NEW LEADERSHIP OF JERSEY COPS
SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS FOR THEM
FOLLOWING THEIR COUP.
Below is a pretty self-explanatory – albeit lengthy – e-mail to Mr Warcup – as of yesterday morning, Jersey’s acting Chief Constable – and his sidekick, Mr. Gradwell – the officer now leading the investigations into the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster.
I will leave the e-mail from me to speak for itself; but a few preliminary observations.
In collusion with Jersey’s establishment politicians, Warcup & Gradwell used yesterday to set about trashing the work of the historical child abuse investigation team, the enquiry, the evidence, witness testimony – and in particular, Lenny Harper.
As I predicted – this call to arms by the Jersey oligarchy was enthusiastically met by Jersey’s indigenous media.
For example – I watched the Channel Island’s independent TV network this evening (known as Rankine Television) – and virtually every one of the dopey hacks participating in their OTT coverage repeated – mantra-like – “the previous claims and evidence have now been proven to have been false!”
The whinge from the media is:
“we were mislead by that nasty Mr. Harper who made assertions to us – which we took at face value – but for which, at the time, we were shown no actual, detailed evidential reports.”
How many Jersey hacks – do you suppose – have recognised the fact – for it is a fact – that the stuff they were fed with yesterday by Warcup, Gradwell, Walker and Lewis – is actually far worse than anything allegedly said by Harper, in terms of being nebulous?
What was served-up yesterday was completely unevidenced, unproven, vacuous – and simply not backed by any scientific – let alone credibly scientific – studies.
That doesn’t mean, of course, what was said was necessarily wrong – it may be correct.
But if you’ve just been having a big-time strop as a journalist – for supposedly being fed allegedly unevidenced material – surely – unless you’re a complete halfwit – you learn the lesson?
You don’t – immediately – run crying into the arms of people who are simply dishing out an opposite – yet at least equally questionable – ‘line’?
But – that’s what happened.
Two cops – Warcup & Gradwell – presented a five page press-release – written by a spin-doctor – with no accompanying, forensic, scientific evidential papers – and talked to a few PowerPoint slides.
And suddenly – in the eyes of the assembled Jersey hacks – “this is the kind of hard evidence and facts they were previously denied!”
Just how thick do you need to be to be a journalist in Jersey?
Look – all Jersey hacks – I’m a carpenter. I left school at the age of fifteen with no academic qualifications.
I have had no training in journalism or investigation.
Yet the issues I raise with Officers Warcup and Gradwell in the e-mail below just seemed kind of obvious, you know?
Well – let’s see if as much as one, single, solitary Jersey journalist takes up the questions below – and demands answers for them?
From: Stuart Syvret
Sent: 13 November 2008 16:17
To: Warcup, David; Michael Gradwell
Subject: 37 QUESTION FOR THE JERSEY POLICE: URGENT
Mr. Warcup & Mr. Gradwell
Notwithstanding repeated efforts by me to gain answers to some key questions over a period of some weeks, you have both steadfastly refused to respond to me – even with so much as an e-mail of acknowledgment.
However – given that you both willingly became public components of a political spin-campaign, which was mounted yesterday by yourselves and Jersey establishment politicians – you must both, surely, now recognise that it is no longer credible for you to refuse to answer the questions I ask on behalf of my constituents?
To persist in refusing to communicate with me would now constitute an even bigger example of politicised and biased behaviour than that which you displayed yesterday.
You will – no doubt – have read my blog postings on these issues, so some of the questions I have raised there I will be putting directly to you in this e-mail. But I will begin with some additional questions.
BUT IN PARTICULAR IT IS QUESTIONS 22 TO 37 – WHICH DEAL WITH RADIONUCLIDE TESTING – THAT I DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO.
1: You chose to issue a 5 page press-statement – one couldn’t credibly describe it as a ‘report’ – which consists largely of unevidenced assertions, a number of lacunae, a great deal of overtly political spin, some clearly misleading errors, some issues which are rapidly and glibly skated over, misrepresentations of what has actually been said in the past, and a number of diversionary and irrelevant issues.
A number of journalists have agreed with me that the approach you have both displayed in issuing such a blend of politically motivated spin, misleading assertions, and wilful and deliberate misrepresentations of previous comments – is – as a matter of obvious fact – far worse than the very supposed errors in approach and methodology you criticise Mr. Harper for.
In fact – far worse – because your comments have been plainly politicised and co-ordinated with the establishment politicians in the desperate political attempts to divert attention away from the report of the Howard League for Penal Reform – which, I’m given to understand – concludes that the so-called “Grand Prix” regime of punitive and coercive solitary confinement – which could see children being kept in solitary confinement for weeks and months at a stretch – was unambiguously abusive and illegal. Contrary to all Jersey oligarchy assertions.
Please explain why you engaged in such a politically motivated attack upon the previous investigation, why you did so on the basis of empty assertions – and no published evidence – and why there are so many obvious flaws in your 5 page document?
2: You and your political allies, in a carefully co-coordinated PR stunt, have now shown to the world that you are not “non-political police officers” – focused only on the investigation – but are, instead, highly politically partisan.
For example – no matter that the approach adopted by Mr. Harper has been condemned by yourselves and your political allies – he kept press-conferences and public pronouncements entirely within the bounds of policing – and did not engage in the partisan, political alignment with senior political figures – of the kind you both displayed yesterday.
Given that you have – effectively – destroyed your credibility by displaying such overt politicisation – could you explain how you imagine survivors, whistle-blowers and real journalists can now regard you both as anything other than political components of the Jersey oligarchy apparatus?
3: Who actually authored the 5 page press-release which was issued by you both?
4: Why does it contain so many brazen misrepresentations of what was actually said by Mr. Harper – as opposed to what may have been said by some parts of the media?
5: Why does it repeat certain statements made by Mr. Harper – as though they were your own – and thus imply that what Mr. Harper had said was somehow completely different?
6: Given that much of the overt criticism of his approach made by you both – and your political allies – alleges that Mr. Harper was “premature” in his various announcements – that some of the evidence was not yet firmed-up – how can you consider it even faintly credible for you to have been briefing against Mr Harper for weeks – and making your public pronouncements yesterday – when neither of you – or your review team from the Met – have carried out even an initial interview with Mr. Harper? Not one?
If there have been any ‘premature’ announcements during the whole investigation – the general view amongst survivors, and it is a view I share – is that your exercise yesterday has been by far the worst.
7: Though very cleverly and equivocally worded, the clear purpose of your press statement is to convey the notion – as though it were demonstrated fact – that there were no unexplained child deaths at HDLG – nor any attempts made there to dispose of human remains. You use such phrases as “do not indicate”, and “nor is it believed” – thus providing yourselves with equivocal ‘get-out’ clauses.
I very much hope – as I have done throughout this aspect of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster – that we could prove to ourselves that there had definitely been no unexplained child deaths at HDLG. Which is why I am deeply concerned with the fact that you have appeared to make your assertions on the basis of a few pages of deeply politicised PR material – and a few PowerPoint slides – as opposed to detailed examples of peer-reviewable evidence. Evidence which could, presumably, be made public – now that the possibility of child deaths has been dismissed by you both – and your political bosses?
Presumably – as you are both such consummate professionals – as opposed to Mr. Harper – who you would have us believe rushed into making premature and misleading statements – all conceivable scientific and forensic tests have now been completed?
That you now have – in peer-reviewable form – a definitive set of scientific documents which completely discount the possibility of any unexplained child deaths – and any attempt to dispose of human remains?
8: Is it not the case that if the answer to the last paragraph of question 7 is, ‘no’ – you have committed a grossly premature blunder – far worse than any Mr. Harper is alleged to have made?
Indeed, far, far worse – in that your premature and half-cocked media stunt was engaged in, in an entirely politically partisan manner?
9: Are you really quite certain that the items referred to as shackles were not, in fact, ever used for such purposes?
After all – iron implements which may have been used as improvised shackles would, indeed, be “rusty lumps of metal” – after laying in the ground for 30 years.
What of the bed-spring which has plainly been straightened – and had the two end-loops adapted in such a manner as they could have been used to restrain human wrists or ankles?
10: Are you really quite certain that there is “no witness evidence or intelligence” which describes these items as possible shackles? Because that is not my understanding of what the police have been told in certain statements.
11: Again – your press-statement strives to give the impression that the bath under the floor voids was never used in any offence or offences against children – but the wording you choose is very careful and equivocal when you say “there is nothing suspicious about the bath”.
Of themselves – baths are not customarily suspicion-raising items.
But are you confidently able to state that the bath was not used in any offences against children – and that you have “no indication” that it was used in any offences? If so, is this not somewhat surprising when you have witness testimony which accurately described the bath in the voids and the uses to which it was put?
12: Your references to the space beneath the floor being voids – and as being of insufficient height to enable an adult to stand up in – is one of the examples of irrelevant, diversionary and misleading twaddle in your press statement. No one – to the best of my knowledge – has ever claimed these spaces were high.
So why put this irrelevant and diversionary assertion in your press statement?
Are you seriously attempting to suggest that because an adult in these voids would have to bend down a little – that fact renders the abuse of children in these spaces somehow impossible?
That it is only physically possible for an adult to abuse a child when the adult is stood in a fully upright position?
13: The most serious, evidential material which emerges from the search are the 65 teeth. Yet you skate around this is in 5-and-bit brief lines of text.
Are you seriously suggesting that finding such a concentration of human teeth in one location – a quite mystifying find – can be brushed aside in one, brief paragraph?
But even what is said in your paragraph could hardly be described as a confident dismissal of the possibility of foul play being behind this discovery.
The teeth come from children – possibly a large number of children – who’s age-range may have been between 6 to 12 years. “There is ‘wear’ on ‘some’ of the teeth”; is this fact not a matter of concern? If signs of wear exist on ‘some’ of the teeth – but not on others – does that not suggest a most curious set of circumstances – which would lead to a significant number of human teeth being discovered – with no appreciable signs of wear?
14: Have all of the bone fragments been subjected to multi-laboratory, independent testing, when attempting to determine whether they’re human or animal? If not – why not?
What methodology was used in assessing the age-range you quote for the bone fragments?
15: Have all the bone-fragments been subjected to radionuclide dating – which would demonstrate whether the remains come from animals or people who were living before – or after – the dawning of the nuclear weapons age?
16: Do you really expect to be taken seriously when you duck around the issue of the two mystifying pits – in one-and-a-half lines of text in your press release?
Why would the institution commission a man with a digger to come and excavate two holes in the grounds – with the instruction to come back the next day and fill them back in again – once a layer of lime had been placed in the bottom?
Even though these pits – in your own words – “are unexplained” – you still feel sufficiently confident to deliver a political press conference dismissing their relevance – even though this problematic and deeply mysterious feature remains totally unexplained?
You assert “nothing suspicious was found in them” – but surely the greatest “suspicion” that arises from these two pits is the actual fact of their bizarre construction and existence?
17: In your summary, you list 5 bullet points in which you seek to dismiss and discredit the notion that any murders may have taken place. The five bullet-points in your press release are:
• No people are reported missing
• There are no allegations of murder.
• There are no suspects for murder.
• There is no specific time period for murder.
• We are satisfied that there is no indication or evidence that there have been murders at HDLG.
Do you not accept that the first 4 of these bullet points are simply statements of the obvious – and could apply to a 1000 examples of potential crimes, such as murder, which are initially not evidenced – nor even apparent – but are subsequently shown to have occurred?
In respect of the 5th bullet point, do you not accept that absence of evidence – is not evidence of absence? And do you not accept that notwithstanding your assertion – there remain a number of deeply mystifying and concerning issues in respect of HDLG? For example – the 65 human teeth, the unexplained pits excavated in the grounds one day – then filled-in the next?
Could you explain to me how the claims made in those five bullet points contradict what was said by Mr. Harper? Because, going from memory, I do not recollect him ever making statements which contradict the views expressed in the bullet points?
On the contrary – my recollection is that Mr. Harper was always careful to draw a distinction between saying what possibly may have occurred – those possibilities being the point of the investigation – and statements which categorically said “we have murders”?
18: Remaining with the subject of your bullet-point summary – you state “no people are reported missing”. As police officers, you cannot claim ignorance of the interpretation that people will place on this statement – which will be that – ‘oh, that’s OK then – because if no one is missing – there can have been no murders.’
I know this – so I’m quite certain you both must know it as well – it is entirely feasible for children to have disappeared – for there have even been no official record of their existence. Do you accept that that is so?
Do you agree that vulnerable children – especially orphans – who may have been moved around the country in, say the 1950’s, 1960’s and even 1970’s – could very easily have vanished off the radar-screen – especially given how poor to non-existent record keeping was then?
19: Why do you make the particular assertions concerning Jersey’s Crown Officers – when it is a matter of documented, public record, that the Attorney General, William Bailhache, did obstruct the charging of certain individuals – just as he has failed to extradite certain suspects?
20: Do you not consider you own credibility to be at risk – well, what little of it remains – in being quite so friendly with an Attorney General who is hopelessly conflicted in these matters – because he was the senior partner in the law firm which, in 1998, was – supposedly – representing the interest of the victims of the abusers who he will not now extradite – at the time of the second (judicial) cover-up of that case?
Do you not consider that this monstrous and brazen conflict of interests should have made him withdraw from any involvement in these cases?
21: Given the unevidenced assertions you both have made in yesterday’s politically motivated stunt – combined with the glib, brief assertion made in your press release that “There will, however, not be the number of court cases or prosecutions which were originally reported” – do you fail to see just how catastrophically you have damaged the trust of survivors and whistle blowers in the investigations?
Perhaps that was, precisely, your intention?
I will now turn to the subject of radionuclide dating – this being an area of enquiry I have been – unsuccessfully – pursuing with the States of Jersey Police for many weeks.
There is a central – and definitive question – which arises from the human remains found at the site – fragments of human bone and around 65 teeth.
Were the individuals who these remains originated from living in the period prior to WW II – perhaps even far earlier?
Or – were they living in the post-WW II era?
In modern decades?
Are the remains pre-war – or are they post-war?
For this – central – question has been at the heart of the debate over the remains.
Why is this question important?
If the remains predate World War II – whilst still something of a mystery – we would then be justified setting aside the concerns we have that children may have died through foul play at Haut de la Garenne during modern times.
However – if the remains originate post- WW II – then we, as a community, have to confront the possibilities of what may have happened to vulnerable children in HDLG.
For if we are faced with the knowledge that the remains originated from people who were living, say, during the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s – Jersey faces an altogether more serious – and deeply disturbing – situation.
This is why that simple question – are the remains pre-war – or post-war – is so important.
If pre-war – we can gain some form of “closure”.
But if post-war – we cannot so easily set the matter aside.
But to gain that “closure”, we need – I need – hard evidence; evidence that is reasonable, and within the bounds of being practically able to be produced.
Deeply disturbingly, the States of Jersey Police Force has – so far – refused to state whether these tests have been carried out – notwithstanding repeated questions from me.
You both – Mr. Warcup and Mr. Gradwell – will now – presumably – have no difficulty in answering the questions – now that you’ve shown yourselves ready and willing to engage with politicians?
I will describe some of the forensic tests which would need to be carried out in order to make us reasonably confident that none of the children’s teeth found on the site originate from the post-war years.
Human remains – such as bones and teeth – can be readily assessed as originating pre-war – or as originating post-war – because of the use of nuclear weapons.
From the first megaton nuclear explosions – and for a sustained period during the 1950’s and 1960’s – the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons spread around the world a range of novel, radioisotopes which, prior to the nuclear weapons era – were present in the Earth only in minute quantities – or were not present at all, instead being the ‘man-made’ isotopes introduced into the atmosphere via nuclear bomb detonations.
Traces of these novel, radioactive substances are now found in all of us – in our bones, our teeth and other parts of the body.
By way of contrast – if a person was living, and died, before the onset of the nuclear weapons era – no internal contamination with these novel isotopes would be found within that individual’s bones and teeth.
Therefore – testing for radioisotope contamination of human bones and teeth is widely recognised as a forensic method of determining whether the remains are pre, or post the nuclear weapons age.
Due to my environmental campaigning against nuclear installations, I have specialist contacts who have been able to furnish me with some observations and questions concerning radionuclide contamination.
22: Plutonium 239 is a man-made transuranic – with a half-life of 24,100 years.
Small traces of Pu239 would have been distributed to a limited extent through the very early nuclear detonations of 1945. However, Pu239 will not have been heavily and widely distributed through the atmosphere until the first megaton explosions around 1952 or possibly later, through to the 1960’s.
It is, therefore, possible to test for the internal presence of Pu239 in bones and teeth and conclude – definitively – whether the remains come from people who were living after the dawn of the nuclear weapons era.
Pre-war – no such internal contamination with this isotope would be found.
Post-war – especially if the individual were living in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s – then yes, such internal contamination would be present in teeth and bones.
Has this test been carried out? If so – will the scientific papers be published in peer-reviewable format?
If not – why not?
23: Strontium 90, I am told, would be an even better ‘tag’ for determining whether human remains such as bones and teeth were from the modern era. This isotope was also spread throughout the planet’s atmosphere via nuclear weapons testing from 1952.
The highest levels of this contaminant would originate from the years 1960 to 1965.
Strontium 90 is also easier to detect and analyse than Pu239 – especially in bone fragments.
Have these tests been done? If so – can the papers be published?
If not – why not?
24: Carbon 14, although occurring naturally – was very widely distributed – in a heavily detectable ‘spike’ of contamination, during the period, mid-1950 until mid-1960.
However, I’m told that the detection or measuring of Carbon 14 is more challenging as it has to be done by concentration, which can prove problematic.
But nevertheless, man-made volumes of Carbon 14 appearing in human bones and teeth are used as a measure to approximately date the remains to the pre – or post – nuclear weapons era, by forensic anthropologists.
Have tests for anthropogenic quantities of Carbon 14 been undertaken?
If so – can we have the scientific papers?
If not – why not?
25: We can be categorically certain that any human remains which have internal contamination of the above-described isotopes originate from people who were alive during the nuclear weapons era. Do either of you dispute this?
If so – please explain your argument?
26: In the event of bones being burnt, it is strongly probable that any Strontium 90 would remain incorporated within the bone-matrix. Do either of you dispute this?
27: Burning any human remains would be most unlikely to remove or destroy the radio isotopes described above. Do you agree?
28: The sample size required to test for Strontium 90 or Plutonium 239, I am told, is around 20 grams – perhaps 3 or 4 teeth, or a similar weight of bone. Do you dispute this? If so – please explain why?
29: Many labs would undertake testing for Strontium 90 and Plutonium 239. Do you agree that laboratories capable of undertaking these tests are readily identifiable?
30: My understanding is that it would costs around £300 to undertake alpha spectrometry to detect Pu239 in a few teeth. Could the States of Jersey Police Force afford this sum – or might that mean eating into the Chief Minister’s £300,000 budget for spin-doctors?
31: A similar sum would be required to fund the chemical separation and Beta spectrometry needed to detect and measure Strontium 90 within teeth or bone matrix. Maybe a little more costly – but again, presumably if the Attorney General who earns approaching £300,000 per annum can be given a free parking place – we could scrape the funds together somehow?
32: If the tests I describe above – which are crucial to determine that key question – are the remains pre-war or post-war – have, in fact, been carried out – why the secrecy?
33: If the tests have not been carried out – why not?
34: If the radionuclide tests I describe above – or similar such tests – have not been carried out – do you recognise that it will appear in the eyes of many – that your political press-conference of yesterday – would be the most disastrously premature and ill-judged action the SOJP will have displayed since the beginning of this entire episode?
As I have said throughout this whole episode – I really hope for such definitive, scientific evidence which would show that the human remains did not originate from the post-war era.
But I do not believe we can gain “closure” on the question of whether the human remains recovered from Haute de la Garenne are pre-war – or post war – until such tests have been undertaken – and the results published in peer-reviewable form.
I hope very much that all such tests would prove to be negative.
But they simply have to be carried out.
35: Have they been?
36: If so – where are the peer-reviewable results?
37: If not – why are the Jersey establishment so indecently – and prematurely – ready to seize upon a few vacuous sound-bites, five pages of rubbish cobbled together by a spin-doctor, and some PowerPoint slides – as grounds for dismissing the whole episode?
Mr. Warcup and Mr. Gradwell?
We await your answers to all of the above questions.
Thank you for your time.
Senator Stuart Syvret
States of Jersey.