Another day –
Time to expose another atrocity.
A reader has submitted yet another comment which hints at yet more atrocities committed against children in Jersey – and as with the comment concerning Peter Manton – I know exactly what the reader is referring to.
As the dam appears to be breaking at last, I’ll now add what I know of this episode to what is, clearly, a very substantial body of public knowledge – knowledge which has existed for a very long time, but which Jersey’s climate of fear has kept unspoken.
Before going on to recount what I know – I’d like to say to any victims of this episode – you are not alone. There are many others like you. Speak to the NSPCC. Speak to the States of Jersey Police Force.
Now is the time to unite – and speak out.
This is what my reader said:
“The plot thickens! I wonder who else amongst Jersey’s ever so distinguished government and residence will be exposed for what they really are?
Many, many years ago when aged about 14/15, a well known and convicted Jersey paedophile told me (as he and his sicko friends entrapped me), that he supplied children from HDG and Jersey in general, to well known TV personalities!
The link between Jersey paedophilia and these `celebs’ was the Jersey `Opera House’!”
To understand this episode, let us delve back into the dark and wretched days of the 1960’s through to the early 1980’s – and ‘The Jersey Way’ of dealing with vulnerable children in “care” during that period.
I left school at the age of 15 in 1980. Amongst Jersey children of that era there was a very common term of abuse which was considered one of the gravest insults – which demanded a fight in response – or, if the other kid was bigger than you, setting fire to his bike using a can of lighter fluid.
Even amongst the drunken, cursing, filthy and neglected children from the underclass of St. Helier’s back-street slums – where misery, dysfunction and alcoholism were the only inheritance – to go around calling another kid a “Jeff” was to call down upon you a vendetta of Corsican proportions.
In the slum in which I existed, Clarence Court, even calling another kid’s father a drunken bastard would often be greeted with calm equanimity – as so many of them were, such an observation would be regarded as little more than a value-free statement of fact.
So, what is the origin of the insulting phrase, ‘you Jeff’?
It is taken from the name of a notorious Jersey paedophile, Jeff Le Marquand.
He was convicted for child abuse and served his sentence in Jersey’s prison. When released he simply resumed running his eponymously titled clothing and camping shop – which, though he is long deceased, is still open for business in St. Helier’s Bath Street.
Back in those days’ paedophile prosecutions in Jersey were only a little more rare than they are today. So the fact he was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to an, albeit, short prison term was regarded as really quite remarkable.
It was said at the time, “if they’ve ‘done’ him – the real extent and nature of his crimes must be very bad – very bad indeed.”
For in addition to being a child abuser himself – he would procure and pimp children – often from Haute de la Garenne – to child abusers taking their customary sodomy summer break in Jersey’s holiday season.
And not just any abusers. For as my reader correctly points out – Le Marquand would ply performing celebrities with children to abuse during their performances at Jersey’s main theatre, the Opera House.
Perhaps survivors out there can supply us with a few more names.
But for the moment, let us consider just one of these TV “personalities.”
The actor Wilfrid Bramble.
Bramble would sexually abuse children procured for him by Le Marquand in the depths of the maze of back-rooms behind the stage of Jersey’s Opera House.
Bramble – and other ‘clients’ of Le Marquand – would commit foul abuses upon the defenceless and vulnerable children of Jersey’s orphanages.
From what I can gather these atrocities were conducted for many, many years – and engaged in by a number of different ‘celebrities.’
Some of whom might yet still be alive.
From what I can gather, this paedophile ring was extensive and persisted for a very long time. And as it involved ferrying children to and from the orphanages – probably disguised as a ‘charitable’ trip out to meet the ‘stars’ – a lot of people in positions of authority must have known about it.
A culture of abuse which persisted for a very long time – and was extensive.
The authorities must have known about it.
Perhaps this is why, when Le Marquand was caught, he faced limited charges – and didn’t receive a sentence of appropriate length.
For if they’d prosecuted him for all of his crimes – and given him 25 years – he would have sung like the proverbial canary.
And who knows what apocalypse that would have brought down upon the Jersey oligarchy?
This is how the culture of concealment works.
This is ‘The Jersey Way’.
We can further illustrate that fact by citing two more examples.
The McGuires – foul thugs who abused children routinely for a decade. These are the couple who were door-stepped by the BBC and featured in the Panorama program on child abuse in Jersey.
Having escaped punishment for years – via several departmental cover-ups, the McGuires eventually came to the attention of the Police in 1998. They were charged, brought to a committal hearing – then – mysteriously the kids who were the victims were called together for a bizarre evening meeting at Jersey social services’ headquarters.
At a meeting led by the now infamous Danny Wherry – the kids were lied to and conned into believing the charges had to be dropped.
Had the trial gone ahead, the best part of two decades of grotesque incompetence, dishonesty, malfeasance and ethical bankruptcy would have all come out in open court.
And the Jersey oligarchy couldn’t have that now, could they?
So the then Attorney General, Michael Birt – now Deputy Bailiff – came to Jersey’s Royal Court, and informed it that he was withdrawing the charges “for lack of evidence”.
The same Attorney General – for the same reasoning – did not prosecute the then headmaster of Victoria College – Jack Hydes – for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and for breaking the Children (Jersey) Law 1969 by failing in the unambiguous duty to protect children from harm and the risk of harm.
Hydes was terribly clever – he played the Jersey Evening Post off against the local political establishment. Telling The Rag he’d spill the beans to them when the time was right – and then telling the rest of the oligarchy that if he was prosecuted – and if he didn’t receive a huge pay-off – he’d tell the paper everything.
Naturally – a big payoff was duly forthcoming.
Hydes is still alive – out there somewhere – and probably a very worried reader of this blog.
Perhaps Hydes would care to spill the beans now? Now that the time of truth has arrived?
How he – and his them deputy headmaster – now a ‘Jurat’ of Jersey’s Royal Court – John le Breton – pro-actively attempted to cover-up the abuses?
It doesn’t seem likely somehow.
Telling the truth just isn’t ‘The Jersey Way’ – just too terribly vulgar.
So those are three documented examples of the culture of concealment – establishment damage-limitation at work.
Pretty much just as is happening now in respect of the present abuse enquiries.
The McGuires? Let off the hook – as a trial would have been far too damaging to the powers that be.
Jack Hydes and John Le Breton – not even placed on the hook in the first place – so apocalyptically bad for the Jersey oligarchy would have been the prosecutions.
And Jeff Le Marquand – not really highly placed in the establishment – just a shop-keeper – who became too reckless in committing his crimes, so had to face some justice. But nothing like as much as he should have. Had he faced a couple of decades in jail – you could be quite sure he’d of broken the Jersey oligarchy omerta.
So he – and his foul, child abusing ‘clients’ – like Wilfrid Bramble – escaped justice.
For those of you who don’t know, Bramble acted in a British sit-com called Steptoe & Son. He acted the hated, aged father. The catchphrase of the son was to call him “you dirty old man.”
There was a time when I could have regarded such a phrase as merely scripted comedy.
Now – and knowing what I know today – I can’t help but wonder whether routinely calling Bramble “you dirty old man” wasn’t what passed for a knowing irony amongst his colleagues.
“You dirty old man” – indeed.
Frankly – it’s one of my less paranoid suppositions. And of quite a moderate kind considering the far worse – and evidenced – examples of abuse and concealment I know of.
Sat here at my lonely screen and contemplating what all these terrible things say about us, I find myself coming to an ever more frequent conclusion
That there’s only one thing I’m afraid of – humans.
People are terrifying.