LOOKING INTO THE MICROCOSM
[FOREWORD ADDED 27.10.15: – This posting was first written & published on 6th April 2010 – crucially, over two years ‘pre-Savile’ – and when I was in constructive exile in London. Having been hounded out of fulfilling my elected seat as Senator in the legislature of the British Establishment Tax-haven of Jersey by stark, conflicted, judicial corruption – oppressed out of democracy for exposing decades of concealed child-abuse on the island – I was able to produce this crucial public-interest disclosure journalism from the UK. Had I made any of these disclosures from within Jersey I would have been immediately arrested and jailed again. This 15th “Letter from Exile”, as I termed these postings, was the first in a pivotal sub-series titled, “Blanche Pierre – The Anatomy of an On-going Atrocity”. Although not having as high a public profile as some of the other documented instances of child-protection failure and child-abuse cover-ups in Jersey, the case of the Blanche Pierre Group Home does – in so many sad ways – embody and illustrate the disgusting failure of the entire Jersey polity – and the depravity of the Whitehall power system which shields and enables tax-haven mafias.]
Blanche Pierre –
The Anatomy of an On-going Atrocity.
“Papa, are we still the good guys?”
“Hell is Other People”
Since 1985, when I first stumbled across his work, I’ve been a great admirer of the American writer, Cormac McCarthy. I recall to this day, browsing in a bookshop on my 20th birthday, and opening a copy of his novel Suttree – and reading the dense and gothic opening description and finding here a prose poet – expressing in novel-form the dense imagery I sought so much in reading poets like Hughes, Transtromer, Yeats, Holub and Thomas.
But as grimly poetic as Suttree was – it was but a nursery rhyme – compared to his greatest work which I read next – Blood Meridian; a book recent years have given me frequent cause to think of.
Of course – since those days, McCarthy has become world-famous, following the filming of several of his books, for example, All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men – and, most recently, the post-apocalyptic narrative of The Road, a book for which he won the Pulitzer Prize.
One dank and miserable January evening in my constructive exile in London, I went to see the film of The Road on its opening night, knowing that films are never as good as the books on which they’re based, but still curious to learn what Hollywood would make of this grimmest of tales.
The story follows the struggle of a man and his son – as they attempt to head south, in the hope of finding some warmth in a world made dark and ashen by a nuclear winter. Humans have destroyed the biosphere, and the only living things remaining are scattered groups of people – virtually all of who have been reduced to surviving in cannibalistic death-cults. Alone – the father is determined that he and his son will cling to civilised values – will carry on being “the good guys”.
I sat at the back of the cinema and sensed the reactions of the audience, as much as I watched the film. Their feeling of identification with the man and his son was palpable. Reactions, gestures, snatches of whispered conversations from those nearby – all made it clear that the people watching the film all saw themselves as the man and his son – “the good guys”.
I doubt if there was a person in the building – who saw themselves amongst the great majority of humans depicted in the film – reduced to animalistic survival instinct – reduced to a state of zero empathy – and ready and willing to enslave and eat other people.
Nobody ever sees themselves as “the bad guys”.
A few years ago, the utter implausibility of such massed self-delusion would not have occurred to me – or, at least, not have occurred to me so strongly.
But as I sat at the back of that cinema – in constructive exile in London – and exactly three years since I’d first started to become dimly aware of what would prove to be Jersey’s child abuse atrocities – I looked at that audience and knew – just knew – that McCarthy was right.
Most – if not all – of the people here, wouldn’t be “the good guys” – the man and his son. Instead – they would be the murderous and ruthless cannibals.
Indeed – having experienced first-hand during these last three years, the very worst and most foul of people’s blind and selfish instincts – having observed so graphically displayed the awesome capacity for self-delusion in most people – who see themselves as “the good guys” – yet the sheer cowardice in reality most people display – I can be under no illusions about the brute reality of human nature.
How many people – both men and women – who have well-paid jobs of responsibility – who would be considered respectable pillars of society – who are married with children of their own – pause to think of the fragmentary role they have played in the events of the last three years – and see themselves for what they are – “the bad guys”?
How many of these people who have, for example, contributed to the Culture of Concealment – who have participated in some way in the oppression of whistle-blowers – who have maintained the climate of fear which makes secrecy possible – would see themselves as supporting and protecting the sodomising of a nine year old boy?
How many of them – could imagine themselves – metaphorically keeping the door locked – and making sure no one intruded – whilst watching a man in his 40’s – make a little girl get his penis out of his trousers and masturbate him?
How many such pillars of society, are clear-eyed in the fact they’re protecting a senior civil servant – who would abuse little girls – and – “ram his finger in the anus” of little boys?
A civil servant – as I write [April 6th 2010] – who is about to start work in a senior management post in Jersey’s mental health service. A post in which he’ll have even more powerful access over profoundly vulnerable people – a la Savile? [And as I up-date this posting on 27:10:15, the same multi-child-abusing civil servant – who has been shielded by the Jersey Establishment – has also been even more extraordinarily shielded by the so-called Jersey “public-inquiry” into the decades of concealed child abuse run by City of London Corporation law-firm Eversheds; they have enabled him to “appear” before the “public inquiry” under no-less than three – three – separate “identities”. The same so-called “public-inquiry” & Special Branch lawyers Eversheds, have – by way of contrast – refused to provide me with the basic human right of legal representation.]
How many data protection officers, magistrates, senior civil servants, journalists and politicians – would see themselves wrestling to the ground – and binding and gagging a person who had discovered the battery and rape of children; how many would see themselves acting in that way in order to stop that person from raising the alarm?
For that is – the reality – of what these people are doing.
That is the stark – evidenced – undisguisable – reality of what these people are doing – on behalf of the Jersey Establishment – and against Jersey victims of institutional child-abuse. And against victims of other serious crimes. Including rape and clinical murder.
And – in the case of all of these Jersey officials – who are striving – battling so strongly – to protect and maintain the abuse of children – they’re doing so with no more than two degrees of separation from the act.
Come on in; the water’s lovey.
Jersey is a tiny community.
These people – abusers – and their shielders, often – usually, in fact – know each other; are close colleagues – fellow Masons – participants in the same church congregations – are players at the same golf clubs – participants in the same scams – the same racketeering opportunities & methods – keepers of each-others’ secrets – all ‘playas’ in the insular, unchallenged, unscrutinised, unwritten, & unacknowledged “political-economy” of the Jersey off-shore money-making apparatus – a fly-blown dung-heap of corrupted Crown privilege, tax-dodging – and “leveraged” “commodities” of “concealment” – of rape, child-abuse, sleaze, & murder.
So why not then view the legion of cowards & self-serving apparatchiks as, in fact, active participants in the atrocities?
“But most of them will not be aware of the crimes”, it will be protested.
Is this a defence that can be taken seriously?
After all that we know – after all the hard, documented evidence and testimony now in the public domain?
No. There can be no excuse.
There is no hiding place.
In this age of knowledge and of education – there can be no excuse for such moral and intellectual idleness.
Who, amongst these educated elites, can not be aware of the dangers of tribalism, of mis-placed loyalties, or the human weaknesses so powerfully demonstrated by scientists, Stanley Milgram for example?
Given the ever-present dangers posed by human society – so starkly displayed in the instant case of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster – how can the very types of people who have so clearly failed over the preceding decades – now be active components in the very same failures – all over again?
I am at least aware of studied social psychological phenomena such as S.E.P, or ‘Someone Else’s Problem’; of the Bystander Effect; of Groupthink – of the Diffusion of Responsibility. And I am a carpenter who left school at the age of fifteen. How can educated professionals – who – to a person – regard themselves as my intellectual, social and ethical superiors – fail to see such phenomena as established in the literature, so powerfully demonstrated in their very conduct?
After all – no great study is required – either of what is writ by history – or of modern knowledge – to understand such things.
For here are a mere few paragraphs from Wikipedia:
Somebody Else’s Problem (or SEP) is an effect that causes people to ignore matters which are generally important to a group but may not seem specifically important to the individual.
Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas.
Moral hazard occurs when a party insulated from risk may behave differently than it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk.
Moral disengagement is a term from social psychology for the process of convincing the self that ethical standards do not apply to oneself in a particular context, by separating moral reactions from inhumane conduct by disabling the mechanism of self-condemnation.
Diffusion of responsibility is a social phenomenon which tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size when responsibility is not explicitly assigned. This phenomenon rarely ever occurs in small groups.
In the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster – we see all such phenomena at work. Indeed – so powerfully displayed, we have to ask the question, is Diffusion of Responsibility too charitable an explanation?
Individuals, groups of people, power-institutions, entire classes – all viewing themselves as “the good guys” – whilst failing to see that their own diffuse and disengaged response to the battery and rape of actual, real children – is, of itself – a persistence of the very condition that such atrocities require to exist.
Therefore – in a possibly futile attempt to counter such intransigence – in an effort to try and bring home to those many people who are pro-actively supporting the Culture of Concealment, the reality of their actions and non-actions – I am going to publish a series of articles – in which we will examine one case from amongst the many that comprise the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster.
The case of the Blanche Pierre Group Home.
And the two child abusers who ran it – Jane and Alan Maguire.
And – above all – in this series of articles, we are going to confront evidence.
Evidence of both individual and collective failure.
Failures that not only permitted the devastating abuse – scarcely endurable life-wrecking abuse – of real, living small children – the actual, ruined lives – but also the failures by which we have – collectively – failed again.
Failed to reach out to those wounded and damaged survivors amongst us – and have, instead, abused them yet further – and denied them the protections and support that we owe them.
And should readers require an immediate example of that collective failure – of those in power in Jersey being “the bad guys” – consider this fact:
I could not have acquired – and I could not have published – the evidence you are going to read in the coming days – had I been in Jersey.
I could not return to Jersey – unless and until this evidence – was obtained and published.
The victims of the Maguires – of Blanche Pierre – of the States of Jersey; people who are my vulnerable constituents – have not been able to enjoy my support and protection – because in helping them, and others like them, by exposing the truth – I would have been arrested – arrested again; and jailed.
When reading the evidence I will publish in the coming days – let those who participate in such oppressions – disabuse themselves of the notion that they are “the good guys”.
They are not.
They are as directly culpable in the crimes – as though they were pro-actively protecting people like Alan Maguire from discovery – while he sexually abuses little girls.
“The truth was darker as yet truth is wont to be.”
It is 1985; a young mother of five children – receives the worst news imaginable.
The pain and illness that has troubled her, is caused by cancer – there is no chance of a cure – the condition is terminal.
This young women, raising her children alone – confronts not only her own death – but the prospect of leaving her beautiful, young children behind – largely alone in the world.
As her illness progresses, she becomes unable to care for her children; the three youngest are taken into “care” by the authorities of the States of Jersey, and housed in a family-scale orphanage, known as Blanche Pierre, situated at Le Squez estate in the parish of St. Clement – and run by a public sector employed couple – Jane and Alan Maguire.
Such tragedies happen – but, already a greater disaster has been wrought upon these young, innocent lives.
Jane and Alan Maguire – are a pair of dysfunctional maniacs; appallingly violent, psychotically cruel, revelling in their power over the orphans in their care. Two individuals – with whatever is that peculiar, psychotic synergy that can cause certain couples to become something other – something monstrous.
Already an example of individual and collective failure – given that two individuals less suited to the care of vulnerable children would be difficult to locate. Yet – here they were – casually and blithely employed by the States of Jersey – to “care” for the most vulnerable small people in our community.
Paulette Leonie Marie Mauduit died on the 28th June 1986. Her children – now orphans – who knew she was terminally ill – had not been permitted to see her, and were prevented from attending her funeral – not being told of her death until three weeks later, by the Maguires.
Paulette Maudit’s children were not alone. Other young children as well – shared the peculiar hell that was the Maguire’s regime at Blanche Pierre.
But who was to know of the Maguires’ conduct?
Their habit of beating children with weapons? Of starving them? Of making them stand all night in corridors and at the top of the stairs? Of the forceful ramming of soap into the children’s mouths – to the point of injury? The routine examples of battery? Further retributive torture inflicted on the terrified children if they wet the bed in fear? Jane Maguire’s predilection for pouring Dettol down the children’s throats – whilst Allen held them down?
People knew. Some people even tried to do something about such deranged conduct.
Some part-time conscientious visiting staff members made note-book entries concerning this conduct; neighbours reported the frequency with which they heard the children screaming.
One incident – recounted by a deeply concerned visiting member of staff – saw Allan Maguire pick up a five year old child – and throw him a distance of approximately seven feet across the room – to smash against a wall – because the child was not tidying-up to Maguire’s satisfaction.
Not witnessed – but surely enough warning signs were present – Allan Maguire routinely sexually molested the little children in Blanche Pierre. Indeed – so inured did he become in this disgusting behaviour – so securely confident did he feel, that he also sexually abused older girls, whilst on holiday in France.
During the latter half of the 1980’s, as the Maguires’ conduct changed, and became more and more crazed, complaints and expressions of concern by conscientious members of visiting staff accumulated – until – the senior managers of the then Childrens’ Service – people such as Anton Skinner and Geoff Spencer – could ignore them no longer.
In 1990, an “internal” investigation is conducted.
In this investigation, Skinner is forced to conclude that, yes, the conduct of the Maguires has been “unacceptable” – and not of the kind that can be tolerated “in this day and age”. “However, by way of mitigation, it’s a stressful job”.
“But never mind. Mrs. Maguire has agreed to voluntarily “retire” from running the Blanche Pierre Group Home.”
“She will now come and work in our ‘Family Development Centre’ instead.”
Even on the plain and known face of the facts at this time – 1990 – the conduct of the Maguires has been monstrously unlawful. That is even assuming Skinner and Spencer were not aware of the sexual abuses.
The gross physical and psychological cruelty and abuse – the violence – should have seen the Maguires reported to the police – without hesitation.
Instead – leaving a number of wrecked and tortured little lives in their wake – the Maguires “retired” from running Blanche Pierre – and were written a fulsome letter of gratitude and thanks by the then responsible politician, Iris Le Feuvre – President of the Education Committee.
Skinner, Spencer, Le Fevre and her Committee committed a criminal offence; conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – in failing to ensure that the crimes of the Maguires were reported to the police. The then legal adviser to the Education Committee, the London appointed then Attorney General Philip Bailhache, failed to even inform the Police of the case, let alone have the Maguires and the culpable department prosecuted.
The police did not discover the atrocities committed by the Maguires – until eight years later.
And even then – the Jersey authorities collectively – and most of the people involved as individuals – failed – once again.
Failed – to bring justice to these young victims; failed to make the system work – failed to hold people accountable.
And in such failure – enabled the continuation of the Culture of Concealment.
Enabled the continuing protection and support of child abusers – empowering the cover-up of child-abuse.
The 1998 prosecution of the Maguires was corruptly and unlawfully abandoned – an episode we will examine in greater detail when we consider further evidence in Part 2 of ‘Blanche Pierre – The Anatomy of an on-going atrocity.’
Before then – I reproduce below a document which was yet another ‘internal investigation’ – produced in 1999 – in the aftermath of the abandonment of the prosecution of the Maguires.
This is the report by the then Manager of Mental Health Services, Dylan Southern.
Mr. Southern was another example of a good, conscientious and professional member of staff. Sadly – all too often, the many decent individuals who work for the services, are thwarted and obstructed in their efforts to do what is right by entrenched and self-protecting senior managers.
The covering letter and report reproduced below, is limited in its scope and scale. The terms of reference for Mr. Southern’s investigation were strictly limited to a disciplinary case against Jane Maguire – and, at that, an investigation in which significant facts were not known to him, and in which certain evidence was not available.
For those reasons, the report does not fully convey the real and gross range of horrors suffered by the children resident at Blanche Pierre. But even so – the regime depicted here – is brutalising, appalling and barbaric.
It was also plainly not compatible with States of Jersey policy.
It was also – manifestly – criminal in nature.
So – why – when certain aspects of the conduct of the Maguires had been complained of by decent staff members back in the late 1980’s – and why – when even Skinner, Spencer and Le Fevre had been forced, finally, to acknowledge the utter unacceptability of such conduct – were the police not informed in 1990?
Why did the then sole prosecution authority in Jersey for crimes of this magnitude – the then Attorney General – in 1990 Philip Bailhache – who latter became Bailiff in which position he repeatedly sabotaged the 2006/07/08 child abuse investigations – without declaring his many – profound – conflicts of interest – not recognise its overwhelming and fatal conflictednes as a “public authority” and recuse?
Why – did they feel it acceptable to continue to employ the obviously deranged and dangerous Jane Maguire in a social environment where she would still be working with vulnerable people?
Why – did it take a further eight years – eight years – for the police to become aware of the crimes, and, even then, only by happenstance?
Were the ‘mistakes’ of the 1980’s recognised and faced up to in 1990?
As is evidenced – no.
So, and but – were the “mistakes” of 1990 recognised and faced up to in 1998, once the Police knew?
As is evidenced – no.
Jersey’s overtly corrupted Crown prosecution & “judicial” system corruptly sabotaging the Police efforts in 1998.
So, even through the criminal prosecutions of their attackers Jane & Alan Maguire were corruptly abandoned in 1998 – surely – in 1998/99 the victims secured civil justice – the compensation and serious care they were plainly entitled to and needed?
As is evidenced – no.
The law firm on whose ‘mercies’ these damaged, vulnerable young people had been thrown by Jersey’s “judicial” system in 1998 were – “conveniently” – the then law firm Bailhache LaBesse: founding members then Bailiff Philip Bailhache – who had failed to have the Maguires and Education Department prosecuted in 1990 – and – the then 1998/9 Senior Partner William Bailhache, brother of former – and culpable – Attorney General Philip Bailhache.
So, and , but – the “mistakes” of 1998 were surely recognised – surely – and faced up to in 2008? Surely – after global media attention – and a damning BBC Panorama documentary?
The answer to all of those questions is – crushingly – no.
For by this time – 2008 – The disastrously and fatally conflicted Philip Bailhache was “Bailiff” – head of the ultra-vires mish-mash of legislature & judiciary in Jersey – and he had selected and recruited his equally fatally conflicted brother also of Bailhache LaBesse (these days’ Appleby Global) Senior Partner William Bailhache to become Jersey Attorney General.
So – far from the Jersey polity finally – finally – after decades of disgusting failure to protect and rescue the Blanche Pierre children – in 2008 “The Jersey Way” – as exemplified in the commercially, reputationally and financially conflicted Philip and William Bailhache , and Bailhache LaBess / Appleby Global – were abusing their positions – failing to declare stark and damning conflicts of professional & financial interest – and instead were doing all they could to sabotage, undermine, obstruct and illegally oppress the two key public office-holders – the Health & Social Services Minister and the Police Chief – who were – rightly – undertaking their jobs on behalf of the Blanche Pierre victims, a path of action that – unavoidable and inevitably – would have seen Philip Bailhache, William Bailhache, Bailhache LaBess and Appleby Global in the dock – answering various criminal and civil actions.
The accretion of a-moral, low-calibre gangsters – such as Bailhache, Birt, Bailhache, Le Cocq, Le Marquand & others empowered and protected by the British Establishment in Whitehall and the City to run the Crown tax-haven of Jersey – have heaped corruption upon corruption – concealment upon concealment – abuse upon abuse – undisguised criminality upon undisguised criminality.
As our forthcoming examination of further evidence shows.
The question I confront us all with is this:
Will the “mistakes” of 2008 be recognised and faced up to???
Unless we all – each and every one of us – recognise the dangers of such phenomena as ‘diffusion of responsibility’ – until people recognise that simply by not doing the right thing – they actually become “the bad guys” – the many stark – terrible – lessons – involving real, shattered lives – with such awful and real consequences – will remain unlearnt.
THE DYLAN SOUTHERN REPORT.
Mr G Jennings
Peter Crill House
23rd February 1999
Dear Mr Jennings
Mrs Jane Maguire
Having concluded the internal inquiry as requested I believe it appropriate that a formal disciplinary hearing be held as per policy regarding the conduct of Mrs Maguire whilst the House Mother of Blanche Pierre Family Group Home. In summary I believe Mrs Maguire committed and condoned gross acts of physical and psychological abuse toward the children in her care.
The earliest official record of unacceptable physical punishment was that of washing a child’s mouth out with soap in 1986. This is stated in the house diary. Subsequent uses of this form of punishment are found in the statements of the former children and staff. This form of punishment was forced on the child with physical restraint by Mr Alan Maguire. It is also reported that his fingers were used to rub in the soap in the child’s mouth causing the tongue or mouth lining to bleed. Though this act was not committed directly by Mrs Maguire there is clear evidence that she would be fully aware that it was used on the children she was responsible for and condoned this punishment for a minimum period of 4 years.
A further form of punishment used were hand smacks to various parts of the body including the head. Implements, such as a wooden spoon and slipper were also employed. The use of physical punishment was not a source of control that Mrs Maguire was allowed to employ. I understand that such acts would contravene the Education Committee’s policy on corporal punishment. However, it is my belief that the severity of some of these acts constitute physical abuse in the way they were employed and in no way match the possible misdemeanours committed by a child. It is clear that Mrs Maguire as well as her husband was involved in these acts.
In later life the former children’s statements draw me to the conclusion that they lived in a state of anticipatory anxiety, in that it was not possible during these important formative years to be able to predict what may happen to them on a day to day basis. They lived in a strictly regimented environment and were consistently subjected to threats of removal and verbal abuse. The children who may have had disturbed backgrounds also suffered the loss, in some cases of their parents, and therefore had very limited control over their own lives until they reached a degree of maturity which would allow them to face the world on their own. Their childhood experience was supposed to be managed by Mrs Maguire who had training and experience, yet the children were subjected to a regime of fear and severe punishment.
Mrs Maguire, as the employee of the Children’s Service, did not act in the best interests of the children and many of the acts of abuse would fall into the category of “gross misconduct”. In my opinion, this was a cruel and uncaring environment with Mrs Maguire holding the responsibility for its creation and maintenance until her removal from the home in 1990.
During my investigation interview with Mrs Maguire I asked her directly if she or her husband had ever washed out a child’s mouth with soap and water. I gave Mrs Maguire sufficient opportunity to rationalise why she used this particular form of punishment. Despite clear evidence that such acts took place Mrs Maguire categorically denied that this form of punishment ever occurred.
Mrs Maguire’s apparent inability to respond honestly to these allegations leads me to believe that as her employer we cannot have any confidence in her to remain as an employee working with vulnerable people. I am aware that these events happened some 8 years ago and that since 1990 there have been no further complaints of a similar nature have been made against Mrs Maguire. Yet, the evidence that had recently come to light from the children and the fact that Mrs Maguire continues to deny these allegations, leaves us in an impossible position.
I believe Mrs Maguire will offer witness statements from former residents of the home. However, these statements are only supportive of the home regime before 1986. A former staff member who supported Mrs Maguire in a statement during the recent Police investigation appears to have ignored the fact that records made in the house diary demonstrate the regime of cruelty which existed. The witnesses available to support my conclusion will stand by their original allegations. Police statements from the former residents and the professional Child Care Officers who have maintained some form of contact with them will be made available to the hearing panel. I intend to call as witnesses the following:
Mr Anton Skinner – Director of Community and Social Services.
Ms Sarah Brace – Child Care officer.
Mr Barry Faudemer – Inspector, States of Jersey Police.
In conclusion, my recommendation to the disciplinary panel will be that Mrs Maguire is dismissed from the employ of the Health and Social Services Committee.
Dylan A. Southern
Manager, Mental Health Services
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Report to: Mr Graham Jennings, Chief Executive.
Report from: Mr Dylan A Southern,
Manager, Mental Health Services
Title: Internal Enquiry and report into allegations made against Mrs Jane Maguire,
formally House Parent at the Blanche Pierre Family Group Home.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
1.1 Mrs Jane Maguire was appointed as House Mother to the Blanche Pierre Children’s Group Home in March 1980. Prior to this Mrs Maguire had held a temporary contract at Haut de la Garenne Children’s Home from January 1979, but was made a permanent member of staff from 1st August 1979.
1.2 On appointment to the Blanche Pierre Group Home Mrs Maguire was the employee of the Children’s Service with her husband Mr Alan Maguire accepting the role of House Father on a no salary basis. It would be expected that both parties had an interest in child care with the added incentive that free accommodation and various allowances which would have been of positive benefit to the Maguire’s income, were made available.
1.3 The children placed in the home would remain in the care of the House parents till such time that the children moved back to their family, moved to another child care facility or reached an age or maturity which would allow them to stand on their own two feet and live independently.
2. The Role of Mrs Jane Maguire
2.1 The role of Mrs Maguire as the employee was to act as the lead “parent”. Mrs Maguire had training, experience and skills in caring for children. Prior to coming to the island with her husband who was born in Jersey, Mrs Maguire had trained as a Nursery Nurse (NNEB) and held a number of child care positions. A job evaluation form, signed by Mrs Maguire on the 23 February 1987 clearly describes the expected role of Mrs Maguire and in the final section, that of her husband. It is clear from the format that Mrs Maguire had a significant input and understanding of her expected role in this re-grading request (Appendix 1).
The children placed with Mrs Maguire would have some form of disrupted or traumatic life history. Without such a background children do not end up in care environments away from their natural home. Therefore it would be essential that the employee, in this case Mrs Maguire, is able to manage and respond to each child’s needs as stated in the form.
2.2 Having applied for the post of House Mother, Mrs Maguire attended interview with her husband and she was subsequently appointed to the position at Blanche Pierre. Mr and Mrs Maguire took up residence in March 1980. During my interview with Mrs Maguire on 29th January 1999 she stated that at no time did the pressures of child care affect her and that she enjoyed her 10 year stay at Blanche Pierre. Mrs Maguire related many happy times at the family home and emphasised her coping ability in managing the home during her own pregnancy and birth of her daughter. Mrs Maguire states that her “retirement” from the home in 1990 was as a result of a change in child care policy by the Children’s Service. The change of policy was that the family home concept was being terminated in favour of intensive community support to increase the likelihood of children remaining in their natural home, or where this was not possible fostering scheme’s and children’s homes. Mrs Maguire stated that she and her husband had discussed the future with regard to this change of policy, with the Children’s Office before Christmas in 1989. Mrs Maguire did not wish to work in the “new set-up” being proposed at Blanche Pierre, that she had already given 10 years which made her feel she wanted a change and that her new home which was being built, would have dictated that she leave the group home in the near future. Mrs Maguire states that she did not have any clear career plans but was hoping that there would be a place for her in the new system.
3. Childrens’ History
3.1 The children at the home were placed there for a number of reasons. The majority were grouped with their siblings and had the unfortunate experience of having unstable early backgrounds which in some cases was compounded by the rejection or loss of their natural parents. The first group of children who were already residing in the home when Mrs Maguire moved in report appropriate memories of their stay and of Mr and Mrs Maguire. A number of the initial group of children have remained in Mrs Maguire’s social network and will offer a different experience of her care toward them than that stated by the later residents of the home. Though requested by Mrs Maguire to interview a number of these former residents I felt it appropriate to only interview two. My rationale for this is that I believe these former residents will only provide information which is already available in Police statements. These statements may be seen in ‘appendix 2′
4. Allegations of abuse
4.1 The first official report of abuse in the home was made by Mrs Susan Doyle and Ms Karen O’Hara, who were part of the staff team at Blanche Pierre, to Ms Dorothy Ingles who was at the time a course tutor to both of the above on a child care course. Ms Ingles was a Child Care Officer of some years experience and employed within the Children’s Service.
4.2 Mrs Doyle and Ms O’Hara had been appointed as temporary staff in close proximity to each other. Ms O’Hara from 26th June to the 21st July 1989 on temporary contract. Though no conclusive record is available it appears that her employment within the group home was continuous until 1992. Mrs Doyle took up a temporary part time post from the 3rd of July 1989 which became permanent some months later. Both staff continued to work at Blanche Pierre after the Maguire’s departure.
4.3 Both staff reported to Ms Ingles that they had witnessed and heard of acts of physical and psychological abuse to the children at the home.
4.4 Ms Ingles then formulated a report containing the information imparted to her which was sent to Mr A Skinner, Children’s Officer and Mr G Spencer (Acting Homes Manager). This report may be seen as appendix 3.
4.5 Having received Ms Ingles report Mr A Skinner and Mr Geoff Spencer arranged to see both Mrs Doyle and Ms O’Hara. This meeting occurred on the 27th of April 1990. The record of the meeting between Ms O’Hara, Mrs Doyle, Mr G Spencer and Mr A Skinner is enclosed as appendix 4.
4.6 In summary this record matches the report made by Ms Dorothy Ingles and outlines instances of psychological and physical abuse to named and unnamed children.
4.7 The response by Mr Skinner was to interview Mr and Mrs Maguire on the 30th April 1990. The record of this interview is contained in Mr. Skinner’s file note dated 6th of August 1990. (See Appendix 5.) According to Mr Skinner’s file note, both Mr and Mrs Maguire denied the “degree” of physical punishment, verbal threats and inappropriate punishment. They admitted that mouth washing was a technique employed, slaps to the legs and “run a longs” The precise nature of the latter is unknown. They maintained that the forms of discipline used would be employed in the rearing of their own children. Two other interviews were conducted in the following two months as a result of which Mr Skinner states that the Maguires “retired” from the group home in June 1990. During this interview process Mr & Mrs Maguire “challenged” that they had been informed of the Education Committee’s Policy on Corporal Punishment but “later appeared to retract this statement”. It should be noted that within Mr Maguire’s interview during the recent Police investigation he stated “there was no physical punishment. We were told that when we went for the interview”. (Appendix 6)
4.8 During my interview with Mrs Maguire, she was unable to recall any of the three meetings as described in Mr Skinner’s file note. Mrs Maguire denies that the content of the meetings if they were held, included any or part of the allegations made by Mrs Doyle and Ms O’Hara. Mrs Maguire does recall a meeting with Mr Skinner regarding an incident with [name excised] a resident of Blanche Pierre, when he “got drunk” at the Fort and went to stay with Sue Doyle. Mrs Maguire cannot recall the detail nor why [name excised] stayed with Mrs Doyle for 4 days.
4.9 Because of Mrs Maguire’s lack of recall, I put to her at the interview conducted with myself on 29th January 1999, whether either she or her husband had ever washed out a child’s mouth as a form of punishment? The reason for my question is that this form of punishment is a regular feature within the new evidence gleaned from the former residents’ statements. Mrs Maguire categorically denied to me that mouth washing had been used as form of punishment that either she or her husband would have employed.
Mrs Maguire’s statement is not supported in light of the available evidence:
a) House diary notes record this form of punishment being used on 4 occasions and threatened on one occasion. (Appendix 7)
b) The Maguire’s admitted that it had been employed by them to Mr Skinner. (Appendix 5)
c) Mrs Doyle and Ms O’Hara reported this type of punishment to Mr Skinner and Mr Spencer. (Appendix 4)
d) Various children reported in their Police statements that this punishment had been inflicted on them or they had witnessed it. (Appendix 8)
4.10 The former residents gave accounts to the Police in their recent investigation of other types of punishment frequently inflicted upon them. Other punishments included hand smacks to various parts of the body including the head, implements such as the use of a slipper, wooden spoon and sandal were also employed. Further evidence that confirms this regime existed is available within the house diaries. These entries appear to have been made by Jane Maguire and were open for other staff to see and contribute to. Significant entries running from 1986 may be seen as appendix 9. The former residents also refer to the use of these types of punishment in their Police statements. (Appendix 10)
5. Events following Mrs Maguire’s departure from Blanche Pierre.
5.1 Mr Skinner moved Mrs Maguire from the Blanche Pierre Group Home. This was described as “retirement” though, in effect a “job swap” with Mrs Audrey Mills occurred
6. The Police Investigation.
6.1 The States Police were requested by Mr and Mrs Maguire to discover the source of an anonymous letter they had received. The Police were advised that possible suspects may have been the former children of Blanche Pierre. When the former residents were interviewed they described a regime which resulted in Mr and Mrs Maguire being charged. Though the prosecution failed it is clear that the former residents’ description of their childhood whilst in the care of the Maguire’s contravened the Education Committee’s policy of corporal punishment and entered the realms of a regime of physical and psychological abuse. The former children describe in their police statements a regime beyond that which was witnessed by Mrs. Doyle and Ms O’Hara in 1990.
6.2. Mr. A. Skinner provided a report during my investigation which may be seen as appendix 11. In this report Mr Skinner clarifies the difference between the reports he received in 1990 by Mrs Doyle and Ms O’Hara and those that emanated from the recent Police enquiry. He also clearly states that the reports made by the former children are believed to have taken place by all those involved in the investigation. Descriptions of force feeding, mouth washing during which injuries are sustained, physical punishments forbidden by Committee Policy, acts of humiliation in front of other children and alleged sexual abuse on female children by Mr Maguire are all contained within the former residents Police statements.
7.1 There is sufficient evidence to show from the Police, and my own investigation that, Mrs Jane Maguire, whilst employed as the House mother at Blanche Pierre Group Home:
a) Clearly understood her role and responsibilities toward the children in her care.
b) Understood that a policy existed which forbade the use of corporal punishment on the children in her care.
c) Breached this policy by inflicting, allowing and condoning physical punishments.
d) Inflicted, allowed and condoned various forms of severe physical abuse on the children in her care.
e) Inflicted, allowed and condoned psychological abuse on the children in her care.
f) Is guilty of numerous offences which constitute gross misconduct.
I recommend that Mrs Jane Maguire is dismissed from the employ of the Health and Social Services Committee.
Dylan A. Southern.
1. States of Jersey Job Description Questionnaire Residential Child Care Officer In Charge (Le Squez Group Home)
2. States of Jersey Police statements of [name excised 1] [name excised 2] and [name excised 3].
3. Report to Mr A J Skinner from Ms Dorothy Ingles.
4. Record of notes taken during an interview between Miss K O’Hara, Mrs S Doyle, Mr A J Skinner and Mr G Spencer.
5. File Note of Mr Anton Skinner dated 6th August 1990.
6. Extract from States of Jersey Police, Statement of Alan Maguire.
7. Photocopies of records in the house diaries of Blanche Pierre Children’s Home describing mouth washing incidents.
8. States of Jersey Police statement of [name excised 4] and [name excised 5].
9. Schedule of relevant entries from diaries from Blanche Pierre Group Children’s Home.
10. States of Jersey Police statements of [name excised 6] and [name excised 7].
11. Statement from Mr Anton Skinner to Mr D Southern dated 15th January 1999.