THE FOOLISH & NAÏVE – BEGUILED BY THE WICKED
The First Review Having Proven Problematic
To the Jersey Oligarchy and their Protectors in London.
A very vulnerable person – a young woman – powerless, and socially isolated – suffered sexual harassment at the hands of a Church of England Churchwarden in Jersey.
The Churchwarden in question – with an extant history of sexually harassing women church-goers – is one Robb Averty – close relative of former Senator John Averty – current Chief Executive of the company that owns Jersey’s only “newspaper” – and current Deputy Chairman of Jersey’s off-shore finance industry regulatory authority, the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
Former States Deputy Bob Hill has written a very good summation of the general inadequacy and incompetence of England’s C of E hierarchy’s encounter with “The Jersey Way”.
As I wrote in a comment under that posting:
I’m afraid the Church of England has messed-up its response to the safeguarding failure and oppression suffered by HG.
Sadly, what we see now is yet another messy, inadequate “Jersey Way” hotchpotch of secrecy, cronyism, and conflicts of interest.
The Archbishop should speak to Her Majesty about these matters, and simply have the Dean stripped of Her Majesty’s Letters Patent.
There’s no other way any kind of meaningful accountability will ever be imposed upon the toxic, self-protecting claque that is the Jersey establishment.”
Bob Hill’s posting is a very good place to start, for those not familiar with this scandalous saga – yet another wretched, shabby & contemptible display of the invulnerability of the powerful in Jersey – and the contrasting Kafkaesque vulnerability of the weak & powerless.
The head of the Church of England in the island, the Dean – an Office which, just like that of the Crown’s Lieutenant Governor in Jersey, has been wholly captured and perverted by the local oligarchy – sided with an abuser, and against the distressed & vulnerable victim of abuse.
Sadly – the victim in this case – HG – is not alone in Jersey.
Just once – finally – in a vast, evidenced and extensively documented catalogue of disgusting failure by the relevant overseeing and responsible UK authorities, including the government in London – it seemed – at last – one of them – the Church of England – had done the right thing: investigated properly – and instigated some accountability.
Alas – and predictably – the UK leadership of the Church of England lost its nerve – and caved-in to the bullying, influence, lobbying, money and power of the Jersey mafia – and agreed with them that “there must be some mistake” with their initial Review – and that there needed to be a Review, into that Review.
And even more predictably – the UK Church of England authorities have been beguiled into appointing as “their” Commissioned reviewer – quite obviously one of the most profoundly conflicted – and wholly unsuited – people in all of Britain – Dame Heather Steel; a former member of the very entity most responsible for the plain failure of the rule-of-law in Jersey – the island’s judiciary.
And – just in case that wasn’t crazed enough – Heather Steel is also going to be “assisted” throughout – by a Jersey police officer – chosen and appointed by the Jersey Police Force – the key authority – after the island’s judiciary – most culpable for engaging in what was a straightforward criminal enterprise – the wholly illegal kidnapping, false-imprisonment and coercion of HG.
It’s difficult to know where to begin any analyses of the Terms-of-Reference I publish below. Perhaps in the coming days we might take a close reading of what these ToR really mean – and – in particular – the issues that are omitted from them.
In the mean-time, suffice it to say, the document has been very cleverly drafted – so plausible – so credible – does it seem at first reading, to the uninitiated – the naïve.
The lack of sophistication – of understanding – on the part of the Church of England leadership, and other UK authorities, when it comes to the exercise of power in Jersey hasn’t even caught up with the 20th century, let alone the 21st.
Perhaps the only way to convey the truth to the UK – to London – about the “thing” that is power in Jersey, would be to send them an old-style pen & ink map of the Channel, with the island depicted as though by ancient explorers, as terra incognita – with the description, “Here be Monsters”.
Terms of Reference for the Investigation following the Korris Review into Safeguarding in the Deanery of Jersey:
1. The Investigation is to make appropriate inquiries, review and report upon the available evidence, make findings of fact and make recommendations about whether or not disciplinary complaints should be brought against any member of the clergy as a result of the matters raised in the second set of paragraphs 1) to 5) inclusive of the recommendations starting on page 47 and concluding on page 48 in the Korris Review into Safeguarding in the Deanery of Jersey, [i]namely, for:
a. Allowing a church warden to operate in contravention of the Safeguarding procedures and the training he had undertaken.
b. Failure to notify the Safeguarding Advisor on receipt of the complaint.
c. Failure to implement and act in accordance with Diocesan Safeguarding Procedure in the handling of the initial complaint interview.
d. Failure to record and make all documentation available for a review of a Safeguarding matter as required by the Safeguarding procedures.
e. Despite the request of the Bishop of Winchester, unwillingness to permit review of Safeguarding practice and also discouraging others from participating.
f. Any other inappropriate or unbecoming conduct in connection with these matters.
2. Upon receipt of the report of this Investigation, the Bishop of Winchester will decide whether and if so what actions are required, including (as a priority) whether disciplinary complaints should be laid and against whom.
3. The Investigation shall be conducted in private.
4. The Investigation is to gather and review all available and relevant evidence including, but not limited to, that considered by the Korris Review. Where relevant information was not made available to the Korris Review the Investigator may inquire into and seek to gather that
information and make findings of fact about why that information was not made available.
5. The Investigator may interview or seek information from any relevant person in the course of the Investigation. The Investigator shall have the same authority to seek information from a person as if the Bishop of Winchester were seeking that information.
6. Any person interviewed or requested to provide information to the Investigator shall be provided with a copy of these Terms of Reference.
7. The Investigation shall be conducted in a manner which seems appropriate to the Investigator, at all times acting in accordance with the principles of fairness and respecting the human rights and other rights of those involved in the process.
8. The Investigator shall write a report setting out:
i. a summary of the inquiries that have been made;
ii. relevant findings of fact that have been made;
iii. recommendations about whether action (whether disciplinary or otherwise) should be considered in respect of any person and in the case of any possible disciplinary process may identify the apparent causes of complaint against that person.
9. Where it is proposed that the report will make adverse findings of fact or recommend the consideration of disciplinary action against a person, the Investigator shall ensure that that person has had an opportunity to comment on that proposed finding or recommendation before finally determining or reporting the matter.
10. The Investigator shall deliver a copy of the report to the Bishop of Winchester. Upon receipt the Bishop of Winchester will supply a copy of the report to anyone against whom disciplinary action is recommended and to the Bailiff of Jersey, the Dean of Jersey and the Ministry of Justice.
11. The Bishop of Winchester shall, within a reasonable period of time, notify anyone against whom disciplinary action is recommended whether disciplinary action will be taken and the complaints which will be considered.
12. The Bishop of Winchester shall provide a copy of the report of the Investigation to the Commissary of the Visitation of the Parishes of the Deanery of Jersey, Bishop John Gladwin. The report of the Investigation may be used to inform the findings of the Visitation.
13. The report of the investigation or a summary of its findings and conclusions will be published in due course, and / or after the conclusion of any recommended disciplinary proceedings. Where necessary the report may be summarised and / or redacted for legal reasons or to protect the identity of any person who features in the report or who has provided relevant information to the investigation.
14. The Bishop of Winchester hereby appoints Dame Heather Steel DBE as his Commissioner and the Investigator to lead this Investigation.
15. The Investigator shall be advised and assisted by a police officer nominated by the States of Jersey Police.
16. The Investigator may be assisted by such other person as the Investigator shall request and the Bishop of Winchester shall appoint.
17. The Investigator may delegate any of her functions to such other person as she sees fit, including interviewing and requesting information from any person.
The Lord Bishop of Winchester