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Friday, August 01, 2008

Police Admit That Jersey Child Abuse Victims May Never Get Justice

Five skeletal partial remains, 100 human bone fragments and 65 teeth have been found in the search of the underground rooms at the Haut de la Garenne. Authorities believe that even with this evidence, justice may never be served.
Back in March it was reported that a child's skeleton had been found at a children's home in Jersey and that almost 97 separate allegations have been made by victims of child abuse at the Haut de la Garenne youth hostel from 1940 to 1980.

In March a massive investigation in the Bailiwick of Jersey, which is a British Crown dependency off the coast of Normandy, France, started into allegations from dozens of prior residents at the youth hostel came to light. The allegations were that children were tortured and killed at the hostel from 1940-1980.

When they first started investigating, they found the room that the victims had described, a child abuse cellar, with a large concrete bath with blood in it and words scrawled into the wooden beams which said, "I've been bad for years and years."

In total the authorities found four cellars, referred to as "punishment rooms" by some victims.

After months of investigating, authorities have recovered at least 100 bone fragments which are the partial remains of at least 5 children.

The bone fragments and teeth were from children between 4 and 11 years of age.

In addition, a member of the public said that he had been told by staff to dig two holes near the boys' dormitory, and police have found in one of them a large amount of lime at the bottom. That is certainly enough to prompt the reasonable suspicion that horrific crimes, including murder, have been committed at the home.

New reports show that those victims as well as the living victims that made the allegations that led to this investigation, may never have justice as the crimes are so old and the remains found were burnt, so no carbon dating can be done, and the evidence so thin, police may not be able to bring murder charges against anyone.

Further reports bring eyewitness accounts of the abuses that the children in the youth hostel suffered with the police summary of the case stating, "Among the victims were a few who said that children had been dragged from their beds at night screaming and had then disappeared. Two others said they had knowledge of human remains at the location but were not specific. A local advocate also came to police and said he had a client who knew there were human remains buried at the home."

The summary says that burnt clothing, toys and bed sheets have also been recovered. According to pathologists, most of the 65 teeth found in the cellars beneath Haut de la Garenne were not milk teeth, but had come from corpses of up to five children. Police searchers also found bone from a child's ear and a child's tibia.

Both pieces had been cut and burned before being concealed; they had then been moved, at a date no later than the early 1970s.

Further complicating the identification process is that many of the children that were housed at the Haut de la Garenne were illegitimate, unwanted or were listed as simply having left for the mainland, so there are no records of their stay there to connect them to the skeletal remains.

Lenny Harper, Jersey's deputy police chief, admits that a homicide inquiry is not likely given the difficulties although he has not ruled it out completely as he says, "If the dating remains as inconclusive as what we have had so far, a homicide inquiry is unlikely. If the dating is more specific, a homicide inquiry is a possibility."

He continues on to say, "We cannot get away from the fact that we have found the remains of at least five children there."

There are 97 standing allegations, approximately 100 suspects, some said to be members of the island's "political and social elite." They have 18 suspects they refer to a "priority" suspects.

As of now, six people have been arrested, thee, including the former warden at Haut de la Garenne have been charged with child abuse and have appeared in court and three have been released on bail pending further investigation.

The report shows that a new victim has come forward recently making allegations against one of the 18 priority suspects.