[The British Child-Abuse Atrocities: from the historically important archive of evidence, first published 03.06.2011]
“So Be it!” – London Appointed and Protected Jersey Attorney General William Bailhache to Police Chief Graham Power In November 2008 – After Having Failed to Coerce Chief Constable Power into dropping a Police Investigation into Planning Corruption;
Chief Constable Power was also investigating decades of child-abuse cover-up by the Jersey oligarchy.
Investigations William Bailhache, and his brother, then Bailiff Philip Bailhache, had tried to obstruct by coercing States members, abusing their positions and powers, and illegally handling and leaking stolen e-mails.
Days after William Bailhache wrote “so be it” to him –
Graham Power was unlawfully suspended.
Decisions to have me raided and arrested – to have Deputy Labey’s house searched by an army of police officers – under the direction of Dave Minty – without a search-warrant – to have her files in respect of the planning corruption interfered with – to have my files and laptop with parliamentary privileged communications between me and hundreds of my constituents stolen – and to then subject me to a malicious prosecution.
In the previous posting, I drew readers’ attention to the Watergate scandal – and in doing so, I gave notice of how remarkably similar that criminality was, to what will come to be known as Jerseygate. Similar – save for the fact that Jerseygate is far worse.
It’s hardly surprising, really – that when I attempted to subpoena William Bailhache, back in 2009, in order to question him a during my abuse-of-process application in the Jersey magistrates’ court – that he “heard” of my summons – and e-mailed the issuing “authority” (a friend of his) and simply told him not to issue my summons. (That’s “The-Jersey-Way”!!! Couldn’t make it up.)
And nor is it surprising that when I sought to challenge the failure to issue the summons, the prosecuting lawyer (a friend of Bailhache’s) argued that Bailhache’s involvement was “not relevant” to my abuse-of-process argument.
3rd June, 2011
Affidavit of Graham Power QPM:
Former Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police.
1. My name is Graham Power. I am a retired Police Officer and I currently live in North Yorkshire. Earlier this year I was contacted by Mr Stuart Syvret. I know Mr Syvret as a former Senator in the States of Jersey. Mr Syvret informed me he was involved in a legal action which arose from a prosecution against him in respect of alleged data protection issues. The legal proceedings in which he is now engaged apparently involve a hearing before a Court in which Mr Syvret is seeking to establish that the police action and prosecution was legally flawed and politically motivated. Although I am aware of the current case I have not been following it closely and am not familiar with its detail. Mr Syvret has told me the Court has agreed that he may submit a statement from me relating to the case. On 27th April 2011 I received a document from Mr Syvret which set out the points which he was asking me to refer to in a statement. I have therefore prepared the following for the benefit of the Court. The request from Mr Syvret is wide-ranging and I have therefore sought to refer only to matters which appear to me to be relevant to the proceedings and helpful to the Court. For the avoidance of any doubt this statement has been provided in order that it can be used to assist proceedings currently taking place before a Jersey Court and for no other purpose.
2. The Court may see value in knowing something of my own policing background. I therefore offer the following brief summary. I joined the Police Service in Middlesbrough in 1966 and during the early 1980s was a Superintendent in Cleveland Police. I joined North Yorkshire Police on promotion to Chief Superintendent. In 1990 I transferred to the Scottish Police Service where I held a number of posts based in Edinburgh. Initially I was Assistant Chief Constable in Lothian and Borders Police and I later became Deputy Chief Constable of that Force. In the late 1990s I was appointed Assistant to HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland and it was while in that post that I applied for and was appointed as Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police in 2000.
3. I have been selected for a number of high-level courses at the Police Staff College, Bramshill. These include the “Special Course” and the “Senior Command Course.” Both courses were intended to select and develop the future leaders of the Police Service. In the early 1970s I was awarded a University Scholarship by the Police Staff College subject to me gaining admission to a suitable University Course. I successfully applied for a place at Queen’s College Oxford where I read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. During my time at University my senior tutor (and subsequently Provost of the College) was the late Geoffrey Marshall who was the author of the book “Police and Government” and an authority on the relationship between senior police leadership and the political authorities.
4. In my service as a senior officer I have worked in partnership with a range of political groups and interests. For example, in Cleveland there were some sharp divisions between traditional “Old Labour” representatives and those who were seen as more left wing and radical. In North Yorkshire there was strong political representation of traditional and landed interests. In Scotland, Police Authorities, and both local and national government were sometimes strongly divided between Nationalist, Devolutionist and Unionist interests. There were also sometimes sharp divisions along sectarian lines.
5. I consider myself to be experienced in working in challenging political environments and aware of the need to strike a balance between proper political accountability of the police service and the need to be independent, both in terms of reality and perception, in the delivery of operational policing. In 1994 I was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service.
6. On 12th November 2008 I was suspended from duty by the then Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Andrew Lewis, who claimed he was in possession of evidence which indicated that I was guilty of serious management failure in respect of the Jersey Historic Abuse Enquiry. He stated that he had come to this conclusion on the basis of a report which he had received the previous day. In spite of this claim no disciplinary charges were ever brought and no hearing was ever called. I retired from the Police Service in July 2010 having completed over 44 years service. In all of that time I have never been charged with any disciplinary offence.
7. I regard my suspension in November 2008 as a planned and calculated act of intimidation and a gross abuse of Ministerial Power. I believe that this view is well supported by the available evidence. This evidence includes the critical comments made by the Royal Court and the findings of an enquiry by Brian Napier QC.
8. Mr Syvret has asked me to comment on the arrangements by which the Chief Officer of Police is accountable to the relevant political authorities in Jersey, and how this compares with other jurisdictions with which I am familiar. I have written on these issues in some detail in my two Affidavits and Skeleton Argument as part of my application for a Judicial Review of my suspension. I understand that all of these documents are available to the Court should they be seen as relevant. In those documents I argue that in Jersey there is an absence of the checks and balances which are present in comparable jurisdictions, where they are generally seen as essential in preserving the independence of operational policing. I set out a view that in Jersey the absence of these checks and balances results in a situation in which the Chief Officer of Police is vulnerable to political influence both in reality and perception. I have not changed my views in relation to these issues.
9. I believe it is possible that the Court may have an interest in any working relationship which may be said to exist between myself and Mr Syvret. It may therefore be helpful to draw the attention of the Court to the evidence contained in the first of two statements I made to Wiltshire Police. The statement was prepared in connection with an investigation conducted in accordance with a Disciplinary Code created under the Police Force (Jersey) Law of 1974. The investigation was named “Haven 1.” My statement was completed on 30th July 2009. The Minister for Home Affairs has recently stated that he intends to publish parts of the statement at a future date. Some parts of that statement touch upon my contact with the then Senator Syvret and the Court may wish to have the statement in its entirety should it be seen as relevant. I understand that the Court should be able to gain access to the full statement should that be appropriate. However, it may be that an extract will suffice. In paragraphs 125 and 126 of my statement I make reference to my contact with the then Senator. The relevant paragraphs, which are in a section dealing with the significance of the Abuse Enquiry to the Island, are reproduced below:
10. The statement which I made in 2010 was true then and is true now. Nothing new of significance relating to my dealings with the now Mr Syvret has occurred since that time.
11. I have been asked by Mr Syvret to make comment on my perceptions, as a former Chief Officer of the Force, of what he describes as a Police “raid” on the home he shared at that time with Deputy Labey. This incident occurred after I had been suspended and I have no information about the event other than what I heard or read in the media at that time or have been told by others. It is difficult for me to offer comment when I have only limited information. I have formed some views on the basis of the limited information which I have available to me, but I accept that if I had more information my views may be different. Without access to all of the facts I cannot be sure. All that said, I believe that on the basis of my experience in policing matters I am nevertheless able to offer some general views on the principles involved.
12. Mr Syvret has asked me to comment on how I would have managed the arrest of a person for data protection offences. That is a difficult question. I have no knowledge or experience whatsoever of the police arresting any person for breaches of the data protection law. I know of no case where this has happened either in Jersey or in any other location in which I have served as a Police Officer. That does not mean to say that it has never happened. It is just that if it has happened then it is not within my experience. In all of my experience data-protection issues have been dealt with by investigation and a written report to the relevant prosecution authorities. If the matter is to progress further then a summons, or equivalent process, would be the usual way forward. I am sure that there will sometimes be exceptional circumstances which would justify an arrest. Otherwise the power to do so would not exist. I do not however have any knowledge or experience of any such cases. I do not think that I can assist further on that specific question.
13. Mr Syvret tells me that some of the conduct in contention is believed by him to have arisen because the Police gave his previous address in an application for a warrant. If that is true then I find it surprising. It was common knowledge that Senator Syvret lived at the address of Deputy Labey. No secret was made of the fact. I attended a social event at that address. I recall at least one member of the Senior Management Team of the Force describing another social event at that address in the context of some heated argument involving the Senator. Whatever that argument was about it is not the point for the purposes of this issue. The point is that “everyone” including senior members of the Force knew where the Senator lived, or if they did not know they would have little difficulty in finding out.
14. I do not know how operations of this nature would have been discussed when I was not in charge of the Force. It may however be useful for the Court to know how they would have been managed during my time as Chief Officer. As head of the Force I followed a practice, common in most forces, of meeting with key staff briefly at 9am each weekday. At that meeting the head of Operations would speak about any matters of significance which had occurred in the previous 24 hours, and anything of significance which was planned for the near future. By that means I would have an opportunity to question, challenge or advise as may be appropriate. I would also be in a position to think about how I would deal with any political or media “fallout” from a planned operation. I do not know whether the planned arrest of Senator Syvret was discussed in this way. I can however say for sure that had I been in post such a discussion would have occurred.
15. I have been asked to give an indication of the position I might have taken had I been Chief Officer and been told of the intention to arrest the Senator. In the absence of all of the information I cannot be sure of everything I would have said and done. However, from what I know I can be certain about some things. I am sure that I would have seen the proposed arrest as a matter of high significance. The arrest of the most prominent critic of the Government would present many challenges, both in terms of reality and perception. There would be a major risk that whatever the grounds for the arrest, it would be seen by many Islanders as a political act driven by the agenda of the Islands Government. I am sure that I would have asked the head of Operations to justify the action and I would have raised some challenges. These would have included the following:
· Was he sure that the action was lawful? Had he obtained written legal advice and could he produce that advice?
· Leaving aside the question of strict legality, was he satisfied that the proposed arrest and the means by which it was to be carried out were justified, necessary and proportionate? Could the objectives of the investigation be achieved by less intrusive means?
· Was he sure that the evidential basis on which he was operating was sound? Had the evidence been checked?
· What consideration had been given to the probable defence that the Senator had published material as part of his legitimate work as an elected politician?
· It was known that the Senator published a “blog” which was widely read. What consideration had been given to the possible claim that he was engaged in “journalism” and thereby able to claim some of the protections which apply to investigative journalists and their sources?
· What resources were to be allocated to the operation and was there a written plan?
· What was the plan for managing the political and media “fallout” from the operation?
16. I do not know what the answers to these questions would have been, and consequently I do not know what I would have done had I been in post at the time. I am however sure that had I felt that the operation was justified I would have allowed it to go ahead. Had I felt differently I would have asked for an alternative plan. In the absence of more information I do not know which course of action I would have supported. What I can be sure of however is that if I had been convinced that the plan should go ahead then I would have ensured that everything possible was done to manage the perception problems which would inevitably arise from such an operation. This might have included consideration of involving a UK force, either to complete the investigation or provide an element of advice or oversight. I would also have given thought to when the Minister for Home Affairs should be briefed. In cases such as this a briefing of the Minister soon after the commencement of the operation may be appropriate.
17. Because of my circumstances at that time I learned of the arrest of the Senator through the Jersey media. I saw a television interview with the Minister for Home Affairs in which I recall him saying that he knew nothing of the operation. The media agenda was dominated by Senator Syvret and political critics of both the Force and the Government. This led me to wonder whether the entirely foreseeable reaction to the operation had been properly anticipated by the Force, and whether a plan for management of the reaction was in place. Without more information I cannot be sure. I can only record that the impression gained from the media reports which I have seen is that the Force had been taken by surprise by the reaction to the operation, and the allegations and criticism which followed in the immediate aftermath.
18. I have been asked by Mr Syvret if I will offer a view as to whether myself and the former Deputy Chief Officer, Mr Leonard Harper, were the real targets of the operation. As I understand it the theory underpinning this belief is that the data protection issue was a pretext to allow police officers to gain possession of the computer or computers used by the Senator, and to search for incriminating “leaks” from myself or Mr Harper. I do not have enough evidence to comment on whether this belief could be justified. I can however offer some comment on the perceptions of the issue. I can say with certainty that the motive described above was the subject of speculation from the onset, and that such speculation was not confined to those naturally inclined to believe the worst of the Islands Government and its institutions. Shortly after the news of the arrest became public I received a telephone call from a prominent Jersey Advocate with whom I was on friendly terms. I was asked directly if the seizure of the Senators computer was a “problem” for me and whether I would be in need of advice in consequence. I was able to say that I anticipated no problem from the event. This did not however stop the speculation as to the real motive of the operation. I suspect that this speculation will continue for a number of years into the future. It was an entirely foreseeable consequence of the police action and should have been anticipated and planned for.
19. There is another matter which Mr Syvret alleges could have been a motive for his arrest and the search of his address. This relates to the interest of his then partner, Deputy Carolyn Labey, in allegations of corruption relating to planning issues. Mr Syvret states that some local people had approached Deputy Labey with their concerns and that she had drawn these concerns to my attention. Mr Syvret goes on to state that the Police Officer who I had delegated to look into the allegations is the same officer who led the operation in which he was arrested, and Deputy Labey’s home searched. He alleges that files relating to the corruption allegations were accessed as part of the police operation. He has also heard that I had been involved in some exchanges with the then Attorney General in relation to the matter shortly before I was suspended. Mr Syvret asks if I have any evidence to offer in relation to these matters.
20. In response to these requests I refer the Court to evidence which I have already provided which touches upon some of these issues. This evidence is in the second statement which I made to Wiltshire Police which was completed on 10th March 2010 under the relevant provisions of the Police Force (Jersey) Law which I referred to earlier. The enquiry for which the second statement was made was named “Haven 2.” The Minister for Home Affairs has recently indicated that he will publish parts of that statement. I understand that the Court will be able to gain access to the full statement should that be appropriate. However, in order to assist the Court I have copied below paragraphs 63 to 67 of my statement which appear to be the paragraphs most relevant to the allegations by Mr Syvret. These paragraphs are in a part of the statement in which I am listing issues which may have been recorded in files which are said to have been kept in relation to some political figures. There is reference in the statement to “Operation Rectangle.” This is the name given to the Jersey historic abuse enquiry.
63. There is another series of events which may have made it into the files. They happened quite close to my suspension so it is possible that they did not. I will however give brief details in case they are relevant. These involved allegations made against Senator Terry Le Main the Housing Minister. I recall that Deputy Carolyn Labey got in touch with me and related to me information which she had received from people who said that they had inside knowledge of corruption in the granting of permission to build retirement properties on previously designated agricultural land. The allegations were a bit complicated but in brief it was alleged that the Senator and at least one of his senior officials were in a corrupt relationship with a developer who was being assisted in turning lower value agricultural land into high value development land. At my request Chief Inspector David Minty made some initial enquiries.
64. At some stage I spoke to the Attorney General and offered the view that these were serious allegations, and some form of criminal enquiry might be called for, if only to clear the air. I was aware that word of the allegations had spread and they were being talked about widely in some circles. I recall that at this time my relationship with the Attorney General was experiencing some tension. The above matter was running parallel with another issue, which arose after the key period in Operation Rectangle, which concerned children who had been placed in situations of risk by the Social Services Department, apparently contrary to specialist advice. In consequence of this action some of the children had suffered serious abuse and the offenders had been convicted. I know that David Minty had submitted an initial report to the Attorney General following criminal proceedings against the abusers of the children, in which he recommended a criminal investigation into the actions of the Civil Servants involved in the decision to place the children at risk. As I recall the Attorney General responded by suggesting that he might address the matter by having a discreet word with the Chief Executive. I recall that I thought badly of this idea, regarding it as the sort of thing which had got us all into the “Rectangle” situation to begin with. I might have had some exchanges and discussions in relation to that matter, but my recollection of it is not good at this time. I mention this episode now as it was part of the background to what happened when I attempted to address the reports relating to the alleged corruption involving Senator Le Main.
65. I had some email and telephone exchanges with the Attorney General about the above allegations. My interpretation of these exchanges is that the Attorney General became disproportionately fixated upon the fact that the information regarding the alleged corruption originated from Deputy Labey, who was in a relationship with Senator Syvret, who was a persistent and determined critic of the Attorney General. At some point in these exchanges Deputy Labey emailed me expressing lack of confidence in the independence and integrity of the criminal justice system, and expressed criticism of the then Bailiff, who is the brother of the then Attorney General. A print-out of the email from Deputy Labey had been obtained by the Attorney General, and there were some exchanges about it in which I was involved. The Attorney General reacted angrily towards Deputy Labey and demanded she apologise to the Bailiff or something of that nature. At some point I asked him if he had obtained the copy lawfully, when I should have said “legitimately.” He said he had obtained it as part of the bundle of papers submitted by David Minty, who was leading on the discussions as to whether there should be a criminal investigation. I have since thought about this and on reflection I do not think that his use of the email was entirely legitimate. He obtained the email in his capacity as the Head of the Prosecution Service, and then appears to have used it in his other capacity as the legal representative of the government. This is of course a symptom of the multi-role of the Jersey Law Officers Department.
66. In any event the outcome was that we could not agree, and the exchange finished with what I took to be an angry email from the Attorney General expressing apparent frustration at my perceived failure to sufficiently oppose the criticism of his brother the Bailiff, and finishing with a phrase something like “so be it,” which I read as having a threatening tone. So far as I can recall, that was the last email I received from the Attorney General. Not long afterwards I was suspended. Initially it was claimed that my suspension was as a result of information relating to the Historic Abuse Enquiry which was received on 10th November 2008. It is now known that this is untrue because the suspension notices were in fact prepared on the morning of Saturday 8th November 2008, which implies that the actual decision to suspend must have been taken in the week-ending 7th November 2008. So far as I can recall this brings the decision close to my exchanges with the Attorney General regarding the need to investigate allegations of corruption at the heart of government. This has led me to suspect that the exchanges which I have described in the above paragraphs may have been influential in the matter of my suspension. Only a full and independent enquiry into the suspension with full legal investigative powers, which Ministers have so far resisted, can confirm or refute whether these suspicions have any foundation.
2nd May, 2011