The ‘Bailiff’ of Jersey, Sir Philip Bailhache.

Just a Few of His Gross Failures in Child Protection.

My Resignation from his Consultative Panel.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Sir Philip Bailhache, ‘Bailiff’ of Jersey.

The Bailiff is the chief judge in Jersey’s judiciary – and he is also the Speaker in the island’s parliament.

An extraordinary conflict of interests.

I wrote about him in some detail in my post “A Last Desperate Throw of the Dice.”

Many of you will have heard a half-hour documentary programme about the Jersey child abuse disaster on BBC Radio 4 last Thursday evening. I’m sure you will still be able to hear it for a while if you go to the BBC home page, then Radio 4 and the ‘listen again’ service.

It was an excellent program and I strongly recommend that you hear it.

One of the people featured in the program was a parent of a victim of the Jersey paedophile Roger Holland.

Holland has just been jailed for 2 years; no doubt he’ll be out within 12 months.

The parent of the victim called for the resignation of Bailhache. His reason for doing so is that when Phil Bailhache was Jersey Attorney General, he became aware of the fact that Holland was a convicted paedophile; yet notwithstanding this knowledge he did not prevent Holland from being sworn-in as an Honorary Police officer, and nor did he go back to court after Holland’s swearing-in to seek that he be stripped of office.

Holland went on to abuse children whilst an honorary police officer.

In response to the calls for his resignation by the parent of the victim, Bailhache refused to resign, instead issuing a statement which exhibited all of the arrogance, hubris and sophistry customary on the part of the Jersey oligarchy.

I reproduce his statement below this post and below my e-mail to him.

In particular, I would draw your attention to the following short paragraph of his:

“It is unclear what jurisdiction in law the Royal Court could have exercised had these facts been brought to its attention the following week.”

As I have said elsewhere, Phil was never terribly bright. It’s openly said in Jersey legal circles that he couldn’t hack it in private practice – hence his “elevation” to the Crown Officers. But in this short paragraph of his we see displayed in all its appalling starkness his hubris and ignorance.

He asserts here that it is somehow doubtful that the Royal Court would have had jurisdiction to revisit Holland’s appointment.

This is a most curious assertion, and I will explain why.

I won’t go into all the arcane structure of Jersey politics now, but briefly, the legislature has three categories of member: Deputies, Constables and Senators.

The Deputies and Senators are directly elected members of the island’s parliament. But the Constables are “ex-officio” members of the States. They have a seat by dint of being elected as parish Constable – a position which included being the head of the parish’s honorary police force. This means Constables are classified as members of the parish’s honorary police.

This position renders them answerable to the Royal Court in a way that does not apply to Deputies or Senators.

So what does this all mean?

Some years ago, a now deceased parish Constable, a Constable of St. John’s parish, was convicted of drunk-driving. Following this conviction he was placed under ‘pressure’ to resign his position as Constable; pressure which he resisted.

Therefore he was summoned before the island’s Royal Court – and stripped of Office.

Now – I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty certain most people will share my understanding of events when I say that it appears most strange indeed – does it not – that a man – sworn-in, and in post – can be stripped of Office for the admittedly serious offence of drunk-driving – but, apparently, the same Court cannot strip a mere Constable’s Officer, as Holland was, of his post.

Even though he was known to be a convicted paedophile?

Perhaps Phil has forgotten about this episode?

But having recollected it for him – we do have to ask ‘just how plausible are his assertions to the effect that the Court’s jurisdiction was somehow “uncertain’?

Sorry, Phil.

It just doesn’t stack, mate.

Until last Thursday, I was a member of a Consultative Panel which is appointed by the States to advise the Bailiff on various subjects.

The sheer hubris, insensitivity and sophistry exhibited in his statement was the final straw.

I resigned from the Panel, and I include my e-mail of resignation below.


From: Stuart Syvret
Sent: 17 April 2008 21:04
To: Bailiff of Jersey
Subject: Your Position


I write to formally notify you of my resignation from the Bailiff’s Consultative Panel.

Whilst I had little confidence in you as a person in any event, both your statement to the BBC, and the letter you have issued to States members today are really the final straw.

Quite what ’33 years of service’ – or “acting in good faith” have to do with a matter of this gravity – I’m afraid eludes me completely.

You may have been “acting in good faith” – but that is hardly the issue. The fact is your decision to not refer Holland to the Royal Court was gross incompetence. Most of us are accountable for our mistakes; people lose their jobs over far less serious matters. The fact that you are intent on attempting to remain in post – in this great peace-time moment of crises for the island – a crisis arising from an engrained culture of failure and contempt towards vulnerable children – simply serves to further illustrate your compound inadequacies.

If you possessed the faintest understanding of child protection matters – as a man in your position should – you would know – contrary to the assertions in your letter – that it has been recognised for decades that paedophiles remain dangerous; the nature of their condition dictates that it is so. The fact that your catastrophic failure occurred in 1992 does not, I’m afraid, furnish you with any defence.

It most certainly was known then that paedophiles remain dangerous.

It is not as though this is the only gross child protection failure on your record. Just from memory two others occur to me.

Your failure – when Chairman of the Board of Governors of Victoria College – to act to protect children – when it was known that complaints of abuse were being made – is another appalling example of the complacency you exhibit.

Likewise, your failure to administer a custodial sentence to a paedophile who was grooming and attempting to, essentially, rape three teenage girls goes further to your utter inadequacy.

Yet another example of your contemptible attitude towards child protection can be found in your decision to side with mob-rule by your oligarchy allies – and stop my Christmas speech, in which I was attempting to express some recognition and empathy towards child abuse victims.

The first time ever a States member had stood and spoken in acknowledgment of what had happened – and you stopped it.

Even though every single sentence of my speech was compliant with standing orders and the members Code of Conduct.

The barracking of me by establishment politicians was simply an assault upon democracy, free-speech and the rule of law. Something you were content to embrace – even though your actions had no basis in any recognised democratic procedure.

The Speaker of any respectable legislature would have told those members who were interrupting to ‘sit down and shut up’. Any decent Speaker would have told them ‘no matter if every other member of the assembly hates and disagrees with the Senator’s every word – he will have his say’.

But you – instead – as recently as December 2007 – preferred to silence an expression of empathy for abuse survivors – and, again, fail the vulnerable.

Even if your claim of ignorance in 1992 could be taken seriously – even if it didn’t exhibit gross incompetence of the most dangerous type – your recent actions show, I’m afraid, that you remain utterly incompetent in matters of child protection.

Let me give you some advice; your position is hopeless. Not even the infamous “Friends at court at Whitehall” are going to be able to save you and your colleagues this time. It really would be better for this community – and, frankly, better for you – if you just went – now. And took your colleagues with you.

Senator Stuart Syvret
States of Jersey.

Statement from the Bailiff of Jersey

my statement to the BBC of which only part has been reported was as follows:

“This issue has of course been the subject of investigation by a Committee of Enquiry established by the States, and the 2002 Report of that Committee is in the public domain for all to see.

I am afraid that it is easy to be wise after the event. My decision in 1992 not to refer the election of Roger Holland as a Constable’s Officer back to the Royal Court was made in good faith on the basis of the facts known to me at that time. With hindsight it is certainly possible to say that a different decision ought to have been made, particularly given the harm done to the victims of some of his assaults. We owe it to those victims to make sure that the Island is alert to the problems which arose, and to ensure that they do not arise again.”

The facts have been in the public arena since 2002.

Holland, aged 21, indecently assaulted a young girl then aged 14 but with a mental age of 10, by trying to put his hand up her sweater in his car in 1986. He was put on Probation for 12 months and received psychiatric help. The Court lifted the Probation Order after eight months because Holland had responded well to it.

In 1991 Holland applied to join the Honorary Police of St. Helier and declared that conviction to the parochial authorities. That application was not immediately taken forward, but in March 1992, the then Connétable indicated to him that, as a result of the conviction, he would not be accepted as a probationary officer.

In June 1992 the matter was reconsidered at a St. Helier Honorary Police Meeting. None of the officers present opposed Holland’s election and the view was reached that, if he was prepared to face possible rejection by the Court, he should be allowed to stand.

On 7th July, 1992, Holland was elected unopposed as a Constable’s Officer. The following day, the Parish Authorities wrote to me as Attorney General to give notice, in accordance with standing practice, that Holland should be sworn-in before the Royal Court on 10th July. I was not advised of Holland’s previous conviction and at that time I was completely unaware of it.

Accordingly the Royal Court was not told of the existence of the conviction when the Oath of Office was administered to Holland on 10th July, 1992.

I became aware of the conviction on my return from the Royal Court when an anonymous letter arrived in the Law Officers’ Department. The Parish Authorities were asked for their views and responded that the Parish did not oppose Holland’s wish to join the Honorary Service.

It is unclear what jurisdiction in law the Royal Court could have exercised had these facts been brought to its attention the following week.

Whatever the position in law, the facts confronting me were a man who had expressed a wish to give voluntary service to his parish; had been honest with the Parish Authorities about his conviction; had received psychiatric advice at the time of the offence and had been accepted by the Court as deserving of early release from a Probation Order on account of good progress made; had not apparently re-offended in similar fashion in the six years since; was standing for honorary office with the support of the Parish Authorities, and who had taken his Oath of Office before the Royal Court. I had to balance all those factors, when considering whether there should be a public reference to the Court.

I have said it is easy to be wise after the event. I quite understand the reactions of the victim’s father as reported by the BBC. With hindsight, of course, I would rather a different decision had been taken at the time. But, in context, on the facts as known at the time – 1992, when not as much was known about the long term paedophile tendencies of those abusing children, and before the rash of child abuse investigations which took place in the UK in the 1990’s – I hope the decision seems more understandable.

I have served the Jersey public for over 33 years. During that period, I am sure that I have made mistakes. But I have always sought to behave with integrity, which I believe to be the case in this matter. I have no intention of resigning over this issue.

17 April 2008 Sir Philip Bailhache
Bailiff of Jersey.


  1. Sigmund Fraud

    33 years of ignorance does not make you a good person capable of “acting in good faith.” as you call it Sir Philip Bailhache.

    A bank robber who steals from a bank can not be said to be acting in good faith!
    An Attorney general can not knowingly allow a paedophile to continue in public office, an office which could be used and was used to facilitate further abuse only this time with the crowns protection. “This is called not acting in good faith.”

    One would think that the very instant you found out about Holland you would have pulled out every possible device at your disposal to rid of Holland.

    Am I the only one or shouldn’t this Judge, Bailiff and Attorney general have known about Holland anyway? Who caught Holland the first time? Which Police force dealt with it then, which courts dealt with Holland’s first offence?

    What are the names of those who didn’t oppose Holland’s agenda? Was Holland seconded by anyone?

    There are a million other questions that simply won’t go away Sir Philip Bailhache and I feel you may know more than you are letting on about.

    Go and Go Now!!!

  2. Sigmund Fraud

    This is how dense these people are Jersey FOCUS on mental health

    Chairman: Mental Health Julian Clyde-Smith

    “Early diagnosis and intervention is crucial, help can come in many forms, including; medication, conversational therapy, community care support and self help networks. There is no specific cause of mental illness; triggers can be different for everyone. However, some identified common causes include; a genetic disposition, a difficult family background, bio-chemical factors or even stressful life events.”

    Everyone knows that there are more than just one type of mental illness it is well known that sexual abuse as a child is a predominant factor in many cases of mental illness.

    Drug or alcohol abuse, usually to deal with the intrusive thoughts and feeling is a mere side effect and causality factor which is directly linked back to the abuse in youths made already highly vulnerable by other factors.

    “Genetic disposition,” This was used in a recent case where a psychologist from the home office said “Mr Young was genetic pre-disposed to being sexually abused from the age of two.

    After the court stopped laughing at the possibilities of this statement it was muted that “Surely this must then mean the judge was also genetic disposed to being a judge and indeed the abuser is genetic disposed to being an abuser!!! Eureka I think he’s got it spot the paedo’s while they’re young then we have solved the problem. NOT!!!

    Obviously this sawbones hasn’t a clue along with his other supporter Anton Skinner who it has been proven to be incompetent.

    A New Government structure from top to bottom is all that will answer the many questions that are far to lucid to hide within a conspiracy theory.

  3. Anonymous

    Who, or what body, investigates a complaint against the Bailiff? (Presumably not the Bailiff.)

  4. Anonymous


    I find the events of Holland’s appointment very disturbing.

    It seems that if you have enough supporters in the honorary system it negates previous serious convictions.

    Sir Philip’s decision was seriously flawed. He is not alone, the parish officials who allowed Holland to stand also need to explain themselves.

    Can we have the minutes of the meeting made public please.

  5. blueflash

    Hi Stuart do you have any answers as to why our main news at six also our j.e.p did not lead with the imminent arrests of suspects mainly locally and why when I was driving into town this morning 10am radio 103 started with imminent arrests and then transmission ceased

  6. Anonymous


    The Bailiff lacked perspicacity in 1992.

    With the passage of time, his press statement indicates that he still has this flaw.

    How vile that he defends the indefensible. Holland committed a heinous act but this was not barrier to voluntary service.

    I would like to know whether appointments to other voluntary positions remain so slack.

    Are there any police checks for such positions and are the checks regularly updated?

  7. TonyB

    Dual role: have you been following Sark where the Barclay brothers have asked Jack Straw for a judicial review on the role of Seneschal, who is the Island’s chief judge, and presides over Chief Plees. Now where have we heard about a conflict of interests like this?

  8. Anonymous


    The Assistant Minister of Health
    wants the Island to vote on the issue of Bristish Summer time.
    His priorities need to be questioned.

    Where was he last week when we had the Holland case, the tragic death of a patient’s father, the release of the bailiff’s press statement – Does anybody know?

    The rumour is that he was in a five star hotel in Scotland at the taxpayers expense. Can anybody confirm please?

    The Assistant Minister needs to consider his political priorities

  9. Anonymous


    Surely as the most senior Judge in the island,the Bailiff must be able to demonstrate ‘judgement’ as an essential skill and competence.

    Hindsight and good faith are not good enough.

    Hollow apologies and false regret after being exposed sixteen years later, is too little, too late for those who have suffered as a direct result of his incompetence.

    What will it take to unseat this arrogant deluded man?

    Clearly he must go.

  10. Anonymous

    From the 103FM web site – news section.


    It’s expected that a number of arrests in the historic child abuse inquiry will take place soon.

    Police say most of the arrests will be in Jersey.

    There are nearly fifty suspects – and police have been building cases against them.

    Deputy Chief of Police Lenny Harper says they’re getting closer.

  11. Advocatus Diaboli

    There’s no stopping the bent managers’ feeble excuse factory is there. Like certain other provincial backwaters the local popinjays in Jersey show how out of touch they are by using excuses that are so lame they’re stationary. Pah, nabobs.

  12. Anonymous

    Hi Stuart.

    News on the mainland that more childrens bones have been found and also teeth in the fourth room.

    jim browne

  13. Anonymous

    Can Stuart, or any of the readers of this very blog, perhaps confirm or deny what I was told a couple of days ago;

    I do not live in Jersey, nor do I listen over Internet to local radio stations, however, my sister told me that she definately heard it said on BBC Radio Jersey that the murder inquiry at H de la G has been called off. i.e. Finished, over and done with. How can this be possible?

    Did anyone else hear this? Sorry to use your wonderful blog as a questioning board Stuart, but very little news is getting out from Jersey now, and all I seem to get is whatever goes on Sky, which I know is generally very accurate, or whatever text messages I get from family and friends who are still there.

    Also, I recently read an article, can’t remember if it may have been from the rag online, that Jersey prison is not adequeate for the amount of prisoners it holds today. This is something I have been very concerned about, as if there are so many ‘accused’ to be arrested and tried, will they all get sent home at the end of it cos there is no room to put them where they belong, behind bars?

    From a very concerned Elaine

  14. The Oak

    My freind,

    here on the mainland, news from the investegation into child abuse on Jersey is now rare. the news today about childrens milk teeth and bones being found,is only reported in the middle of news bullitins.what is behind this? surly not what i am thinking? the start of the cover up?.

    lets make sure nothing is covered up, and to the people of Jersey i say, your island is a disgrace, the image of child abuse,and the stench of slease was carried across to the mainland last week!(the BBC blamed farmers in Europe) the image protrayed around the world is one of a perverts pardice, where child molesters get away with it.and are free to join the police!1 god dont you have any shame!! if you have any decency , you will support the effots of stuart and his crusade, for that is what it is. you will have your chance to show the world that not all the island is corrupt. at the next election, kick out those who turned thier backs on children suffering, who hid behind the law ,and abused thier position of trust. You know who they are. if you dont, the decent world will never forget, or forgive you. Stop buying the local paper, what i read on here it is part of the proplem. what is the press if it does not represent the heart of the people who suport it. if you stop buying it a new free press will prosper. suportthe brave police who, dispite threats and intimadation, continue to expose the corrupt.if you dont do something my friends, your island will sink to the depths of dispair, where pervets wil be welcomed,its up to you the good people of Jersey, i hope there are some left. The world is watching. dont let the memories of victims down. stuart is alone on the island in his bravery. but he is not alone in the fight. I am an odinary guy, touched by his stand. and we are many.

    remember these words.

    ” I looked around and thought. why doesent anybody do some thing about this, then a remembered, i am anybody” so to the “Anybodies ” of jersey, over to you.


    God Bless you stuart,

    The Oak

    PS i AM DYSLEXIC!! has you ucan read!!

  15. Stuart Syvret

    From Stuart Syvret.

    Note to All Trolls:

    Some of you may just be nutters.

    Others – certainly – will have ulterior motives.

    In a comment attached to a previous blog I explained my position on trolling.

    I am not going to allow my blog to used by – or waste my time in vetting and hosting – anonymous, pro-child abuse concealment, Jersey establishment-serving gangsters.

    So – to be clear – you’re wasting your time.

    Unless, that is, you wish to contribute to the archive of dodgy, corrupt and paedophile supporting material?

    All of which will, in due course, be passed onto the Police.

    As I said in the previous comment – I can’t trace the identity of the senders – but I’m pretty sure the Boys in Blue can – should they feel the need.

    In the interim – why don’t you just open your own site in support of the Jersey Bailiff – and the paedophiles he has failed to act against – on several occasions?

    And why you are at it – have the courage to put your own name to your corrupt, decadent and ignorant remarks.

    Some people may not like what I say and write – but I always have the courage to be open.

    Ah – if only some of the trolls possessed the same ethics.

    Then perhaps the Jersey oligarchy wouldn’t have dragged us into the cess-pit along with it.



  16. Res nullius

    Misleading at best.

    The Attorney General is supposed to have a complete file on those who are standing to take an oath of office – or even to hold a liquour licence. This file contains a list of previous convictions.

    If he did not have previous convictions a not in the file would have said NO TRACE.

    ipso facto – in his file would have been his previous convictions or a note saying that there weren’t any.

    To say that he was unaware of the convictions until after returning from court raises three questions:

    1. Is he lying about it now to save face, in the hope that the public won’t know the system?
    2. Did the court that morning, as it usually does, ask the Attorney General if all checks on the applicant were complete?
    3. Was he incompetent by going to court that morning with a file which was incomplete?

    If 1 is true he should stand down.

    If 2 is true than his choice of answers was either yes or no. If he said yes he mislead the court, if he said no he should have asked for an adjournment to get the information from the police – they would have been happy to provide it!

    If 3 was true than he should simply admit it then step down. He cannot rely upon the “if only I had known” argument if he had been fundamentally incompetent.


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