Category Archives: Jersey Evening Post

November 1 2017 – “Call for ‘living memorial’ to child abuse victims” – Jersey Evening Post

safe_image-2 (3)

Call for ‘living memorial’ to child abuse victims

News | Published: 


A ‘LIVING memorial’ for people who suffered child abuse in Jersey – such as a research or education centre – has been proposed by a representative of victims, the Chief Minister has said.


In its first official response to the damning findings of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which were published in July, the government announced yesterday that it intended to spend £2.9 million to employ an additional 19 full-time staff to implement the eight core recommendations made by the panel.

The government also published an action plan, and progress update, for the recommendations, which include the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner to ensure that children had a voice. The States response also said it intended to address the negative view of the ‘Jersey Way’ – how the Island is run.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst, who supports all of the inquiry’s recommendations, said that he believed that the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner was one of his most important priorities. A shortlist of candidates has been drawn up for the role.

But he added that among the more difficult recommendations to implement would be tackling the negative perception of the ‘Jersey Way’ and dealing with sensitive legacy issues, such as the possible demolition of Haut de la Garenne – a former care home at the heart of the abuse investigation – and the suggested building of a ‘lasting memorial’ for victims.

Senator Gorst said, however, that the development of a ‘living memorial’ to promote better childcare in the Island appealed to him.

‘I don’t want to drive that particular agenda – I would like it to come from a conversation or consultation. But it has been suggested to me by one of the legal representatives of abuse victims that it should actually be a living memorial,’ he said.

‘So this would be a research or educational centre about best practice in childcare or social work, which might be a very fitting memorial rather than just a slab of rock somewhere.’

The Senator said that there was now a shortlist of five candidates for the role of Children’s Commissioner and that interviews would be held over the next fortnight, with the intention of the successful person being in the post by January 2018.


September 12 2017 – “Abuse victims ‘need specialist help'” – Jersey Evening Post

Abuse victims ‘need specialist help’

Jersey Evening Post

News | Published: 


THE States should be prepared to fund specialist psychological help for people who suffered abuse while in care in Jersey, a clinical psychologist has said.


Tina Baker

Tina Baker worked at the General Hospital from 1991 to 2004 and set up a service for people who had been sexually abused.

She says that, as far as she is aware, the specialist ‘integrated approach’ she developed during that time is no longer available.

Ms Baker, who is now retired, is concerned that the publicity surrounding the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will have caused considerable distress to those who suffered abuse as children, some of whom came forward to give evidence.

‘This brings it all back, like a scab that is weeping again, and it needs someone to help it to heal,’ she said. ‘These people have suffered enough and they deserve the help.

‘It needs to be someone qualified, who knows all the therapies and who has the time to give – not a counsellor or hypnotherapist or a counselling psychologist, but a clinical psychologist, particularly for the more severe cases where there is concern about an overlap of psychiatric conditions.

‘It needs someone who has done this work before, even if they have to come from England.’

Susan Devlin, managing director for community and social services, said that since 2008 a full-time psychologist post had been in place to help those affected while living in Haut de la Garenne, with monthly clinical supervision and consultation for psychologists provided by the Tavistock Centre for Trauma.

She added that immediately following the publication of the care inquiry report in July, a 24-hour helpline had been set up offering telephone, email and face-to-face support. Ms Devlin said that ‘significant investment’ had already been made through the Mental Health Strategy, such as the Jersey Recovery College and Jersey Talking Therapies while two primary mental health workers had been assigned to schools and funding given to the local NSPCC programme working with child survivors of sexual abuse.

She added: ‘Our services will be part of the changes needed, as outlined in the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry report. Additional resources will be considered as part of these recommendations.’

Well, well. As I said on the article about the stupid idea to flatten HDLG, the £23M spent on the inquiry, mainly Mrs Oldham (how much did she get overall at £2000 per day) and other lawyers and bills in Longueville Manor, could have been spent much better on care.


    For some, perhaps for many, the truth is part of care.

    And it is certainly the case that if we do not understand what happened in the past we are likely to repeat our mistakes.

    Maybe we could have got a bigger dose of truth for the money, it is a moot point, but we have a plenty big enough dose to be getting on with.

    And on lawyers’ fees, please do not use that stick to try to discredit the whole Inquiry.

    Yes, lawyers do get paid an excessive amount (but then with a fair and effective progressive tax system the public should get a fair bit of that back in tax. if there is not such a tax system, then change it!

August 22 2017 – “Reporter Who Exposed BBC Pedophilia Cover-Up Found Dead” – News Punch

Reporter Who Exposed BBC Pedophilia Cover Up Found Dead

Liz MacKean, the former British investigative reporter who exposed Jimmy Savile and the culture of pedophile protection at the BBC, has been found dead.

Liz MacKean, the former British investigative reporter who exposed Jimmy Savile and the culture of pedophile protection at the BBC, has been found dead. She was 52.

MacKean worked at the BBC until she quit in 2013 after executives decided to ban her groundbreaking and brave investigation into predatory pedophile Jimmy Savile in order to protect him and other pedophiles.

Dismissed by the establishment as mad and dangerous, MacKean was finally vindicated when the truth about Savile’s pedophilia eventually came out in 2012, a full year after MacKean first tried to bring his notorious crimes to light.

The BBC, who blocked her groundbreaking investigation from airing and spent the next few years attempting to destroy her reputation, are reporting that she died of “complications from a stroke.”

Acknowledging her life was under threat during the time she was investigating Savile and BBC elites, MacKean said her conscience left her no option but to pursue the truth and expose the culture of pedophila. The mother of two children believed it was her duty.

When it became public that BBC News blocked her investigation from airing, she admitted on Panorama: “I was very unhappy the story didn’t run because I felt we’d spoken to people who collectively deserved to be heard. And they weren’t heard.

“I thought that that was a failure… I felt we had a responsibility towards them. We got them to talk to us, but above all, we did believe them. And so then, for their stories not to be heard, I felt very bad about that. I felt, very much, that I’d let them down.”

Big name stars

Liz MacKean is the second high profile BBC journalist to die in suspicious circumstances after attempting to expose the truth about the pedophile ring operating in the upper reaches of the establishment. Jill Dando, former Crimewatch host, also tried to alert her bosses to the pedophile ring at the BBC, warning that “big name” stars were implicated.

Jill Dando, who was 37, was shot dead on April 26, 1999 on the doorstep of her West London home in a crime that still remains unsolved.

Before she died, Dando had passed a file to senior management in the mid-1990s, proving that big name BBC stars, including Savile, were involved in a pedophile ring, but senior management chose to cover up the child abuse rather than organize and investigation.

No one wanted to know” when Dando raised concerns about the alleged ring and other sexual abuse claims at the BBC, according to a former colleague and friend.

I don’t recall the names of all the stars now and don’t want to implicate anyone, but Jill said they were surprisingly big names.

 “I think she was quite shocked when told about images of children and that information on how to join this horrible paedophile ring was freely available.

“Jill said others had complained to her about sexual matters and that some female workmates also claimed they had been groped or assaulted.

“Nothing had been done and there seemed to be a policy of turning a blind eye.”

The former colleague said female BBC staff confided in Jill, one of the best-known TV faces of the day after fronting primetime shows including Holiday and the Six O’Clock News as well as Crimewatch.’

The source said: “I think it was in the mid-1990s. She was seen as the face of the BBC and a magnet for women with problems.

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry is a writer at News Punch. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.
Follow: @baxter_dmitry



Jersey Evening Post

August 14 2017 – Legal protection for lying politicians may be removed

A LAW which protects politicians from being prosecuted for lying to official inquiries could be changed as part of an overhaul of the rules on parliamentary privilege, the JEP has learned.

A review of parliamentary privilege has, according to the Greffier of the States, been under way for months and the arrangements involving committees of inquiries make up part of the work.

The review was commissioned by the Privileges and Procedures Committee, which handles States reform and standards, earlier this year and has now been completed by Sir Malcolm Jack, a former Clerk of the UK House of Commons.

He has submitted his report and it is due to go to PPC next month.

Earlier this week Islander Madeleine Vibert, who was abused at Haut de la Garenne in the 1960s and 1970s, described the current law whereby members of the public can be prosecuted for perjury if they lie on oath to a committee of inquiry but States Members cannot as ‘unfair’.

She called for it to be changed.

Her comments came after St Helier Deputy Andrew Lewis was found to have lied to the States and the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry when giving evidence about the suspension of former police chief Graham Power.

Following the inquiry’s conclusion that it had been lied to, Mr Power said that the inquiry had appeared to allege that Deputy Lewis had committed perjury.

However, Attorney General Robert MacRae said that parliamentary privilege extended to committees of inquiry and therefore politicians were protected from prosecution for the offence, even if they were found to have lied.

PPC recently concluded that Deputy Lewis had breached the States Members’ Code of Conduct through his actions. It is yet to announce what, if any, sanction it will impose.

Mr Power has welcomed the review of the law and said changing it would be an important step towards restoring faith in the justice system and the Jersey authorities.

States Greffier Mark Egan said: ‘The purpose of the review was to look at existing legislation and case law on parliamentary privilege with a review to recommending how it could be improved, drawing on experience in other jurisdictions.

‘The scope of the review includes the possibility of providing for States Members to be subject to prosecution, if they commit perjury when under oath before a committee of inquiry.’

PPC has not yet seen the report but would be responsible for taking forward any legislative changes that may arise out of it.


July 29 2017 – Stuart Syvret – Twitter

download (27)

Stuart Syvret

  1. One brief example of the witness-testimony and evidence constructively-excluded by the Jersey

  2. A survivor who’d heard this disgusting conduct of the Jersey parliament, wept on my shoulder in broad daylight

  3.   Retweeted

    2nd of 3 times I had an evening of counseling survivors against suicide, because of conduct of Philip Bailhache

  4. A question based on my important experience: ‘why should it take 1 decade, to get even this far?’ Interview

  5. I received one of “those” kind of letters today. Made me laugh out loud at its corruption. & fear. I’m replying. I expect assassination soon

  6.   Retweeted

    I have to say, Stuart, you hit the nail on the head there.

  7. Stuart Syvret Retweeted Wiltshire Police

    Wiltshire Police – A child-abuse concealing gangster enterprise. #2008

    Stuart Syvret added,

  8. “A Decades-Long Betrayal of the Innocents” – how I tried to describe Jersey’s child-abuse cover-up. A decade ago

  9.  Retweeted

    my experience of – don’t know if it rings any (church) bells with anyone else? ?

  10.  Retweeted

    “Hand wringing and apologies aren’t enough” Claims that ‘clergy’s interests are put above C of E abuse victims’

    The Rt Rev. Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham
  11.  Retweeted

    – my abuse story and why mandatory reporting & independent safeguarding is needed. Too late yesterday. Today?

December 5 2007 – Stuart Syvret Interview – “A systemic decades-long betrayal of the innocents”

download (27)

Stuart Syvret

WEDNESDAY 5 December 2007.

The lowest moment of then-Senator Stuart Syvret’s political career, and the day he contemplated ending his life.

Sitting alone in his darkened flat with a bottle of wine following a States sitting that he will never forget, the long-serving politician began calling child abuse survivors and telling them that once again their stories had been silenced.

Months earlier he had been removed from his position as Health Minister as details of child abuse in the Island’s care homes and allegations of political cover-ups began to surface.

Mr Syvret had, for the previous year or so, been leading the charge to uncover and expose the political and departmental failings that had allowed child abuse in the Island’s care homes to remain hidden for so long.

And yet, despite his seniority in the States, his position as Health Minister and the weight of a now-public police investigation into Haut de la Garenne, nobody seemed willing to listen.

Many within the political and civil service ranks saw his public attacks on staff within his own department as misguided and felt that he could no longer remain Health Minister.

On Wednesday 5 December 2007, it fell to Mr Syvret – the longest-serving Senator and ‘father of the house’ – to deliver a Christmas speech before the Assembly ahead of its festive break and the annual Members’ Christmas lunch. Never one to shy away from controversial topics, the then-Senator wanted to use this moment to raise awareness of the child abuse scandal and pay tribute to the victims whose stories had gone unheard.

‘By then the police had gone public with their investigation,’ he said. ‘By then, there was no longer any hiding place.

‘I thought I would take that opportunity to speak of some of what I knew about the child abuse and the suffering of the victims.

‘I didn’t usually write speeches, but on this occasion I took the time to write a speech.’

Part-way through the speech, Members began to interrupt, suggesting that the traditional Christmas speech was not the time to be raising such issues.

Mr Syvret said: ‘I had to stop and say “what are people complaining about?” I attempted to carry on, but people like Terry Le Main and [then-Chief Minister] Frank Walker joined in with the interruptions, then [then-Bailiff] Philip Bailhache started ordering me to stop reading the speech. I was shocked by this.

‘Philip Bailhache cut my microphone and adjourned the meeting.

‘I stood there staring at my desk – stunned. I couldn’t believe people would behave in that way – I thought “what a pack of animals”.

‘Then I thought how can I possibly explain to the vulnerable survivors that I knew were going to be listening that we have been silenced again.

‘I got back home, changed out of my suit, opened a bottle of wine and drank. The feeling at that point was so extremely bleak. I was seriously thinking about ways to kill myself.’

Mr Syvret said that he had first become aware of some ‘minor things that didn’t seem quite right’ towards the end of 2006. During the months that preceded his 2007 Christmas speech, he worked to gain the trust of the victims.

‘I think they were surprised that someone in a senior position was listening to them and believing them,’ he said. ‘I made promises that I would fight for them.’

By mid-2007, his research and meetings with former care-home residents had confirmed his fears that Jersey had a vile secret that for decades had gone unreported.

During the course of our two-hour interview, Mr Syvret broke down in tears on a couple of occasions as he recounted some of the most shocking abuse cases that he knew of.

‘They were putting faith in me and at every turn I was being silenced and marginalised.’

He added that after his Christmas speech was cut short he felt he was losing the fight.

Mr Syvret said: ‘There were co-ordinated attacks to discredit me and make sure I, and other campaigners, were sidelined.’

He added: ‘It’s the job of politicians to hold the civil service to account. Most of the failure [with regard to child abuse] was the failure of expensive professionals employed by the Jersey taxpayers.

‘One of the things that has been wrong is that politicians haven’t been strong enough in requiring better standards from departments.’

A ten-year battle, during which Mr Syvret was jailed for ten weeks following data protection and contempt of court offences, this week reached a major milestone as the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry released its long-awaited report into the systemic failures of the States in protecting vulnerable children.

A constant theme throughout the report is the notion that the ‘Jersey way’ had contributed to the child protection failings. That a desire to ignore and underplay the uncomfortable issues had created a culture which did not allow abuse to be fully investigated.

The inquiry panel found that former Senator Syvret ‘highlighted relevant issues about child abuse that needed to be addressed to ensure the protection and safety of children in Jersey’, but added that ‘his public criticisms of civil servants were inappropriate and did not assist his cause’.

Unrepentant, despite his approach leading to him losing his job, health and freedom, Mr Syvret said he would not have changed his tactics, as he believed his revelations would have been swept under the carpet if he had acted any other way.

And he reiterated his view that the inquiry had failed to properly address the issues surrounding the Island’s judicial system.

‘What the inquiry did well was that it gave the survivors a chance to be heard and it believed them,’ he said. ‘That the abuse they suffered has finally been accepted and admitted to, that I hope gives the victims some clarity.’

He added: ‘I don’t think the recommendations are broad enough or go far enough. Things won’t be safe in Jersey until we have a proper judicial system which is completely “firewalled” away from the political realm.

‘The decisions of the Attorney General were categorically political and, even if they weren’t, how can the victims view those prosecution decisions as being safe when they are being carried out by the same man whose has been the legal adviser to the departments?’

He added: ‘It is important to recognise what has happened, but it could never be a substitute for the proper rule of law.

‘I know that there are child abusers still out there now, walking free, who should have been prosecuted but weren’t.

‘I say to the survivors that they should settle for nothing less. They should not be bought off with a mere public inquiry instead of justice. A public inquiry is not a substitute for justice.’

Mr Syvret did not give evidence to the inquiry, as he was not offered legal representation during the process. The former Senator said that the inquiry had failed to protect those wishing to give evidence by denying them legal advice.

Over the course of the Inquiry, which ran between 2014 and 2017, the States spent more than £5.5 million on its own legal fees.

Mr Syvret said: ‘The establishment side had seven full-time professionals there during the hearings and there was not so much as one lawyer there representing the survivors.

‘I wanted to give evidence. I had evidence that would have been crucial to the inquiry, but I could not give it because I did not have the protection to do so.’

He added that he feared that without proper legal advice, his evidence could have breached previous court orders and he could have risked being sent back to jail.

Much of the belligerence that came to define his political career is still present, and it is clear that Mr Syvret bears the scars of the ‘war’ that has dominated the last ten years of his life.

‘I wish I had never got into politics, he said. ‘I might have had a normal life.

‘People frighten me now. The whole process has left me frightened of people. Frightened of what human beings are, what they do and how they can behave.’