The Haute de la Garenne Investigation and Related Matters.

Comments Issued by Senator Stuart Syvret

In Response to the Jersey Establishment

12th November 2008.

To those who read my previous posting – and to those who haven’t, I ask, please do – I offer these comments on today’s events.

And please note that a lot of this posting consists of the response document I thrashed out today over lunchtime and issued to the media this afternoon.

I’ve tidied it up a bit – corrected a few errors & typos – and expanded on the issues a little – so I hope readers find it useful. Any journalists – feel free to copy and paste anything from this should you want quotes from me.

And please note and remember these two, crucial, issues:

The imminent publication of the report of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

The issues I raise below concerning radionuclide dating.

As I predicted, two Jersey oligarchy press conferences were held today – the first by the new leaders (and very new, at that) of the States of Jersey Police Force.

The second by Frank Walker and current Home Affairs Minister, Andrew Lewis.

Again – my speculations as to what would be said, why, and by whom, were generally on the money.

The response of the Jersey oligarchy’s media too, was very easily predicted.

I carried out my promise to deliver a press conference in response to today’s events, in St. Helier’s Royal Square this afternoon.

I have to hold such press conferences outside, as the Bailiff, Phil Bailhache – brother of Attorney General Bill Bailhache – has issued orders to the ushers of the Jersey parliament building to have me thrown out should I take any journalists in the building with me.

Yes – things really are that absurd.

When I last tried to give an interview with a French TV crew in one of the interview rooms, the ushers burst in, and threw us out. It made great TV.

But that should give you an idea of just what a profoundly dangerous banana republic Jersey has been made by its oligarchy – when an elected member cannot carry out a media interview in a small room in the island’s parliament building.

There were two interesting features of the hack response to my press conference.

Firstly – there appeared to little, if any, recognition on the part of the assembled hacks that the insubstantial and un-evidenced ‘line’ fed to them by Gradwell, Warcup, Walker & Lewis suffered from even worse versions of the supposed flaws of Lenny Harper’s approach.

Secondly – I was repeatedly asked whether I was pleased that “my demand” that Jersey Police Chief Graham Power “be sacked” was being taken seriously?

I had to repeatedly point out that I had made no such “demand”.

All I had done in last night’s posting was to extrapolate – and take to a logical conclusion – the spin that the HDLG investigation ‘had been a farce’.

That conclusion being that if – I repeat, if – the HDLG investigation proves to have been so badly wrong as Walker, Warcup & Gradwell are now claiming – then the buck had to stop with the Chief Constable, Graham Power.

This was merely a logical observation – not a “demand”.

Personally – I’m extremely pleased to see that Graham Power had the integrity to turn down the Jersey oligarchy’s nice and easy “offer” of “early retirement” – and has instead taken the suspension from his post – and will fight all allegations against him.

I suggested last night that this episode could prove to be the greatest PR cock-up yet by the Jersey establishment. Events such as trying to crush and silence Graham Power strongly reinforce that conclusion.

So, two separate, but obviously co-ordinated, press-conferences have been given by the new leadership of the States of Jersey Police Force, and the Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker.

These exercise had two, plain and transparent purposes – one of which was explicit – the other less immediately obvious.

Firstly, what we have seen today represents serious and concerted attempts by the Jersey establishment to discredit the investigation into Haute de la Garren; an exercise which has not – tellingly – confined itself solely to doubts over the issue of possible, unexplained child deaths.

Instead, determined efforts have also been made to discredit many aspects of the abuse allegations made by living survivors.

That aspect of the comments made today by the new leaders of the States of Jersey Police cannot be regarded as anything other than deeply disturbing.

Secondly – and less obviously – this precise moment for these press conferences has been carefully chosen by the Jersey establishment and their spin-doctors in order to create a diversionary media storm – calculated to divert and distract attention away from the imminent publication, this Friday, by the Howard League for Penal Reform, their report into youth justice and child custody practises in Jersey during comparatively recent years.

Those few parts of the Howard League report of which I am aware are unambiguously utterly damning of the States of Jersey policies which saw already troubled and vulnerable children being subjected to lengthy periods of punitive and coercive solitary confinement – isolated imprisonment in cells – which, in some cases, lasted for months.

This criminal conduct has always been strenuously denied by the States of Jersey – even up to today; the actual politician with responsibility for child protection, Jimmy Perchard, has been denying the truth and desperately trying to rubbish the work of the Howard League. But the definitive report by the independent Howard League shows the entire edifice of official denials – made over a 20 month period – to be literally incredible.

So apocalyptically damning of the Jersey establishment is the report that it generated an overwhelming Political imperative to spin-doctor some form of hi-profile distraction – hence the timing of these two press-conferences.

And we are forced to draw this conclusion because it cannot be regarded as anything other than mystifying as to why the attempt to discredit the Haute de la Garenne investigation should have been launched now – quite extraordinarily – before the Met review team, Mr. Gradwell or Mr. Warcup have even interviewed certain key figures – such as former Deputy Chief Constable, Lenny Harper.

It is simply astonishing that such a fundamentally important subject should be dealt with in such a deeply premature and cavalier manner – to the extent that the key figure previously involved in leading the investigation has not yet even been interviewed as a part of any supposed review of the investigation.

Turning to the question of the forensic claims now being made by the States of Jersey Police.

I am not yet in any position to offer any authoritative comments on the forensic claims being made by the present leadership of the States of Jersey Police Force.

Nor is anyone else outside of the Force – so far as I’m aware.

To offer a detailed response, one would have to have unimpeded access to the actual, scientific evidence, the documentation – and the forensic reports themselves.

Quite plainly – a few sound-bites and a few PowerPoint slides delivered by the Police officers at a press conference – cannot be remotely considered sufficient evidence to satisfy ourselves that no unexplained child deaths occurred at HDLG.

Indeed – perhaps the most striking feature of the comments made today by Officers Gradwell & Warcup – is that the approach they adopt is actually far worse than the accusations they make today against Lenny Harper.

Worse in that they have they rushed into making public comment on the basis of non-scientific, untested, vacuous assertions – and have glibly done so without even speaking with the central, living witness in their ‘investigation’ – Lenny Harper.

To Mr. Gradwell and Mr. Warcup – all any thinking person can say is – ‘physician, heal thyself’.

For me, personally – the failure of the Police to make all the forensic evidence openly available for professional peer-review is deeply disappointing.

For as I have always stated since the possibility of child deaths at that place were first raised earlier this year – I really hoped we would receive definitive evidence to the effect that no such deaths occurred.

I have always hoped that we could set aside such grim possibilities – and, instead, focus upon the survivors – and the more recent cases of institutional child abuse.

I have wanted the community to gain “closure” as far as the possibility of post-war, unexplained child deaths are concerned.

To that end, I have repeatedly, during recent weeks, asked the States of Jersey Police a number of questions concerning the forensics.

I repeat – I have, on behalf of my constituents, and of my own initiative – asked perfectly reasonable questions of the Police in respect of the forensics.

However – disappointingly – and quite disturbingly – they have flatly refused to engage with my queries.

Indeed – I have not succeeded in recent weeks in even gaining so much as an e-mail acknowledgment from Mr. Gradwell or Mr. Warcup of the questions I have asked.

I just hope those journalists – the Jersey hacks – and one or two of the sceptical national journalists, such as David Rose, who like to imagine themselves working on an ‘evidence-based’ approach – will apply the same standards to the vacuous assertions being made by the Jersey establishment today.

We shall see.

There is a central – and definitive question – which arises from the human remains found at the site – fragments of human bone and around 60 teeth.

Were the individuals who these remains originated from living in the period prior to WW II – perhaps even far earlier?

Or – were they living in the post-WW II era?

In modern decades?

Are the remains pre-war – or are they post-war?

For this – central – question has been at the heart of the debate over the remains.

Why is this question important?

If the remains predate World War II – whilst still something of a mystery – we would then be justified setting aside the concerns we have that children may have died through foul play at Haut de la Garenne during modern times.

However – if the remains originate post- WW II – then we, as a community, have to confront the possibilities of what may have happened to vulnerable children in HDLG.

For if we’re faced with the knowledge that the remains originated from people who were living, say, during the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s – Jersey faces an altogether more serious – and deeply disturbing – situation.

This is why that simple question – are the remains pre-war – or post-war – is so important.

If pre-war – we can gain some form of “closure”.

But if post-war – we cannot so easily set the matter aside.

Yet – so far as I am aware – the forensic tests required to answer this single, definitive, question have not been undertaken.

I say ‘so far as I am aware’ – because disturbingly, the Police Force has refused to state whether these tests have been carried out – notwithstanding repeated questions from me.

I will describe some of the forensic tests which would need to be carried out in order to make us reasonably confident that none of the children’s teeth found on the site originate from the post-war years.

And I very much hope that any self-respecting journalists will put these issues to Gradwell, Warcup and Walker.

Human remains – such as bones and teeth – can be readily assessed as originating pre-war – or as originating post-war – because of the use of nuclear weapons.

From the first megaton nuclear explosions – and for a sustained period during the 1950’s and 1960’s – the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons spread around the world a range of novel, radioisotopes which, prior to the nuclear weapons era – were present in the Earth only in minute quantities – or were not present at all, instead being the ‘man-made’ isotopes introduced into the atmosphere via nuclear bomb detonations.

Traces of these novel, radioactive substances are now found in all of us – in our bones, our teeth and other parts of the body.

By way of contrast – if a person was living, and died, before the onset of the nuclear weapons era – no internal contamination with these novel isotopes would be found within that individual’s bones and teeth.

Therefore – testing for radioisotope contamination of human bones and teeth is widely recognised as a forensic method of determining whether the remains are pre, or post the nuclear weapons age.

Due to my environmental campaigning against nuclear installations, I have a number of specialist contacts who have been able to furnish me with some observations and questions concerning radionuclide contamination.

1: Plutonium 239 is a man-made transuranic – with a half-life of 24,100 years.

Small traces of Pu239 would have been distributed to a limited extent through the very early nuclear detonations of 1945. However, Pu239 will not have been heavily and widely distributed through the atmosphere until the first megaton explosions around 1952 or possibly later, through to the 1960’s.

It is, therefore, possible to test for the internal presence of Pu239 in bones and teeth and conclude – definitively – whether the remains come from people who were living after the dawn of the nuclear weapons era.

Pre-war – no such internal contamination with this isotope would be found.

Post-war – especially if the individual were living in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s – then yes, such internal contamination would be present in teeth and bones.

Has this test been carried out? If so – will the scientific papers be published in peer-reviewable format?

If not – why not?

2: Strontium 90, I am told, would be an even better ‘tag’ for determining whether human remains such as bones and teeth were from the modern era. This isotope was also spread throughout the planet’s atmosphere via nuclear weapons testing from 1952.

The highest levels of this contaminant would originate from the years 1960 to 1965.

Strontium 90 is also easier to detect and analyse than Pu239 – especially in bone fragments.

Have the tests been done? If so – can the papers be published?

If not – why not?

3: Carbon 14, although occurring naturally – was very widely distributed – in a heavily detectable ‘spike’ of contamination, during the period, mid-1950 until mid-1960.

However, I’m told that the detection or measuring of Carbon 14 is more challenging as it has to be done by concentration, which can prove problematic.

But nevertheless, man-made volumes of Carbon 14 appearing in human bones and teeth are used as a measure to approximately date the remains to the pre – or post – nuclear weapons era, by forensic anthropologists.

Have tests for anthropogenic quantities of Carbon 14 been undertaken?

If so – can we have the scientific papers?

If not – why not?

4: We can be categorically certain that any human remains which have internal contamination of the above-described isotopes originate from people who were alive during the nuclear weapons era.

5: In the event of bones being burnt, it is strongly probable that any Strontium 90 would remain incorporated within the bone-matrix.

6: Burning any human remains would be most unlikely to remove or destroy the radio isotopes described above.

7: The sample size required to test for Strontium 90 or Plutonium 239, I am told, is around 20 grams – perhaps 3 or 4 teeth, or a similar weight of bone.

8: Many Labs would undertake testing for Strontium 90 and Plutonium 239.

9: My understanding is that it would costs around £300 to undertake alpha spectrometry to detect Pu239.

10: A similar sum would be required to fund the chemical separation and Beta spectrometry needed to detect and measure Strontium 90 within teeth or bone matrix.

If the tests I describe above – which are crucial to determine that key question – are the remains pre-war or post-war – have, in fact, been carried out – why the secrecy?

If the tests have not been carried out – why not?

These are the fundamental questions which any self-respecting journalist should be asking Gradwell, Warcup, Walker and Lewis.

As I have said throughout this whole episode – I really hope for such definitive, scientific evidence which would show that the human remains did not originate from the post-war era.

But I do not believe we can gain “closure” on the question of whether the human remains recovered from Haute de la Garenne are pre-war – or post war – until such tests have been undertaken – and the results published in peer-reviewable form.

I hope very much that all such tests would prove to be negative.

But they simply have to be carried out.

Have they been?

If so – where are the peer-reviewable results?

If not – why are the Jersey establishment so indecently ready to seize upon a few vacuous sound-bites and some PowerPoint slides as grounds for dismissing the whole episode?

I suggest that there are several answers to that question – not least the imminent publication of the Howard League report.

Do not be distracted – the report of the Howard League for Penal reform is published this Friday, 2.00pm, at a press-conference in Jersey.

Somehow – I very much get the impression that the Jersey oligarchy aren’t going to like it – not one little bit.


57 thoughts on “The Haute de la Garenne Investigation and Related Matters.

  1. Anonymous

    `The Jersey Way’

    Stuart, I hope that you will permit me to inform your readers’ as to a certain incident which took place in Jersey back in the early 1960s.

    It involves both my parents in the main but, my mother (now in her mid eighties) in particular.

    As many of your readers will recall, many years ago to the right of St Thomas’ church in St Helier, there stood a rather large house, where I now believe there is a car park.

    During the early 1960s my parents had a taxi business and rented part of that house as an office. My father drove one of the cabs whilst my mother manned the telephone and radio. As you can imagine, for much of the time when all the cabs were out on calls, my mother was alone in the office.

    Anyway, one very dark November evening at around 11.30pm a man entered the office and started to try and rape my mother. However, she put a brave fight and here attacker eventually fled. But not before giving my mother a broken nose, black eye and many, many bruises. Needless to say my mother never manned the office again!

    However, within a short time of her calling my father and the police, my mothers assailant was apprehended not far from the scene of his crime. It turned out that he was the son of a senior Jersey police officer.

    Like many child abuse victims of employees of the States of Jersey, my mother never saw justice.

    The police at the time told her that the man was ill and, it would do neither her my father or their business any good to press charges and, they would take care of the matter. End of story!

    This is what is meant by the `jersey way’!

    Writing from exile

  2. TonyTheProf

    “Harper and the Jersey police, to be certain they are carrying out their work correctly, they have voluntarily called in a review team from the UK mainland. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) Working Group will review the investigation so far. With Jersey not being part of the United Kingdom and therefore not under Home Office jurisdiction, Harper is nevertheless keen to ensure his investigation is working by the book, even if it is someone else’s.”

    Will someone explain how Acpo didn’t spot anything wrong with the investigation? I read the JEP report tonight but was unable to find any mention of this! Mind you, there were a lot of pages – 11 in total!

  3. donchais

    Though you predicted it, I was floored by yesterday’s pressers.

    I too would like to see what “evidence” Gradwell and Warcup “supposedly” have.

    Harper and Graham ought to sue the hell out of the States.

    Obviously, this is a dumb question – is there no public disclosure in Jersey?

    Keep the faith everyone – these fools have crossed the line and are a laughing stock. They know we are watching!

  4. Anonymous

    “Personally – I’m extremely pleased to see that Graham Power had the integrity to turn down the Jersey oligarchy’s nice and easy “offer” of “early retirement” – and has instead taken the suspension from his post – and will fight all allegations against him.

    I suggested last night that this episode could prove to be the greatest PR cock-up yet by the Jersey establishment. Events such as trying to crush and silence Graham Power strongly reinforce that conclusion.”

    Yes, well it just goes to show that some people do not have a price – kudos to Graham Power for refusing their blood money!

    It does not take that long for these scientific tests to be done – if Tony Robinson can organise his Time Team researchers to analize archeological fragments for an entertainment television program then I cannot imagine that these tests have not already given up their results on the Haut de la Garenne bone and teeth fragments – but perhaps those in charge of the data do not like what the results are showing?

    People have also been told that Social Service records for Haut de la Garenne do not exist. I never heard such nonsense! You cannot run a state Children’s home with no records – it just was not done, and if the records do not exist now, then someone must have destroyed them – and they must be brought to justice for that is a crime in itself!


  5. Anonymous

    Why was Graham Power offered the option of retirement – please ask this question in the States chamber – because as a tax payer I would like to know why and under performer is given the option to take an early pension – is thi show the government reward unprofessional practices?

    With reference to the dating of remains – we now have investigations into investigations so somewhere along the line someone will provide an answer – Ican’t help but think that the men and woman who should be at the heart of this – the abused – are getting lost in a mire of egos.

    How typical of the ‘Jersey Way’ that the only way the public can gain access to Senator Syvrets comments on the lastes episode is through his BLOG – the local media coverage of yesterday appear to have decided that you are person non grata.

    So eager were the JEP to get their copy on the streets yesterday that they missed the ‘susension ‘ of Power……………tsk tsk

  6. Anonymous

    How do they justify suspending the Chief of Police yet not suspending the education chief, who is under investigation for child abuse?

    I suppose they think their `investigation’ into the investigation means that they can safely assume that all previous aspects of the police investigation are flawed. They have therefore given themselves a charter to do nothing. How very convenient.

  7. Stevie1

    Stuart I came to see you in the Royal Square yesterday because i wanted to see or hear with my own eyes and ears if the message you were trying to convery was portrayed accurately through the media. I was disappointed to see that it didn’t even make the late news…it could have made the early evening news but I was unable to catch that. If anyone has a link that could direct me to it that would be great.

    Stuart I don’t know all the facts but I am pleased that there is someone fighting for those who have been so let down by the very people who are supposed to look after them. Please keep campaigning for justice.

  8. SSS acolyte

    It’s depressing to hear Frank on 103 news complaining (as usual) about you seeking to politicise these matters. He just doesn’t get it, does he? He’s doing exactly the same thing by saying such tired old rubbish. Did he really need to say that? Or keep a dignified silence perhaps, instead of scoring points?

    Did we really need a Walker & Lewis press conference as well as the police one?

    I’m getting more and more glum each time I see a press conference with Frank in front of that infamous States logo backdrop. How dare he make a laughing stock of our island with it?

    It’s just so embarrassing to the island. We can’t wait for him to go.

    Sadly, the replacement won’t be much better………

  9. Anonymous

    Where is comment from Lenny Harper?

    G Power – Well done for standing up and being counted.

  10. Anonymous

    Craupaud in Exile

    Someone quoted:

    People have also been told that Social Service records for Haut de la Garenne do not exist. I never heard such nonsense!


    One of “THE COVER-UP TEAM”
    at POLICE HQ. rung me a couple of months ago and confirmed that I and my siblings were at HDLG at end of 1950s, (I had the impression that they thought I was lying) they ( my siblings) were named as, was on the RECORDS that WERE MADE AT HDLG.

    Someone is lying, but what the heck, its The Jersey Police, SORRY I mean The Jersey Way.

    If you get the impression that I am just a little sarcastic, your right I am.

  11. Anonymous

    This only happended because they see the election result as a mandate to go onto the offensive

    its not just about bodies (dont think anyone ever claimed their were murders)

    But this was a smoke screen against the real issue of child abuse

    but the real issue (outside the abuse victims)is the lack of investigations and democratic accountability

    that is the issue which is never addressed

    never never under estimate your enemy…this Island has been under the thumb of the rich for decades

    we will only get peace when we turn them out

    yes it will take time but we have time and truth on our side

  12. Anonymous

    Two points

    1. How is that Power is suspended for (I anticipate) failing to monitor the work of Lenny Harper; an allegation where only the public purse may have been hurt, yet Mario Lundy and Danny Wherry are NOT suspended after it is alleged that they indulged in child abuse? How does that work then?

    2. With reference to Walkers accusation of ‘politicising’ the matter, was he talking about Stuart or was he talking about Sean Power who – while currently up for re-election – was strutting across the beach on CTV last night saying ‘I told you so…’.

  13. Anonymous

    “Sadly, the replacement won’t be much better………”

    No but at least he has a funny voice that we can laugh at!

  14. voiceforchildren

    stevie 1

    I’m not sure what’s on there or been taken off sorry. That particular link was e-mailed to me this morning, I’ll have a dig around and post it on here if I come across Stuarts interview.

  15. Anonymous

    As I said in an earlier post to here, I resently spoke with a child abuse victim from HDLG and that person was there for years, but that person assures me that not one single record of that person was kept. Therefore a very good place to start with investigations is States employees who were responsible for these records, and they will still be alive. Were records ever kept, or were they purposely destroyed? and by whom?

  16. Anonymous

    I am also assured that the investigating Police know of the HDLG missing records. Isnt that a good question to put to them, surely they could and should find the record keepers or the record destroyers?

  17. ratleskutle

    Discrediting the evidence, shortly after refusing to update the corroboration rules does not look too good. It does not seem to indicate a desire for probity and justice. more on my blog.

  18. Anonymous

    Stuart, I was present in the Royal square yesterday and noticed that you were reluctant to give a copy of the document to the JEP. It was only when you were pressured by the chap from The Times that you gave it to her. Why was that? I would have thought that (in your view) if anyone should have been given the correct information it should be the JEP for once.

  19. Anonymous

    I recommend that people read the the article in the Belfast Times (thanks Zoompad), as it is one of the very few that offer Mr Harper a chance to reply!

    Please leave a comment in support of him!

    Writing from exile

  20. Anonymous

    “As I said in an earlier post to here, I resently spoke with a child abuse victim from HDLG and that person was there for years, but that person assures me that not one single record of that person was kept. Therefore a very good place to start with investigations is States employees who were responsible for these records, and they will still be alive. Were records ever kept, or were they purposely destroyed? and by whom?”



  21. Anonymous


    Re: Secondly – I was repeatedly asked whether I was pleased that “my demand” that Jersey Police Chief Graham Power “be sacked” was being taken seriously?

    I would love to know which members of the media/press asked this question.

    You made it perfectly clear to anyone with a basic grasp of English that this would have to be done if the COM were to justify their rubbishing of the enquiry.

    It’s amazing how no allegations or evidence is enough to suspend such a well respected officer as Power.

    How could any local hack honestly believe that Walker or any of his council would ever dream of doing anything that you suggested?

  22. Anonymous

    This blog has followed the Jersey HDLG story and suggested some disturbing links to other similair events in the UK and throughout europe. I wonder if you have seen it Stuart? Makes interesting if disturbing reading. Keep up the good work

  23. Anonymous

    Well done Lenny Harper!Now there can be no doubt as to the truth of the matter!

    Walker you are a real slimey sh!t. I hope you and your mates get your’s very, very soon.

    It is clear to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. Walker has just shafted the good people of Jersey internationaly!!

  24. Anonymous

    Re letters in todays rag.
    shame on mr.ross and god help us if his views are shared by more than a few islanders.
    obviously the cruel abuse of children is last on his list of priorities and to say our senior(and most popular) politician is using this for political gain is beneath contempt.
    he is also suggesting that ordinary people have no place in politics
    what a condescending and ignorant man (if he exists)

  25. ekcol

    “If the tests have not been carried out – why not?”

    Because naturally shed milk teeth are not evidence of murder or abuse, whether pre-war or post-war.

    You don’t accept scientific findings about how the teeth came to be there, so why do you care about radiometric tests? Could it be because their complete irrelevance to the investigation guarantees they will not be carried out, so you can spin it as a cover up?

  26. Anonymous

    You lot need your heads examined. This is an independant Metropolitan Police enquiry report into Harper and Co and is very critical. So how can it possibly be a cover up? Please explain that one?

  27. Anonymous

    “It’s simply a fact of life that children sometimes run away so these disappearances may have a perfectly innocent explanation.”

    These children must still be on the Island if thats the case either that or they knew somebody with a boat!!!

  28. Anonymous

    Its still a cover-up and Mario Lundy has been named in Senator Stuart Syvret web-blog and has been named a the “Pinball Wizard” because of his fondness for bouncy young children of walls and funiturings around the children’s home.

    Time this man was sacked and charged with the child abuse did carry out.

    This message will be posted on Stuart Syvret’s blog and the Jersey have your say (As long as they agree with what your saying)

  29. Anonymous

    Speaking as a survivor of systematic child abuse and torture; the argument that the investigation should “focus on the survivors” and leave the legacy of those who may have died at the hands of their abusers without full investigation is ridiculous. Those of us who have lived through such horrors know that the worst pain of all is the knowledge that we survived when others did not; other little children who we tried to save and could not, being mere children ourselves. Do not let anyone pretend that because those small fragments of bones are clearly “in the past” that they are not, in a major way, playing a part in the suffering of those of us still alive. The greatest healing for us will come in seeing justice done for those left as dust and ash.

  30. Anonymous

    “Indeed – I have not succeeded in recent weeks in even gaining so much as an e-mail acknowledgment from Mr. Gradwell or Mr. Warcup of the questions I have asked.”

    This is pretty damning.

    Stuart was the first person on this island to publicly reveal the instituitional child abuses at Greenfields and has been the only politician to speak out about HDLG.
    He is working for justice.
    So why is he being ignored by the police force?

  31. Anonymous

    ““I’m totally mystified as to why he should issue this non-event. I’m sure it is a coincidence that the Howard League for Penal Reform is publishing its report on allegations of abuse within the Jersey care system. That will be interesting,” said Mr Harper.”

    I hope the off island press will ask frank walker about this.
    Maybe they might like to ask why he held a press conference, surely the police are competent to brief the press on these matters.

  32. Senator Stuart Syvret

    “We need our heads examining”

    So – the Metropolitan Police review, eh?

    Which report would that be, then?

    The one upon which meaningful work hasn’t even started yet?

    A “report” – the authors of which haven’t even interviewed Harper?

    There is no such report yet in existence. True – work has begun on such a report – but it ain’t done yet.

    But – Oh dear! Looks like our cops have shot their mouths off without having the full facts – the completed definitive evidence.

    Don’t people get condemned for such supposed practices?

    Don’t senior officers get suspended for being associated with such practices?

    Oh – silly me. That only happens if the officers’ stance is anti-establishment.


  33. Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter how much you try to defend Harper, so far the report has shown that he had abused his position. It is damming so far Stuart. You should move on from Harper now and concentrate on just the victims of the abuse. Lets hope this damage will pass.

  34. Anonymous

    Maybe it’s nitpicking but I have a couple of points.

    1. This investigation was originally about the sexual and physical abuse of children who were in the care of the Jersey government.
    The police began a homicide investigation based on a report of an extremely vicious assault on a child who was allegedly never seen by the witness again.
    That was a sideline from the main investigation into child abuse. It doesn’t prove or disprove anything. The police were obliged to investigate the report.

    2. Maybe it’s me but I would expect the officers conducting a police report to understand point number one.

  35. Senator Stuart Syvret


    Another load of cobblers, I’m afraid.

    There has been no published, scientific evidence – no peer-reviewable forensic report – that all the teeth did come out naturally.

    On the contrary – all we’ve had are a couple of cops reading out a five page statement which was written for them by spin-doctors.

    You might be happy to except that as “scientific evidence” – I’m certainly not.

    In any event – how did such a large concentration of teeth come to be found in such proximity?

    Why wear on some – but few discernible traces of wear on others?

    Why the immense reluctance to undertake radioisotope testing?

    It could clear the air.

    Suppose such testing showed all the teeth were pre-WW II?

    Then great – we could have closure on the question of unexplained child deaths in modern decades.

    But why would anyone object to such tests – unless they were worried about the conclusion?


  36. Anonymous

    Dear ekcol and friends,

    Why the bile and anger?

    Stuart and the people who support him (he’s consistantly highest in the elections don’t forget, so there’s a quite a few of us) want to find out the truth about HDLG.

    Is that so wrong?

    As the alleged abuses took place within a government department and were allegedly covered up by the powers that be, you can surely see why it’s important to have complete transparency in this investigation.

    So we would like to see an independent, open public investigation. We would like to see the forensic data that shows the age of the bones. Just for peace of mind.

    Surely you want that too, if a transparent and independent investigation can be seen to expose what happened (or hopefully didn’t happen) then that has to be good for the island.

    Or am I missing something?

    A rabid hatred of dissenters maybe.

  37. ekcol


    You don’t seem to know what peer review is, or what kind of scientific information is published. Both are a part of new scientific theories being tested and accepted by the scientific community. Neither have anything whatsoever to do with forensic tests performed on evidence in police investigations. Off-topic, but equally annoyingly, you also constantly misuse the word “axiomatically”. I’m not sure if you think using long words makes you sound clever, but you could perhaps look them up in the dictionary before using them.

    You go on to completely contradict yourself; you say you don’t accept the police report of the state of the teeth, then base your next point about the wear on the teeth on that same report.

    I’ve already answered your next question. You have deliberately chosen some obscure and irrelevant test to demand, because you know it will not be performed. In this way, you can carry on furthering your career and basking in national media attention by alleging a cover up.

  38. ekcol

    Dear anonymous,

    I’m not sure where you get the rabidness, bile or anger from. I’ve re-read my comment, and it is a simple response to Stuart’s question. Perhaps if you have prejudged what I am like, you read my comments with a certain voice in your head!

    Everything you say about an open, transparent inquiry is eminently reasonable, and I don’t disagree with a word. I, like you, just want justice for the victims of abuse. The reason I disagree with Syvret is that he does not make the same kind of reasonable comments – he rants about conspiracies and insists it must be a cover up unless his obscure demands are met.

    As for a “hatred of dissenters”, I think you’ll find if you read through the comments here, I am the one that is dissenting.

  39. Zoompad

    “You lot need your heads examined”

    I’ve just had a look in the mirror – yes, my head is still there.

    You, on the other hand, do not appear to have a heart!


  40. Anonymous

    Ekcol….You almost sound relieved about the absence of proper forensic evidence on the remains at HDLG.

    Now why would that be then??.

    If such testing would clarify the timescale of the deaths- and the findings rule out the post-war period -then the police will be seen to have exhausted that line of enquiry to its logical end wouldnt they?

    The cost of such testing is minimal-a few hundred pounds- so surely that cannot be a factor in the reluctance to do it?.

    The abuses that did occur at HDLG- and other sites on this island- may or may not have included the unlawful death of children. Until evey possible effort has been put into uncovering the truth then things such as cost and blindly supporting “the great statesman” are of no benefit to anyone,least of all the poor sods who survived the abuse.

  41. Senator Stuart Syvret

    Defending Harper

    Look – I know this concept is very difficult to get in the your volumetrically challenged brain cavity – but THERE IS NO MET REPORT!


    How could it – when no one from the Met has yet interviewed Harper?

    All that was released by the Keystone cops was five page press release – written by a spin doctor.


  42. Senator Stuart Syvret


    It is – plainly – you who does not understand the scientific method, axioms, or the concept of peer review.

    What distinguishes science from other human modes of thought – is that it aims to take – so far as is possible – fallible human errors, personal objectives, quackery and biases out of the acquisition and advancement of knowledge.

    It does this by requiring ideas, hypothesis, theories etc – to be factually demonstrable. Usually – this through the ‘repeatability’ of experiments or calculations.

    Whilst the process of traditional peer review is not without its critics – it remains a key feature in enabling that kind of demonstrable, repeatability to be shown.

    You are quite wrong when you suggest that forensic reports into such matters as human remains do not constitute science and would not lend themselves to peer review.

    Just what – do you imagine – takes place during a trial when people stand to be convicted for murder on the basics of forensics?

    The prosecution side know that their forensics have to be absolutely, scientifically rigorous – and the defence side know that they need to obtain credible, alternative expert, scientific opinion in order to destroy the credibility of that evidence.

    In fact – it’s probably fair to say that any scientific work – such as a detailed forensics report being cited as evidence in major trial – would be subjected to an absolutely microscopic degree of review and attempted counter-analysis.

    Do try and get the basis right, eh?

    You suggest I don’t understand the word axiomatically.

    Tell me, do you understand the word metaphor?

    Let me explain. Words which have a strictly defined meaning when used in their classical context are often assigned other, related meanings when human language and understanding requires it.

    Axiomatically means acting as an axiomatic system. This is a term from mathematics.

    A system is said to be axiomatic if it lacks contradiction, is logically consistent – and you can derive both a statement and its negations from the system’s axioms.

    Therefore, whilst strictly speaking, a mathematical term, the phrase axiomatically is frequently used to describe situations in which one component of a situation – logically – axiomatically – leads to an inescapably similar end-point in the reasoning.

    Do pay attention.


  43. Anonymous


    I have a question. Even if these teeth were pre WWII they still exist post WWII. So are they not subject to post WWII contamination of 239? If this is the case then surely they will test positive?

  44. Anonymous

    Borrowed from This is

    | November 13, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    The authorities may wish to bring this to a close. Very convenient in my opinion! I doubt the world press is going to let go this easily. Sinister things happened at this place of torture that is for sure. Are the abusers making allegations about prime elite Jersey individuals? Something stinks! This smell cannot and will not be ignored. If the authorities are not prepared to get to the bottom of the mattter then the message to the people that most definately were abused must be the media will be good friends to all of you. This is crucial in establishing the real truth. A public appeal needs to go out so that a consortium of the abused can come forward to prevent a whitewash. This needs to be conducted with all the professionalism of a real police enquiry. The three men that are being used as scapegoats should assist. To clear their names and let everybody know they can’t be bought or pressured into silence. Justice can and will be done! It will most definately hurt many to relive these horific events. Those that have braved the media already most be commended and well looked after. These are ambassadors for those that are reluctant to come forward. It must be done. Justice is the start. Closure must count as some sort of consulation? Not that there ever could be any. The fact that the guilty are receiving what they deserve will bring many rewards in itself. The peace of mind that this is less likely to happen to others is the most rewarding gift that can be enjoyed by all. Come forward for the sake of others at least! A whitewash won’t wash with me. Truth seekers and anybody with children must wish for the same. The only people that wish to cover things over are the abusers themselves. If any establishment figures wish to cloak this in secrecy then they are just as bad themselves.

    My messgae to the abusers start trembling because this is far from other. The process is being made worse by those that should know how to handle things of this nature better. This is not going to go away. It is far too big. To many people have had their lives ruined by this. Let justice be the start of a means to an end. I just hope the authorities don’t get to have this their own way. It is criminal for all children and mankind. Everybody is responsible for stamping it out.

  45. Senator Stuart Syvret

    Will Teeth Still be Contaminated?

    The answer to the question of radiodnuclide cotamination of teeth – even if they orginated pre WW II – is no.

    It should be carefuly noted that I’ve stressed “internal” contamination.

    If radionuclides such as Pu239 or Sr90 are found WITHIN the teeth or bone samples – that is, incorporated into the matrix – that proccess can only occure whilst the bones and teeth are inside a living human who is absorbing the contaminante from the environmnet. That is how the nuclides get incorporated -internaly – within the structure.

    Of course – anything can be contaminated at a surfuce level with radionuclides – which is why – with biological matter – you have to look for internal traces of the contaminante in order to be confident the organisim was living when exposed.


  46. ekcol


    In case you were asking for an answer from us both, Stuart is quite right about the radiometric tests. Plutonium 239 is not a form of radiation, but a chemical element, a thing, and it would only be found inside the teeth if the teeth were growing after WWII.

  47. Jamieexbean


    Two years ago Lenny Harper dealt with my case when I tried to bring a family member to justice for abuse.
    When it became clear in the case that major failings by the Police had occurred, I made a complaint to the Attorney General.
    I am still in possession of a letter from the complaints division that substantiated my claims against the police handling of the case, however, also states that ‘The Jersey Police have NO duty of care to victims and therefore we suggest you do not proceed with these allegations’. When I made a complaint against a particular senior officer, he took early retirement a week later !
    I will never forget Mr Harper’s support through all this, my only regret is that he had not handled my case from the start.
    I have NO doubt that there is a cover up happening in Jersey with the Haut de la Garenne case, just like there was with my own.
    I was not strong enough at the time to fight against them and I have to accept that but I’ll be damned if I am going to sit back and watch them blacken Mr Harper’s name.
    I will never forget his kindness and compassion but don’t forget they are a law unto themselves and when you get too close to the truth, doors are slammed so loudly, you may even start to question yourself. Don’t do that !
    It is obvious that Lenny Harper has a multitude of support from Islanders and I wish him all the best.
    I hope he keeps fighting for what he believes in and what he knows is the truth. Islanders have been lied to and let down far too often by the Police, they need someone who is strong enough to break through the barriers, and I know personally he is the man to do that !

    I worked for years to try to overcome the betrayal, anger and shattered self esteem I endured through my abuse only to have those feelings resurrected at the hands of the Jersey Police.

    Maybe they should be looking closer at the older serving coppers for the answers !!!!!!!!

    Oh and if anyone wishes to sue me for the above comments, please feel free as I would be more than happy to go public with the information I have as I suspect many disgruntled Islanders would be.

  48. voiceforchildren

    I have seen the trailer to the documentry and from what I saw it did look a little like it was portraying ALL Jersey people want the HDL scandal covered up.

    However I don’t think it is fair to judge it on it’s trailor so I have purchased a copy and will happily give my review of it on here once I have watched it.


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