A Brief Account of a Tragic Day Spent with the Wreckage of Jersey’s Child “Care” System.

Throughout this nightmare, a thing I have always tried to get across to journalists, perhaps with limited success, is that it isn’t just about Haute de la Garenne.

It wasn’t only that institution.

Haute de la Garenne certainly appears to be the worst – by some margin – but the abuse and torture of vulnerable children didn’t end at that foul place.

Child abuse was prevalent in many other Jersey government run institutions. Both during the same era as Haute de la Garenne – and most definitely after that place was closed in 1986.

What we are dealing with is a continuum of abuse; an ingrained attitude of viciousness, contempt and disregard for children in need. And worse – an arena to which the lazy, the crazed, the psychotic and the sadistic seemed to gravitate.

A culture of contempt.

A culture of disregard.

A culture of abuse.

A culture of concealment.

And it didn’t end with Haute de la Garenne.

It continues to this day.

Even now – unambiguous examples of criminally abusive treatment of children in “care” are being covered-up by senior civil servants and today’s politicians.

For example – just consider the recent Williamson report. A slap-dash piece of ethically bankrupt nonsense, produced by an author who very nearly succeeded in delivering what his paymasters forked-out for.

Nearly – but not quite.

I won’t deal with Williamson now – Simon Bellwood and I – supported by some very – very – heavyweight experts, are preparing a response to Williamson’s screed.

The round-house battering his “work” is going to receive won’t be for the squeamish.

I hope his £50 grand was worth it; in all probability it’s his last ever cheque as ‘Mr. Fix-It’ so far as local authorities needing a credible white-wash are concerned.

He struck his Faustian pact with Jersey’s money-men – and the quid pro quo has been the destruction of his credibility.

As I said – the cover-ups continue to this day.

Name any aspect of the Jersey child abuse disaster – and I will show you lies being spoken of it by Jersey’s oligarchy. Today.

Let us set aside Haute de la Garenne – and instead consider some much more recent examples of institutional abuse.

Abuses that even to the present day, Jersey’s Education Minister, Senator Mike Vibert, attempts to deny.

A few weeks ago I received another heartrending letter from another messed-up young man, presently languishing in Jersey’s La Moye Prison.

He – and many, many others like him – are victims of Jersey’s child “care” system, and the barbarities of Jersey’s youth custody apparatus.

I contacted the prison, and asked if I could visit him, and a few other of my constituents whilst I was there. I took the opportunity to suggest that the prison authorities could put word around the nick that I would be willing to meet with any other people who had been through Jersey’s child “protection” system.

Now, Jersey is a very small place, but even so, there were 19 youths and young men who wanted to speak with me. I was in the jail from 9.15 in the morning until about 7.30 in the evening.

Of the 19 – 18 had been in “care” in Jersey as children. Some had only been in the residential children’s “homes” – most had been in child custody.

The experiences of these people, when children, were uniformly bleak. Bleak in different ways, to be sure – but ultimately, so bleak that there they all languish – in Jersey’s prison – united in criminality by a common factor – namely being victims of Jersey’s child “protection” apparatus.

It is true enough that correlation does not equal causation; some of these young men may have been drawn to a life of crime in any event.

But as much as defenders of Jersey’s oligarchy may assert the system is not to blame for how these kids’ lives have turned out – on the basis of probabilities their claim is no more valid than ours if we were to argue that the way these children were treated was a prime factor in their consequent dysfunction.

But we do not rely on mere probabilities.

We know – on a strongly evidenced basis – that they way these people were treated as children was – without question – harmful, damaging and barbaric.

Incidentally – I am in the process of writing up all my notes from this visit, which I will furnish to the States of Jersey Police – along with yet another formal statement.

To gain a flavour of the kind of treatment these kids went through, I’ll quote one of the letters sent to me by one of the kids in Jersey’s prison. I asked his permission to reproduce it, but, obviously, I will anonymise it so as to protect the identity of the young man and those he names. Apart from that, it’s reproduced exactly as he wrote it.

He describes his time in the child custody system of Jersey:

“Dear Senator Syvret,

I am [name excised] and currently reside at La Moye Prison, and I am writing this factual letter to tell you of some of my many experiences at [name of child secure unit excised] from [dates excised] and to help with any enquiries. My time at [child secure unit name excised] was over one year ago but my first night there was quite scary but I got through it. It was the morning that worried me but I saw someone I knew to be [name excised] I have known him for many years and asked him how long he’d been down here he stated about a week. But I was soon to find out that this was wrong and they were locked up 23 hours a day and when I say they I mean [name 1, name 2, name 3 excised] all former inmates of [child secure unit name excised]. Anyway moving on a few weeks later whilst on remand I was sat in what we called the day room is where we spent the daytime watching TV I was sat on the corner of a piece of furniture when I was told to sit on it properly I refused and was pulled off and then restrained to the floor, after that I was taken to secure stripped naked and left in a cell with no mattress a cold floor and no clothes and left for hours I was bruised and distressed and still to this day it winds me up. A bit later on a social worker came to see me naked and upset and gave me some clothes when she left I was locked up for 23 hours a day for three weeks in a cell only with a skylight. I was shortly released from court but the person I believe who done most of these things was [name of senior staff member excised].

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Would like to hear back.

[Name excised]”

My experiences of life – and my time in politics – have made me a very tough character. But still, when I read of these tragedies in miniature, I can’t help but get upset.

What the States of Jersey did to this child was appalling.

Dragged into a cell – stripped naked – left on the bare, cold floor – not as much as a mattress – left for hours before being given any clothes – alone and bruised and distressed – and then kept in the cell for 23 hours-a-day – for three weeks – 1 hour out for exercise, but still in isolation, no mixing with other kids – 23 hours-a-day – for three weeks – in a bare cement cell which didn’t even have a window – only a skylight in the ceiling.

And you know what?

This child was one of the lucky ones.

Let me run through a very brief list of what some of these children – in recent times, remember – suffered. These experiences as recounted to me last week on my visit to Jersey’s prison.

One young man – I won’t mention his name – but he has gone public on the maltreatment he received as a child in custody.

This included being held in the above-described solitary confinement regime – for two months.

Yes – two months.

Unsurprisingly, he had an emotional breakdown after 1 month of this treatment. This, after all, is precisely why such tortures are used in Guantanamo Bay.

The response of the Jersey secure unit authorities to this child’s mental collapse?

They sent a “councillor” from the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health service to speak with him – for half-an-hour.


But kept him in isolation in the “pits” for another month.

This kid said that he – and this was a fact corroborated by many others – was, if in “secure”, always handcuffed when being taken to court – even though they were children.

Incidentally – and this is another of those “you couldn’t make it up” facts – there is a prison van; it is used by the authorities to take adult inmates from the prison to the courts in St. Helier.

It would come from the prison – and stop en route to the courts at the child secure unit – where children in custody would be shovelled into the back of the van – with adult prisoners. The van would then take this wretched cargo to the courts – where their various fates would be decided by people like Phil Bailhache, ‘Jurat’ John Le Breton, Mike Birt and Mad Frankie Hamon.

All of whom have been involved in well-documented examples of the concealment of child abuse.

It is true that the prison van was compartmentalised – so the adult prisoners had no physical access to the children. But frequently aggressive, mocking and lewd comments would be shouted to the kids by the adults.

Which takes me onto another example. One young girl, who had an episode of being a bit rebellious – getting drunk, arguing with authorities – hell, just like me now – fell into the maw of Jersey’s youth custody system.

She, as a child, was put in the prison van with adult male prisoners – which she naturally found profoundly intimidating and frightening. As I said, the van is compartmentalised, rather than one open area – but even so – putting children, let alone female children, in such a situation serves as a stark illustration of just how much contempt and disregard Jersey’s authorities have for children.

On one of these occasions, she was taken to Jersey’s old Magistrates court – and held in the ancient, wretched brickwork cells behind the court; cells riddled with old and obscene graffiti – for about 7 hours – without being called into the court. After this tortuous experience she was simply driven back to the secure unit.

Another male child – and again, this was a common experience – when having annoyed the staff, was dragged by the hair down the corridor to be thrown into the “pits”.

Another example from a young man I spoke to in the prison.

These are his words:

“My life was ripped apart by that place.”

When being “restrained” he would “held in a head-lock”.

Another experience of these children was being grabbed by the throat and held up against the wall. One member of staff who did this was screaming at the boy, “You’ve just spoiled my meal with my family.”

This particular child was so inconvenient and problematic for the unit’s management that he was confined to the “pits” – the bare cells – in solitary confinement.

Well – so were a lot of other kids.

But for 9 months?

As he put it:

“Yeah – 9 f**king months!”

During this episode there was a period when a new fence was being put up. This meant he couldn’t exercise in the isolation area for security reasons – so he was kept in his lonely cell for 24 hours a day for a whole week.

This young man said to me;

“I’m mentally scarred by it”.


“My memory tries to block it out”

“Not a day goes by without me thinking about it.”

Moving on to yet another boy’s experiences.

This young man was “thrown against the wall by [an identified] member of staff.”

At one point he fell and badly cut his leg which bled heavily. The response of the unit was to confine him to the solitary confinement “pits” – as punishment for supposedly “self-harming”.

Self-harming, incidentally, is a very common experience amongst these children.

He, as did others, also said that “the kids in the “pits” were not even fed properly. We’d be given reduced portions; sometimes only two meals a day.”

Yet another kid was kept in solitary for two months.

He said that “during bang-up, he’d be lucky to see staff twice a day.”

A lot of these kids ended up in the secure units for trivia – for example, “stealing a few packets of bacon.”

Yet others, ended up in these places for the supposed purpose of “safe custody” – because they were being battered by their mum’s boy friend.

The kind of thing these kids could expect was to be “slapped about by staff”, and in some cases, “jumped on”.

Yet another reported being assaulted by a senior [named] member of staff, who “back-handed him across the face”.

Another kid – spoke of being “taken out for ice-creams” by a [named] member of staff who would use the opportunity to “touch him up”.

This kid said that the “main reason for being f**ked-up was being in [named institution].

I don’t know how much longer I can go on for right now; I have screeds of this stuff, and could recount it for hours.

I’ll try and finish with a few brief examples.

Another man, when he was a kid, had had his arm badly broken in a vicious assault by a senior [named] member of staff.

The hospital were told it was “a sporting accident”.

All of these victims said the “standard” of “education” they received had been “crap” to non-existent. To which I said – ‘hey! Join the club. I was “educated” by Mike Vibert – Jersey’s Education Minister.’

But joking aside.

All of them said that during their time in child custody, none of them had received therapy, psychological help, emotional support, mentoring – nor any form of independent advocacy.

So – there they all languish – in jail.

As I said – it was a tragic experience. Both prison staff – and sadly many of the inmates themselves – openly said they’d be back inside within three months of release.

Violence and drugs were by far the main reasons for them being inside.

One of the first things one young man said to me – in what was an open and emotional statement of the truth – was:

“Stuart – we’re all here because we’re f**king junkies. We’re screwed up. My family home was bad enough. But the child nicks – they just destroyed us. All I can do outside is fight and take drugs; it’s the only way of coping.”

When in the prison, one of my last interviews was with a man just a couple of years younger than me.

He was one of the first people to contact me last year. I met-up with him and listened to his experiences then. I had tried to contact him several times this year, but couldn’t get hold of him.

It really was no surprise to discover that he was back inside.

This man lived in the same wretched, back-street slum as me when we were kids.

I even remember having a fight with him.

Our mothers were drinking buddies.

This man – by his own admission – is “no angel”.

He is a well-documented local villain – with some really bad form behind him – I mean serious violence and heavy drug usage.

He and I – contemporaries in virtually all respects.

He – a chronic villain – me a Senator.

A simple twist of fate.

He ended up in Jersey’s child custody system – I didn’t.

To paraphrase Bob Dylan, when speaking with my contemporary, “I felt the heat of the night hit me like freight train – moving – with a simple twist of fate.”

There, but for not falling into the hands of the States of Jersey, go I.

This undoubtedly criminal man was a child once.

A child like so many of us – surrounded by dysfunction.

Naturally intelligent, articulate – and argumentative. He could, with the right support, have made something of his life.

Instead – he got into some petty, juvenile mischief – and fell into the life-destruction machine of Jersey’s child custody system.

A couple of months ago, some commenters asked me who, or what, is “The Pinball Wizard”.

All will be revealed in due course – for the moment, it’s enough to know that the child who was a contemporary of mine, was a regular victim of “The Pinball Wizard.”

His articulacy, intelligence and defiance – naturally – made him a great source of irritation to staff. This led to him suffering such abuses as “The Pinball Wizard” storming into the secure unit’s classroom – and in front of other kids – punching this child in the face with a right hook so hard it knocked him from the stool on which he was sitting – and as he lay dazed on the floor, he had a foot placed on his chest, whilst “The Pinball Wizard” screamed at him – “with the veins bulging and purple in his neck” – “this is what we do to scum like you!”

As I said – correlation does not necessarily equal causation; some of these young men may have been drawn to a life of crime in any event. But we are not merely relying on probability and chance.

In these people – and tragically so many others like them – we see such a powerful correlation as to satisfy an epidemiologist.

Maybe if that child who was a contemporary of mine, hadn’t been abused, neglected, imprisoned for several years as a child, been brutalised and savagely assaulted and beaten – perhaps he would not have committed his succession of serious crimes.

One thing all civilised people can be certain of – treating children with such barbarism and contempt is hardly likely to turn out model citizens.

One of the stark facts I was left with was how virtually all of them never understood that the barbarism they were subjected to was unlawful and unambiguously criminal.

It was quite tragic to hear so many of them say “well, we were no angels, we had broken the law – so we just thought stuff like being beaten up and kept in solitary cells for weeks or months at a stretch was normal; was to be expected.”

Remember – everything I describe above is post-Haute de la Garenne.

Some of this culture of contempt and institutional abuse towards kids was taking place until recently; for example – the extremely damaging use of extended periods of punitive and coercive solitary confinement against children.

This was only stopped about 18 months ago – and even then, only because of the fuss caused by Simon Bellwood – who bravely took a stand against such barbarisms.

So, remember – when considering the Jersey child abuse disaster – the culture of abuse – the culture of concealment – did not stop when Haute de la Garenne closed.

It continues to this day.

Contemporary Jersey politicians still – in the teeth of all the evidence – lie about these things.

In the real world – people would long ago have recognised the game was up. The truth would have been accepted, and amends made.

But facing and absorbing the truth like that just isn’t “The Jersey Way”.

Too vulgar and “impolite” – not to mention profoundly damaging to the island’s oligarchy.

In the mean time we, as a society, continue to cause, compound and accrue – shattered lives.

There in Jersey’s prison languish a variety of individuals, older now – and in many cases hardened crooks.

But behind that brute fact of their existence today – stand children.

Children who were damaged, messed-up, maybe a bit off the rails and in need of a little help and guidance.


Who we treated like filth.


‘As you sew, so you shall reap.’


47 thoughts on “A CONTINUUM OF ABUSE.

  1. st-ouennais

    During one of my extended periods living in the UK I was asked, and agreed, to be a police lay visitor.

    The lay visitors visit police stations UNANNOUNCED to check on the conditions and welfare of detained persons. There is a log book for visits, and we always did our visits in pairs (not sure that is actualy a requirement though).

    You can download info here

    Surely if it can be done for police stations un the UK it could be done for childrens homes and other juvenille secure units here.

    In fact I would be tempted to say it would be a good idea to have this sort of system for all places of institutional care. In any institution a duty of care exists and must be seen to be upheld properly.

    If we have people abusing and mal-treating children, then we could just as easily have abuse and mal-treatment of the mentally ill and the frail elderly who are in homes and institutions.

  2. Anonymous

    Ok Stuart, again you have pointed out where we are going wrong – or have gone wrong. But the question now is what do we do to fix it?
    I could look out of my front door and point out everything that is wrong in the world, but if I have now idea on how to put things right how are things going to change?
    Yes abuse of children/teenagers is very wrong, but do you see my point?
    obviously the people of jersey can change things by using their votes.
    But we have used our votes to get you.
    So now that you have shown us what is wrong what are you going to do to fix it?

  3. Anonymous


    Not just years or decades, but centuries; of control, abuse and wilful discard.

    People of Jersey, the world’s eyes are upon you, do the decent thing -throw off your collective shackles:

    The second feature of Charing Cross is that it was the site of a notorious prison. Charing Cross Gaol was a huge building, famous for its fearsome underground cells known as Les Basses Fosses (‘deep trenches’). It was impossible to leave town at this point without passing through the underground vault. So dreaded was this underground prison that it became the source of an entire culture of fairy tale.

    Children were apparently ‘stuffed with 100 fables’ about the place to scare them into being good. According to another written account, the prison became a virtual underworld, populated by the spirits of the dead and other chthonic creatures, including monstrous serpents that devoured their unfortunate victims.

    The inscription on the toad’s plinth is the Le Geyt code of law of 1698, which lists some of the gruesome crimes common in seventeenth century society and the equally gruesome punishments administered in Charing Cross Prison. It lists a variety of grisly judicial tortures and deaths, including strangling on the gibbet, leaving the body there ‘until it rots’, burning the body and the old medieval terrors of hanging, drawing and quartering. In a final horrific twist, schoolmasters are enjoined to ‘bring their pupils to witness … every sentence involving loss of life or limb.’

    From: “Pagan Channel Islands” – S.V. Peddle


  4. Survivor

    Stuart, I sometimes wonder what the point is, boy do you have an uphill strugle but I am behind you all the way.I too have just gone through hell and back being visited by the police, giving hours of painful statements from the 1960,s and 1970’s from my time spent in Haute de La Garenne and than on to a Foster Home from Hell, reliving the mental and physical cruelty and all to no avail as charges were dropped at the last minute. So now I am left even more confused than before as to why all these bad things happened to me and my Brothers and Sisters as a child, so scared that i could’nt tell anyone that I was being sexually abused by two dirty old men from the age of eight years old, both knowing the conditions I lived in and using this to their advantage.

    Stuart, going back to your previous entry, one of my abusers was a Freemason and I remember him taking me to a Freemason function at a well known hotel in St Helier where I remember recognising several well known public figures in attendance. The thing that struck me most was that most of the partners of these men were young girls, some school friends of mine most of whom were referred to as their “uncles”. Strange!!!!

    Keep up the good work Stuart.

  5. Anonymous

    There are no proper systems in place in jersey to keep an eye on those in authority, consequently anything can happen and it will be out of the public domain. People in authority will cover for one another it is common practice to do so, as they know to expose another will led to their exposure. Therefore they keep quiet and hope things will go away which they don’t. Jersey is rotten to the core and there are those over here who will do whatever it takes to discredit the truth to protect themselves and their friends. They will stop at nothing to maintain their integrity.

  6. Krakow Crapaud

    Another terrible problem explained by advocate Caroline Dorey for those who have been abused. I note that she didn’t say allegedly abused!

    The chances are that claims for compensation can be blocked because they weren’t made within specific time limits.

    They will have to come up with a reason acceptable to the courts why there was a delay in any claims.

    Jersey laws do not protect the victims of abuse or recognise the trauma and suffering caused.

    It would seem that fear and lack of belief that justice would have been done will not be a good enough reason.

    In the name of decency isn’t about time the island of Jersey started helping these people?


  7. Anonymous

    They have to have integrity to maintain their integrity which is in short supply amongst these cretins who are so blinded by fear of being seen for what they really are, that they are running around bumping into each other trying desperately to remember every person they have pissed off mindful of all the axes grinding slowly in the dark.

    Trying to buy their way out of blame or find their own personal scapegoat to hang it on.

    Pinning everything on a negative campaign’s against Senator Syvret Simon Bellwood, stifling their concerns over decades of out and out immoral turpitude committed by what are after all people who have entered the care system’s and were supposed to be of benefit to young people and help then deal with whatever reasons they were placed into care and establish and new beginning.

    Care system my arse!!! Those who knew what was going on were deeply entrenched in their behaviour of denial, and we flatter ourselves in thinking things have changed in modern times. The sackings in this case will still occur, and the abuse deniers (Walker and Bill & Ben + minions and hangers on) still left in employment by the time these cases get to a courtroom will be ousted.

    The man and woman who were let of by the Jersey silence squad must have said they would blab like budgies if they faced any kind of charges related to abuse and they should be arrested under international human rights law under the rights of those they tortured!! Yes I said it Tortured as that is exactly what it was would be in a court of international law.

    Just because they were children, that doesn’t lesson their human rights!!! Just because Jersey’s law says things stay in Jersey doesn’t mean that Jersey or those who form the plutocracy can’t be arrested under international human rights law.

    They give it a tag and its sticks “Historic Abuse” Re: Torture make no mistake…

  8. Anonymous

    The following news story in the Jersey Evening Post should chill the blood of all who care about Jersey’s child abuse victims and their quest for justice.

    “FORMER Magistrate and Judicial Greffier Ian Le Marquand is standing for Senator.

    Mr Le Marquand (56), who retired as Magistrate earlier this year, will be campaigning under a banner of ‘fair and accountable government’. He qualified as an Advocate in 1977 and spent eight years as Magistrate. He is now campaigning on a platform of better controls on States spending and tighter political oversight of the police, Transport and Technical Services, and the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

    He said: ‘The issue about oversight of the police is based on a growing concern over a lengthy period of time that the police were increasingly operating as if they were a politically independent organisation. That predates the Haut de la Garenne investigation by about two years. It is a long-standing concern that they are operating without effective political oversight.’

    Those pesky contrarian policemen who think they should operate independently, investigating crimes without political constraints or concerns over the impact the truth might have! How dare they? Polititians must be brought in to fix that at once!

    There certainly does seem to be a “growing concern” that the police will find and disclose too much. Or perhaps it should be called “growing terror.”

    – newfan

  9. Anonymous


    Forgive me for questioning you, but I didn’t think there were any “heavyweight experts” in this subject – beisdes the corruption, the major reason for the constant failures! As I mentioned on your blog a few weeks ago: there is now quite an industry in those who assert that they are. Don’t be lead on by self appointed “experts” – the only living experts are the survivors.


  10. Dan

    The description of this child care home in Jersey sounds like a close match to a US jail for serial killers.

    Those responsible for the abusive treatment of those kids are just worthless cowards.

  11. Anonymous

    Ian Le Marquand is concerned police act as if they operate as a politically independent organisation. Now doesn’t that remind you of another organisation
    I have it on good authority (well lets just say a mole has said) Mr Ian Le Marqaunde will be the next home affairs minister. Now please correct me if I am wrong but don’t you have to go through the voting process first. Lets watch this space.

  12. Anonymous

    “FORMER Magistrate and Judicial Greffier Ian Le Marquand is standing for Senator”

    How I agree with the letter on the above, judging by his alledged comments in the JEP if he had his way we would have no knowledge of the scandals of abuse slowly unfolding

    Thank God for a Policeman like Lenny Harper for speaking the truth to the public of Jersey

  13. TonyTheProf

    I’m hardly surprised at his stance against the police, who after all, have led to the interim suspension of Mr Christmas – a Magistrate – while he is being investigated.

  14. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Pointing out we have gone wrong – but how do we fix it?

    The second comment in this string suggests that, OK, I’ve pointed out how things have gone – and are going wrong, but has asked the question ‘how do we fix it?’

    An absolutely valid question.

    I know what we need to do to fix these problems; to make sure we have done all we can to minimise the chances of such tings occurring again.

    Of course – no system can ever guarantee 100% protection – but I’m confident we can get pretty close to that mark.

    So what are the solutions?

    All will be revealed in Jersey Charter.


  15. Anonymous

    I read on a forum, Jersey Forum I think, that Le Marquand is a “Happy Clappy” Christian type.
    Wonder how he equats this with being a Senator?
    If he is lined up as Home Affairs minister that means he is a friend of Le Sueur, the man who taxes food.

  16. Anonymous

    let us see just hoe truely democratic you are Mr Walker and chums. let us see if you can beat your own electorate in a fare fight.

    Stroll on the Jersey Charter and the end of dictatorships.

  17. Anonymous

    “I know what we need to do to fix these problems; to make sure we have done all we can to minimise the chances of such tings occurring again.

    Of course – no system can ever guarantee 100% protection – but I’m confident we can get pretty close to that mark.

    So what are the solutions?

    All will be revealed in Jersey Charter. “

    Stuart-are you saying that the Jersey Charter will be the vehicle which you propose will minimise the risk of Child abuse in Jersey in future? I think you need to be clearer than that.

    PS-addressed to anonymous. Referring to people as happy clappy christian types is labelling, stereotypical, religiously discriminatory and there is no disparity between a strong Christian faith and political activism for social justice.
    Unless of course you haven’t heard of Martin Luther King, William Wilberforce, Desmond Tutu…

    (Oh yes-“happy clappy”-as distinct from miserable moribund clappy, I assume? Course, that doen’t rhyme…)

  18. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Fixing the Problems and Jersey Charter.

    Am I saying that Jersey Charter will fix the problems – to the extent that such problems can and should be fixed?


    Don’t know what could be clearer than that.

    But the nature of your question indicates that you see the Charter as “the solution”. It isn’t.

    Once finished (it isn’t yet) it will be just a side or two of paper with a load of writing on.

    That piece of paper will make no difference.

    What will make a difference is the principles and ideas expressed upon it – and people then being willing to put those ideas into practice.

    As I have said previously – it may get nowhere.

    But I am at least going to have a try.


  19. Anonymous

    You say:
    “Am I saying that Jersey Charter will fix the problems – to the extent that such problems can and should be fixed?


    Don’t know what could be clearer than that”

    “Yes” is very clear-if the question is ‘is today friday, or ‘are children being abused?”.

    However, Stuart. I’m afraid you have to be far clearer than that.
    To quote you originally (again) (caps added for emphasis by me):


    Of course – no system can ever guarantee 100% protection – but I’m confident we can get pretty close to that mark.

    So what are THE SOLUTIONS?

    ALL will be revealed in Jersey Charter.”

    So you are of the view that the solutions, all of them, all that we need to do, to get pretty close to 100% effectiveness in preventing abuse can be contained in two sides or so of an articulation of (no doubt very valid) political principles? That’s it, is it?

    I don’t think that’s adequate. If that is your answer to how we are going to tackle child abuse then either you don’t understand the issues or you are avoiding my question. The original question posed by anonymous on 24th July was “what do we do to fix it”.

    I know Wimbledon’s over but I think the ball is still in your court.

  20. Advocatus Diaboli

    Hello Stuart, Still going strong – well done that man.

    Given the nature of the culture of institutional abuse, executive connivance, central gov’t indifference and local media brown nosing of the snouts you have a Sisyphean task. I think you’ve done rather well to last this long. Has anyone tried to buy or compromise you yet? If not, why not? [;-).

    I hope there are a few Barristers reading you blog who fancy doing some good.

    All the best.

  21. Anonymous

    Of course it can be fixed!

    It’s only a few people who are doing this dreadful abuse. A few, a very few.

    Most of the people just don’t understand. It’s like the Nazis. They managed to get people to do all those horrible things because they kept a lot of people in ignorance.

    What Stuart is doing here is wonderful, because he is getting people to talk about it. Communication is the key to ending abuse. Abusers need dark corners to do their nasty stuff. If you deny them the secrecy they hate it more than anything.

    Stuart, it’s brilliant what you are doing! Please don’t be discouraged and stop. It’s brilliant!


  22. Anonymous


    No matter what you have been confidently told the systems will never be in place to resolve the cancer. Neither are there people around you who could change it. For example, SS, NSPCC, MH professionals, police can’t, so who else? Now if there was a totally new discipline built on a solid bedrock that would be difference, but I know you do not have that only possibility available to you.


  23. Anonymous

    It can and will be fixed. Saying it can’t be fixed is the talk of loser.

    I didn’t survive years of abuse just to become a loser. Neither did all the other survivors. I’ll fight until I’m all worn out to change things.

    I fight by telling people what I know. I get attacked for this. People can be very nasty. I had a chap tell me that I must have done something to deserve the abuse I recieved as a child last night. I felt like crying when I read what he wrote. It’s like being punched in the face when people do that to you. I feel like I’ve been punched in the face again and again and again.

    But I’m a survivor, I keep telling myself, and a fighter. Boxers get up after they’ve been punched and they put up their fists again. If they get knocked down, they just keep getting up. Mohammed Ali wouldn’t have allowed himself to be a loser.

    We are going to change things and make it better for children, and smash open the international pedophile ring that has done this evil, smash a big hole in it so that everyone can see what has been going on. It’s no good talking like losers – we’re all winners, us child sexual abuse survivors! I’m a winner – I’m still here! I didn’t commit suicide and I still have all my faculties – I even have a sense of humour, that’s a bonus!

    We have to keep telling people what they did to us, and we have to keep digging away at the past, looking at who did what. If we become losers we will let down the next generation, because these abusers will only stop if they are made to stop, and they can’t do their nastiness in the open, they need secrecy to do what they do. So we deny them that!

    Everything is fixable.


  24. Anonymous


    Few have your conviction and courage, which I applaud. You focus on survivors, and have a laudable antagonism to paedophiles. Have you ever thought how these powerful paedophiles become paedophiles in the first place? There is such a pandemic of iniquity that it seems to me that it must be prevented in the first place. The system is so utterly useless that it is geared up to be cowardly ostriches as if by statute, and then do everything to cover up its noxious cesspit of errors. The politicians need to change statute and certainly send all social workers to the top of the nearest active volcano as the first action once they have the courage to discover what all this is about. Anyway, sexual abuse is just one of the many abuses – one should not forget that. Another awful abuse is just being a victim of ‘being unloved’. Think about it!


  25. Anonymous

    Zoompad, I did wonder! You’re right you know!……I grew up in one of jersey’s slums, and during the 1960s/70s was physically, sexually and mentally abused.

    Like you I too survived, and can see the funny side of life! Keep on smiling, because our time is at hand…. We will see justice yet!


  26. Anonymous

    Zoompad your determination and sheer guts has made to a strong survivor with what sounds like ample amounts left over for others I have followed Stuarts blog since the beginning and read many of your posts and in every one your bold tenacity shines like a beacon for me I know that I went through the short sharp shock of the 70,s after a lifetime going to many failures of children’s homes.

    I was sexually physically and mentally tortured by Neville Husband A Prison Officer who spent his entire 27 years in the prison service abusing young boys.

    I have taken solace from your words and that of others on this blog.

    Stuart please keep up your vigil and although there are a lot of issues to take into account when constructing the Jersey Charter I think like yourself it doesn’t mater how many pieces of paper it is written on a and is more a case of what is written on the paper and how its understood and acted upon.

    The 2008 Jersey Charter kinda has a ring to it!!!

    Lets hope its ringing the changes….

  27. Anonymous


    Many of the politicians know whats going on. I’ve written to every one of them six times and had loads of letters back too. Some of the letters aren’t very nice either, but in some of the letters the writers show that they are fully aware of the disgusting institutional abuse and cover up of abuse at a high level.

    I just believe in miracles, I can’t help it because I feel like a miracle myself. By rights I should be dead. I’ve noticed that more and more people are coming forward about how they were abused as children, ordinary people like me, and rich and famous people as well.

    I just know that we can’t let them get away with what went on at Jersey, because if they do, the abuse won’t stop. And I know that most people are nice, not abusers at all, and they need to be told what is going on. I try to tell someone about this every day, at the bus stop, in the supermarket queue, anywhere and everywhere I can. People have heard about it on the news, but it goes to the back of their minds. Even people who were institutionally abused themselves don’t always make the connection between what happened to them and what happened at Jersey. And there is a connection – the institutional abuse has been going on all over the British Isles, and it’s still going on, but they are not sticking the kids in the big children’s homes any more – they are getting them via the secret family courts, using dodgy “syndromes” and one of the syndromes they are using to get at the kids has come from Pennysylvania. The family courts are certainly not secret for the good of the kids, but to mask corruption. It is all connected.

    It isn’t a question of me being corageous – I am just absolutly desperate to stop any more children getting abused. They smashed my life into little pieces and I actually felt guilty and dirty for over 20 years, until the anger kicked in. Now, I just feel desperate to stop other people getting hurt. And I just know that the Jersey survivors must be feeling so horrible, you just feel so anxious that they might not even want to live any more if they feel so worthless. You just feel like reaching out to them in any way that you can and saying “It wasn’t your fault, you’re not dirty or guilty or worthless”

    We are changing things, because we’re denying the abusers the secrecy they need. They really can’t stand that you know! And if the Jersey survivors stumble on this site, they will know people care about them. I know how important it is to know that people care – a site like this blog of Stuart’s saved my life.


  28. Anonymous


    I agree with most of your posting.

    The way the ‘system’ deals with this is not to ask, especially to proactively avoid asking about this. In effect, it is a self imposed dynamic: a negative hallucination. “it’s there but we are NOT going to see it!”

    I have one matter that perplexes me: I read that there is no evidence of homicide …. yet, there is evidence of dismemberment, etc. Am I missing something?


  29. Anonymous

    Talking of determination, I thought the way Stuart stayed glued to his chair parked next to Frank Wa*ker, who so obviously didn’t want him there was brilliant. Frank Wa*kers face was a picture, best not frame it though as it might scare the children. Stuart, I think you derserve a medal for standing up to all of them, I can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing. If you’ve had your life smashed up already, you haven’t got so much to lose if they keep persecuting you, but I think you’re so brave for what you’re doing.


  30. Anonymous

    Re DT (homicide)!

    Until the police can date the remains of these children then they will not launch a homocide investigation!

    They know, you know & we all know that there is evidence enough that children were killed in Jersey at Haut de la Garenne!

    I have heard many people sugest that because HDG is close to a doleman it is inevitable that human remains will be found!

    I don’t question this….however, what I do question is the lack of adult remains (surely they should be there too!).

    Jersey is in denial! But one day, some day, Bill, Phil and Ben, will be Judged! They may say `but that’s not fair’!

    However, my reply to them is this. ` You took the money, you accepted the responsibilty that went
    along with your big fat cheques as so called elder statesmen, representitives of the people…of the crown!

    And now, one day very soon, you will honour your part of the deal to the tax payer who you have milked year in and year out!

    And that day is aproaching fast!

    But to answer your question DT! No…..you have missed nothing! Niether have the Police!!!!

  31. Anonymous


    Your blog and the pages of comments attached, is surely the most awful, sick-making, emotive stuff one could possibly read about. It is incomprehensible, it is tear jerking, it is embarrassing to the good people of Jersey. As you often say, ‘you just couldn’t make it up’.

    Sexual abuse, beatings, mental abuse, children in solitary confinement for long periods, shackles, blood, pain, sawn up bones, charred bones, milk teeth – it goes on and on. Paedophiles, dirty and sick shop keepers, vicars, politicians, policemen, foster-parents, teachers…no, I certainly couldn’t have made it up.

    I am a Jerseyman, born nearly 60 years ago, to a loving family. My father, I can say with no exaggeration, didn’t hit me once. I find myself embarrassed, uninformed even feeling guilty of having had a wonderful childhood, when all the time, just a few miles from where we lived, other children were going through a private hell, which I have no chance of even beginning to imagine.

    I came back to this island last year, having spent some years away. I have been reading your blog and it’s attached comments regularly ever since my return. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t come back – it seems so awful, an alien place compared to the happy ignorance in which I used to live. I have also learned through your blog, that it is most certainly not only about Haut de la Garenne. It is about a hidden, evil way of life that seeped into many institutions all over the island. I can only imagine what might have happened in other places entrusted to the care of vulnerable people. The emerging story of Haut de la Garenne is bad enough, but give a few seconds thought to what may have happened in places like St. Saviour’s Hospital or the Prison for example, to say nothing of the Church or Boarding Schools.

    You have talked of Jersey’s ‘culture of concealment’ many times. It is only recently that I know what you mean. I used to think you meant a political culture of concealment, but actually it is much more widespread than that. It is, as you put it, ‘the Jersey way’.

    Since my return to Jersey, I have spoken to several long standing friends of my disgust as to what has been and is going on here. I have been shocked and hurt by some angry responses, telling me there is a boat out in the morning, telling me to leave if I don’t like it, telling me to shut up if I want to live here.

    Friends who are no longer friends.

    I can only presume that I touched a nerve and they are protecting themselves. It is not just the politicians who are guilty of concealment, it is a large part of the population as well.

    My father used to say, ‘money is the root of all evil’. A common enough saying, but how true it is in this island. Money rules here, money makes people powerful, powerful people are often evil.

    Your blog and it’s attached comments, have opened my eyes. I don’t know whether to thank you, as what you have made me see is so horrendous.

    I am just an ordinary bloke, a member of the public….tell me Stuart and others like me, how can I help you, how can I make a difference?

    All I can say to any other people like me, who have had their eyes opened to a disgusting sight, STAND UP AND SAY SO, SAY HOW YOU FEEL, SHOW YOUR DISGUST! But be prepared to be told, as I have been, that there’s a boat out in the morning.

    Keep up your hard work Stuart. The way to change is surely through education.

    You have educated me.


  32. Anonymous

    To those who have suffered I offer my heartfelt tears, I am ashamed to be a Channel Islander. Not for the minority who abused you, but for the majority who turned a blind eye and will continue to deny your existance. Shame on them.
    All I can offer you to say sorry are the the following links to a dear German lady, Alice Miller. Please read them, read the letters sent to her and if you feel the need, write to her. She will not deny you.
    Love and tears.



  33. Anonymous

    When you were Health minister – how many times did you go to HLDG ? I know the answer by the way – just wondered if you have the guts and integrity to provide the truthful answer !!!
    Standing up to the victims is one thing but you constantly go too far and I think you have lost all integrity you once had.
    Truth is if you stood again in politcal power – you wouldn’t get in – dont get me wrong I am not a fan of Frankie either but your antics have harmed you severely – more then you know or choose to want to know I suspect.

  34. Anonymous

    Re When you were Health Minister.

    Amazing you even bothered to post on Stuarts Blog when you did not even have the intelligence to look into the history of HLDG. In fact if you were at all savvy about local politics and enquiries you would realise in any care institution especially where children are involved a “show” is put on for visiting dignitaries. Usually a false impression, everything in the garden is rosy, unless of course someone blows the whistle on care issues, which it seems never happened during this horrendous child abuse, when it happened in other homes and institutions it was covered up by civil servants until Simon actually stood his ground and the whole issue was opened up. Therefore I would suggest you do your homework before pointing fingers. In fact your reaction and opinions placed under an anonymous contributor makes one realise you must belong to the Half Wit brigade.

    With regard to Stuart Syvret, an Honest Politician is indeed a rare breed, I am more than sure if the Chief Minister had had the wisdom and a just little bit of intelligence (which he seems to lack big time) he would indeed like a time machine if only to turn back the clock on the serious errors he and his band of lackies have made during the past months.

    Jersey is by no means unique in child abuse, however it is unique in having an honest politician Stuart Syvret and I am more than sure he would be returned tomorrow if he stood for election. So anonymous whoever you are do your homework, but more than anything realise that Stuart Syvret is not trying to win a popularity contest he is listening, helping and above all letting the abused of Jersey voices be heard which a far more important thing than your trivial remarks.

  35. Anonymous

    Now I can only think of one other carpenter who had the best intentions for all of those around him and the Olgachs of the time put him on a cross….

  36. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Carpenter.

    Flattered, I’m sure. But I don’t suffer from some kind of messiah complex.

    On the contrary, I believe politics in Jersey needs to evolve away from personality politics and instead become more focused on real issues and appropriate policies.


  37. Anonymous

    simply stating a fact…

    JC was not just a photo opp bandit…

    there was no insinuations intended I simply meant he was a genuine good person too who faught against the evil of his day.

    There are obvious parallels..

  38. Anonymous


    Is there anyone on the island who can obtain thwe Lodge Books of Masonic Lodges there? Any, or all of them?

    A friend of mine gets these and can buy them from masons. He tells me that everyone has their price.

    This would enable people to establish if certain names being mentioned are within the Brotherhood.

    It was John F Kennedy who said, “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societys, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings”.

    This statement should apply on a worldwide basis and Freemasonry should be proscribed. The masons are evil incarnate.

  39. Anonymous


    Esther fears ‘children at risk’By Carly Lockhart and Diane Simon

    CHILDLINE founder Esther Rantzen fears that children in Jersey are at risk because the Island does not have measures in place to ensure their safety.

    The television presenter said that the abuse inquiry at Haut de la Garenne was at the back of her mind during her recent trip to Jersey for the Hospice Lottery draw.

    She added that the Island was a beautiful place, but what is alleged to have happened at the former children’s home had evoked an ‘element of worry’.

  40. st-ouennais

    Ive just read this:

    “Jerseys Health and Social Service executives and politicians will be in Guernsey today, meeting with their relevant counterparts.

    It’s all part of a fact finding mission and an opportunity to find ways in which the islands can work closer together. …..

    With Jerseys historic abuse enquiry still a major talking point, Standards in Care, and Children’s Services are also likely to be on the agenda.”

    I bet there are more of our leaders over there to talk to other leaders, than managed the Care Leavers meeting last Saturday.

    I am also stunned by the total silence about the meeting on the various local forum groups. Contributors to this blog excepted, is the poulation at large still willfully not hearing the voice of the victims and survisors?

  41. Anonymous

    Did I miss the point, but should it not be ‘sow’ rather than ‘sew’ in the final line?

    A triviality, but I am obsessive compulsive

  42. Anonymous

    yep, the same old shit. They told me in court that there was a police investigation into the home I was in, St Aidans in Widnes, and the guy who abused me was allowed to carry on working there only to abuse again, he still got away with it when I took him to court, ‘Lack of evidence’ and also ‘An Abuse of Prosess’ now does that ring a bell.

    I have since wrote to the Chief Inspector for that area and asked him for proof of this alleged investigation and if it bears my name, I don’t think that it will happen, same old crap of ‘We can’t find anything because it was a long time ago’ same as my Social Service Records, but they can find my Criminal Record can’t they ??????

    Jim Browne (Survivor)

  43. Stuart Syvret

    Re: ‘Sow’ not ‘Sew’

    Yeah – my spelling is cr*p.

    My hand writing is atrocious.

    I’m barely literate.

    Please forward all complaints in respect of the above-failings to Senator Mike Vibert; presently Jersey’s Education Minister.

    Back in the bad old days – he was a “teacher” at the “school” I went to.

    Needless to say, he was about as much use at teaching as he is in his present job.


  44. voiceforchildren

    I hope you are not implying Senator Mike (GST 28) Vibert isn’t good at his job?

    There are some that would say he’s an absolute “legend” all complaints about any of his school staff are dealt with by his department, any complaints made about members of his department are made to members of his department, any decisions made by his department that you wish to appeal, you have to appeal…… you guessed it to his department.

    If that’s not a department sewn up and untouchable, totally self regulatory and self policed with an obvious interest in keeping everything “rosy” in the eye of the public I don’t know what is.

    His Department only ever have to answer to themselves!! So before slagging off good old Mike (GST 28) Vibert please spare a thought of how much work he has had to do to make sure the general public have nothing in the public domain to read about regarding any inafficiency’s or failings of any of his staff members.

    To some peoples mind he is a genius, to the children and parents I’m not sure genius would be the word that springs to mind but hey! what do kids and parents know eh?

  45. Anonymous

    Great letter in the rag tonight, how come they printed it .Is it because they have had a re shuffle at the j.e.p Real shame about Anthony Lewis though ,really nice guy

  46. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Tony Lewis

    Yes – I agree completely; a nice guy, intelligent and a naturally good journalist.

    Readers will understand that, in general, my opinion of the Jersey media is usually lower than a worm’s genitals.

    There are 2 or 3 honourable exceptions amongst the local hacks.

    Tony being one of them. He was a good reporter; this isn’t to say we saw eye-to-eye; he would give me grillings and I would respond in similar fashion. So by no means did we always agree when he was working as a journalist.

    But I respect him; he was professional; he played with a straight bat.

    It was he, for example, I gave the Kathy Bull report to; he knew of it, he phoned me and asked for a copy. To the undying fury of my “esteemed” political colleagues and the civil servants of that time – I just gave it to him.

    The resultant JEP reportage was one of about three occasions I can remember The Rag doing a good job.

    I think I still have some of the enraged e-mails I was sent by certain politicians who were beside themselves with fury at the exposure of what was an undeniable total bloody mess by the three departments.

    I really wish Tony well and hope his recovery progresses.



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