or cant afford and don't assume that I would need "managing" on this point. Like I said, "in a similar vein"

      Glad you posted the links to Philip Sinel posts, I was thinking of him when I wrote the comment earlier but in the positive. Yes a little difficult and argumentative at times, but a fearless champion of good causes he truly believes in I feel.

    5. Simple Simon... at least you chose an appropriate avatar. As a non lawyer I completely understand what the commenter meant when he talked about managing a client. A lot of clients are too emotionally involved in their case to objectively consider points of view other than the potentially disastrous one they have chosen. A good lawyer will indeed manage such a client and try to persuade them that an alternative course of action might be better. A bad lawyer will just take their money and watch them fail.

      I'll give you a classic recent example in Jersey: the Pitmans suing the JEP and Broadlands for libel. I have no idea what advice they were given, and how they reacted to it, but in my view the best advice a lawyer could have given them is to grow a thicker skin and let the matter go. Whether they were actually libelled is not the point. The point is that libel cases are notoriously unpredictable, very expensive, and they were up against wealthy and powerful corporate opponents and a probably hostile court.

      Whatever, they were advised, they went ahead with their action and it has literalĺy ruined them.

    6. Glad you like my Avatar. I don't claim to be a mastermind but the handle Simple Simon is an attempt at self deprecation for self amusement and that of others.

      I absolutely agree re the Pitman's and cringed for them when they went down, in my opinion, this fool hardy route. They would have been much better taking it on the chin as part of the normal cut and thrust of political life. Playing the long game is always a much better strategy in my experience and they would have been well advised to do that.

      Well as a "non lawyer" you may or may not sometimes be inclined to be sloppy in your choice of words, such as perhaps using manage when you mean guide. Sorry but I think the meaning, tone and context are perfectly clear, and are coming from someone who should know the importance of using precise wording. The words Managed and Managing are collectively used three times. If you don't mean managed you mean guided then why use that word three times?

      "A lot of clients are too emotionally involved in their case to objectively consider points of view" I agree this is true in some cases, but I am also aware from experience that many intelligent people are quite often perfectly capable of rationalizing this to the points of law and reaching a considered decision, in the way that Stuart is inclined to do. In order to do that though they need the full advice on the legal points in question. My point above is that experience shows me that in legal aid cases, that may not be forthcoming.

    7. imo the Pitmans made the mistake of not thinking the unthinkable. They could not bring themselves to accept that they were living in a place without the rule of law.

      This island is a company town. They own the sheriffs and the courthouses. The Pitmans had no chance, the outcome was decided beforehand.

      Riding a 'troublemaker' out of town has the equivalent of "there's a boat in the morning"
      Or a plane in HG's case.

      With hindsight the Pitmans probably realise that they were being reeled in.

    8. Drop this obsession with the Pitmans. Smacks of trying to drag the thread off tack.

      I followed the Pitman's case like so many others and whatever else I think of their decision to risk the Jersey Way three things are undeniable. They are also what anyone referring to the case should focus on.

      1 They were libeled beyond question and proved it. 4 x the salary,Darling the advert claimed. Yet Mr Pitman demonstrated he took a pay cut of what I believe was several grand. Added to 4 x not being what you could get from banks for a mortgage back then this pair of facts should have seen the Filthy Rag and their estate agent chums hammered.

      In a proper court of law.

      2 As we saw confirmed during this COI unbeknown to the Pitmans the Bailiff's office had set them up with a Jurat who should have been in prison for helping cover up child abuse at Vic College.

      Now that is something to make you cringe.

      3 All of this shocking abuse of the Jersey courts is absolutely central to what unerlies the need to have a COI at all. Our courts are still corrupt and brave people like Stuart, the Pitmans and Lenny will continue to get shafted unless we all find the back bone to protest.

      Come on, who wants to pretend a place is as it should be when a poster can say somebody shouldn't stand up against bullies like the Rag and it's clent just because the court isn't honest?


    9. I think it was Jersey's most famous La Moye guest, Curtis Warren, who pointed out that if the Royal Court is as bent as the criminals we really are stuffed. Perhaps another opportunity for Mike Dun to remind us about the relevance of developing this 'Reform' day in honour of the events of 28 September 1769? We can't really claim things have improved in those nearly 250 years, can we?

  18. It was a tragic spectacle to witness the States of Jersey, The Law Officers and the SOJ Police queuing up to rubbish the whole Independent Inquiry which is costing us - the public - £25 millions. Clearly they want it to fail to report independently at all but rather to swallow the same official line that has suppressed the multitude of abuses for decades. This was a blatant attempt to smear the validity of so much testimony honestly given by genuine people with experiences of the repeated failures of the entire Jersey way. It was especially tragic that our Chief Minister Gorst, the Chief of Police and the Attorney General did not deliver the final statements themselves but rather evaded their personal and public responsibilities by hiding behind "professionals" to utter their words for them. As always the record will not reveal their ultimate and failed duty of care anymore than the decades of neglect were recognised at the time . There has been no acknowledgment of official responsibility for the abuse and the failures to act in response and there is still after all this time,a coordinated plan to bury the evidence, cover up the enormity of the scandal and the totally failed system of government and administration of justice. A few expressions of regret and limp apologies do not even touch the matter. This Inquiry has heard all the evidence and the members of the Panel will hopefully see through this disgraceful last minute attempt at truth distortion and distraction. Its just like Hillsborough. This is how governments really do behave when their corruption is revealed.

  19. Hear hear Tom Gruchy. I have been so incensed by what I learnt when I returned from holiday that I have been loathe to comment. I echo every word you say, and am amazed that the victims/survivors of abuse appear to have taken back stage in the final statements apart from the JCLA.

    Truly appalling.

  20. On the 24th May at 19.19 I wrote to the Inquiry and asked: "where are the transcripts for days 145 and 146?" Those were the days of the closing statements, including that of the SOJP and the JCLA

    I pointed out that the hearings had taken place on May 18th and 19th, 5 and 6 days previously.

    On June 1st at 06.05 I got this reply from a member of the legal team:

    "Thank you for your e-mail. I am currently awaiting instructions from the Inquiry Panel and hope to shortly be in a position to provide an update."

    The transcripts of Days 145 and 146 are still not up on the website, I have just checked. 21 days days have now gone by.

    1. to Daniel

      Just hours after VFC publish this post, the missing Days appear on the website.

      This and other much bigger issues with the website are the subject of a letter to the COI which I am in the process of writing.

      Put simply it is not fit for purpose as it stands and I am asking them to make it so.