Jersey Child Abuse Scandal

Care home abuse case

17.09.2008

The ongoing police investigation into child abuse in children's homes in Jersey have sent shockwaves across the UK. People who were brought up in care on Jersey have formed the "Jersey Care Leaders Association" and have been lobbying the UK Government to hold an independent enquiry.

The scandal has rarely been out of the headlines in recent months, following the discovery of human remains at Haut De La Garenne, the former children's home. Ministers from Jersey have been quoted about referring to a disgraceful culture of cover up and the justice secretary, Jack Straw, has been approached to appoint independent prosecutors, because of alleged fears that the victims in the Haut De La Garenne enquiry are not coming forward because of a lack of faith in the Jersey judicial system.

It has been reported that the police have 80 names of people suspected of physical and sexual abuse at Haut De La Garenne. Three have been charged. The investigation involves almost 100 allegations of abuse stretching back to the 60's. It has also been indicated in press reports that some suspects are prominent figures in the island's establishment.

In 2002, an independent report was produced highlighting concerns about children's services and calling for the closure of some homes on the island.

The police's main focus has been on the Haut De La Garenne care home where remains were discovered and the Jersey Sea Cadets. The allegations go back to the 1960's but mainly relate to the 1970's and 1980's.

Haut De La Garenne was established in 1867 as the Jersey Industrial School "for young people of the lower classes of the society and for children neglected and in a state of destitution."

The police investigation began in November 2006 when detectives discovered that survivors of abuse at the Jersey Sea Cadets Unit has also been abused elsewhere.

Tracey Storey, a partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in child abuse claims comments:

"Those who suffered abuse on Jersey have lots of unanswered questions. The sensible course would be to set up an independent enquiry to give the Jersey Care Leavers confidence that they are being heard followed by suitable redress for the abuse they have suffered. Sadly but understandably, the care leavers of Jersey do not have faith in the Jersey legal system and we need to listen to their concerns to make sure that this never happens again, anywhere in the UK."

If you have been the victim of child abuse, our child abuse solicitors could help you get justice and claim compensation. Call 0370 150 100 to talk confidentially to someone about making a claim or visit our Abuse & Criminal Injury Claims page for more information.