Friday, 12 June 2015

Mario Lundy, and Stuart Syvret, at Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry.



Yesterday (Thursday 11th June 2015) saw the long anticipated evidence of former Vice/Principle of Les Chenes residential School and former Education Director, Mario Lundy at the Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry. 

Mr. Lundy is the subject of around 27 allegations of physical abuse by, in the region of, a dozen different alleged victims, which he strenuously denies and yesterday was his opportunity to defend himself against those allegations.

He spent the full day giving his testimony, although some of the evidence to back up parts of his testimony no longer exists so he will have to be taken at his word. He told the Inquiry that the punishment/discipline books/logs where incidents of punishment administered at Les Chenes, to the residents, was logged in these books and would demonstrate that a minimal amount of punishment was dished out.

The problem is that these books/logs were ordered to be destroyed by one of his successors at Les Chenes in 2002 which, as The Jersey Public Records Law was in place at the time, looks to be a criminal offence yet neither a criminal investigation, nor an internal investigation has taken place in order to hold this person to account. Indeed when Mr. Lundy became aware of the destruction of these records in 2008, as Director of Education, he did not see fit to order an investigation knowing he was apparently counting on them as evidence in his, and Les Chenes, defence. It’s still a mystery as to why anybody would want them destroyed and hopefully the Child Abuse Inquiry will be able to get to the bottom of it?


Present at yesterday’s Hearing was former Senator/Health Minister and Whistle-blower, Stuart Syvret, who, in the interview below, gives us his take on what he sees as the bigger news stories to come out of yesterday which were not reported by the State Media. In some cases have been reported by the State Media but with its own particular slant/agenda attached.

Although the BBC (rightly) gets a bit of a kicking in the interview, it has to be said, that, of late, its reporting has been a huge improvement on its previous (non) reporting. The same also has to be said of the JEP but alas the discredited, and disgraced, ITV/CTV’s (non) reporting remains as appalling as it always was during the entire Jersey Child Abuse Cover-Up.


We hope readers/viewers will be better informed as to some of the facts behind the stories you are(n’t) seeing in the State Media. We also hope that the Victims and Survivors, who have been to hell and (some) back after suffering the abuse and its effects will get some kind of justice and closure as a result of this Inquiry.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

Jersey International Finance Centre. (Waterfront Protest 7 June 2015)




Further to our Previous Posting we are able to announce that today's protest was a resounding success with 2,000-3,000 people turning up to demonstrate against the start of building, and in support of democracy.

This is a significant number of protestors for Jersey and sends a clear message to those running the Island that the people are no longer content to sit at home and complain, they are taking to the streets in numbers, and demonstrating against this government's undemocratic decisions.

Below are a few shots of today's protest and an interview with the former Planning and Environment Minister (who attended the Rally) Rob Duhamel.

Congratulations to all those who were a part of organising this event and to those who turned up in support.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Jersey International Finance Centre and Democracy.




As a result of the PRESS RELEASE issued by Deputy Montfort Tadier concerning the building (or not) of Jersey's International Finance Centre at the waterfront. Team Voice has exclusively interviewed the Deputy, in depth, where he explains, from his perspective, that there is much more at stake here than a building going up (or not).

The very structure of Democracy, according to the Deputy, is under threat where it appears that the Ministers of our island are taking on the role of CEOs of quangos and representing their interests rather than the people of Jersey who elected them. Scrutiny looks to be redundant (or "an irritant") rather than a check, and balance, which adds value to the decision making process. Policy is now being described, by the current Treasury Minister, as "a mistake."

In December 2014 Scrutiny decided to look at the viability, and much more, of the International Finance Centre building and its Terms of Reference can be viewed HERE. Deputy Tadier explains the apparent shenanigans that have been played by the Treasury Minister, and others, in order to basically do away with this scrutiny function and secured a pre-let of 16,500 square feet (not the 200,000 square feet agreed in The States) of a building before the Scrutiny Report can be finalised/published and so that the building can begin.

This Sunday (7th June 2015) there is a planned public protest to be held at the waterfront (2:30pm) by those opposed to the start of building until the Scrutiny Panel has completed its Report and submitted it to The States.

But as explained earlier, and in the interview, (below) this is about much more than a building, it is about Democracy and preventing it being eroded further. You might not have a view on the building but if you cherish the little amount of Democracy we have on this island we encourage readers to support this protest and be a part of it on Sunday.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry and William Bailhache.





After a five week break the Jersey Child Abuse Committee Of Inquiry recommences its Public Hearings a week today (Tuesday 26 May 2015) where it starts phase 1(b) of its investigation.

We would like to bring readers attention to where the Inquiry left off, and in particular, the testimony given by Witness “Mr.K” who is a suspected prolific paedophile. Also we look at the former Attorney General, and now Bailiff, William Bailhache and his (the latter’s) PRESS STATEMENT.

As we have reported previously (link above) there was public out-cry and suspicion over William Bailhache’s (then Attorney General) decision to drop somewhere in the region of a dozen abuse cases and only offer the public/victims/survivors a couple of SHOW TRIALS. It became apparent that out of 121 living abuse suspects only 8 were charged (93% were never charged) and there were seven, out of the eight, convicted.

Witness “Mr. K” was one of those suspects who weren’t brought before a Jersey Court, so just like so many others escaped (what passes for) justice. But what happens when some of the reasons for not prosecuting “Mr K” are looked at and lightly questioned? Do the reasons (of William Bailhache) stand up to scrutiny? We would argue NO they don’t and the conduct of the Attorney General’s Office needs a bright light shone into it.

Unfortunately we don’t have a mainstream media on the island to shine that bright light and it is left to Bloggers to inform the public of what is taking place and being omitted by the MSM, as we have all through the Jersey Child Abuse Cover-up.

The transcripts below are taken from day 66 (April 15 2015) of the Inquiry and can be read in their entirety HERE. The local State Media was present at this Hearing, yet even after Yours Truly went into the Media Room (from which Bloggers are BANNED) and pointed out that William Bailhache looks to have been shown as a liar, or at the very least, been given false information which he published in his 2009 press release. NONE of the local State Media have reported the apparent discrepancies.

PATRICK SAAD is Counsel to the Inquiry and is questioning suspected prolific paedophile Witness "Mr. K" in the transcript below.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT.

Patrick Saad -Thank you.  You say at paragraph 118 of your statement {WS000544/23}:

"The Attorney General commented in his open letter that so many people had been willing to come to my defence and to stand up for me to say that I am a good person."

Can we go back again please to the Attorney General's letter, {WD005402} and can we go to page 3 {WD005402/3}, and, as of course I recognise, Mr K, these are very serious allegations made against you and you are setting out why you say these allegations are wrong and in support of that you take us to a paragraph in the Attorney General's letter and you say that "people stand up for me to say that I am a good person". What the Attorney General in fact says at the bottom of page 3 is: 

"Furthermore, the police investigation shows relevant defence material including the fact that a significant number of witnesses speak well of [witness 7] (Witness “Mr.K”) describing his popularity with the children and his good qualities in dealing with the children generally." Then it goes on to say:

"He received consistently good reports from those responsible for monitoring and evaluating his performance."

I think it is right to say that as far as your time at Haut de la Garenne is concerned, there were no such reports, there were no such monitoring, is that right?

MR. K - No.

Patrick Saad - Sorry, is that answer "no, you are not right", or "no, there weren't"?

Mr. K - I believe that -- there wasn't any formal reports. However, I have to be very careful here because it is impossible to answer without disclosing certain things which I don't want to disclose.

Patrick Saad - I understand that, Mr K.  So if you can limit your answer to my question, which I'm going to ask you again: was your performance at Haut de la Garenne, in the time that you were employed there, formally evaluated and recorded?

Mr. K - No.  However, it would have been verbally.

Patrick Saad - And how do you know that?

Mr. K - I can't answer that question again because it will be revealing, but I did move on to other employment where I would have been recommended from my record at Haut de la Garenne.(END TRANSCRIPT)

So there we have the first apparent discrepancy in William Bailhache’s “reason” for not prosecuting Witness “Mr K” who, incidentally, is rumoured to be a friend of Mr. Bailhache. William Bailhache claims, "He (witness “Mr. k”) received consistently good reports from those responsible for monitoring and evaluating his performance." But when “MR. K.” is questioned about this he says the reports, and, monitoring, didn’t exist. This alone raises serious doubts over the authenticity of the information contained in William Bailhache’s Press Release and “reason” for not prosecuting “Mr. K”

Secondly we look at (or Patrick Saad does) another “reason” Mr. Bailhache refused to prosecute “Mr. K.”

From William Bailhache June 2009 statement

In another case, the complainant described sustaining 300 to 400 cigarette burn marks and a branding which required a skin graft, but there is no physical sign of any injury”

Begin Transcript.

Patrick Saad - Paragraph 106 to 108, this resident says that he was burnt or branded and sexually assaulted by you {WS000544/21}.  The documentation that the Inquiry has been taken to in the course of the evidence in previous months shows that this resident was not there at the same time as you, or strictly, on one view of the documents, maybe overlapping by three to four days and you set out the reasons why the allegations should not be believed, apart from that issue. I just want to take up with you please, if I may, something you say at paragraph 108 {WS000544/22} and this is in relation to the burns:

"[This witness] also alleged that I had (Witness Mr. K”) burnt him 20 times or more with a cigarette and branded him. This allegation was disproved as he had been examined by a doctor who had been unable to find any marks or branding on his body." I just want to explore with you the issue of it being "disproved", you use that expression again. Can we have up on screen please {WD003510}. What we're going to look at, Mr K, is a medical report dated June 2014 which was commissioned for the Redress Scheme and which this witness exhibited to their evidence and it is evidence that has been before the Inquiry, and it is a medical report prepared by a Jason Payne-James. If we could go to page 2 please {WD003510/2}.We can see the credentials there of the doctor.  If we go to page 3 please {WD003510/3} and we see that he is a registered medical practitioner, he is a specialist in forensic and legal medicine and he says this at paragraph 4:

"For More than 20 years I have assessed several hundred assailants and/or victims (adult and child) in varying cases of assault or injury each year including sexual offence examination, torture and asylum cases ..."

He goes on to say at paragraph 5 "I am editor of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine" and he goes on to set out the extent of his experience.

Could we go please to page 15 {WD003510/15} and a large block of black there, but paragraph 200:

"On examination of his back there were numerous pale mature scars generally less than ... in size down to about [so much] in size.  They extended across [an area of the back], they were in no fixed pattern and of no particular shape. They represent areas of skin that have sustained damage of an extent enough to result in residual scars. Causes could include cigarette burns, insect bites, chickenpox (although other lesions were not noted elsewhere) ..."

I think that's said in relation to the chickenpox: " ... and infected acne (he was not aware that he acne)."

If we go to page 23 {WD003510/23} and we look at the top there, Mr K, paragraph 258: "The small pale scars to the back are consistent with cigarette burns but there are many other possible causes (although none I could elicit from the history)." Then on the same page, 268, the expert witness is addressing questions that he was posed in his instructions in relation to this witness and he repeats those instructions at 268:

"If I am of the opinion there are any inconsistencies between what [48] (alleged victim) tells me at the interview and the
documentation provided to me, which I consider relevant, set them out ..."
He says this: "I find the marks and scars on [witness 48] at the least consistent with his account ..."

You say that the allegation of burning has been disproved, to use that phrase. In the light of this evidence, which I know until you came to the Inquiry yesterday you had not seen, do you want to comment any further?  Is it again your view that it is the role of the police to disprove or prove an allegation?

Mr. K - I'm going to comment on this.  I note the words "at least consistent", right, but I think that we should bring the Attorney General's statement please.

Patrick Saad - Yes. If you bear with me a moment, I will just get the reference for that.  It is {WD005402} please.  On to page 3 {WD005402/3}, the main paragraph there, Mr K. What is it you would like the Inquiry's attention brought to?

Mr. K - It is somewhere here.

Patrick Saad – If you need more time, please ...

Mr. K - Oh, yes, it is -- actually instead of 20 cigarette burns he says I burnt him 300 to 400 times and branded him:
"... which required a skin graft, but there is no physical sign of any injury nor do the records show that [whoever he was] was at Haut de la Garenne at the ... time."
So I wrote my statement with this knowledge from the Attorney General who had received that information from the police who I'm sure, as no expense was spared during the investigation, had an expert examine this person and reach that conclusion.
This would have been typical of any inquiry when you would have professional dispute about injuries.

Patrick Saad - My only issue with you, Mr K, in relation to this part of the evidence is again your choice of the word "disproved", but you have given your response and your account.(END TRANSCRIPT)

So we have, in former Attorney General William Bailhache’s statement, and another “reason” for not prosecuting witness “Mr. K” that “there is no physical sign of any injury.”

But from Jason Payne-James registered medical practitioner, and specialist in forensic and legal medicine’ "On examination of his back there were numerous pale mature scars generally less than ... in size down to about [so much] in size.  They extended across [an area of the back], they were in no fixed pattern and of no particular shape.  They represent areas of skin that have sustained damage of an extent enough to result in residual scars.  Causes could include cigarette burns”

Just these couple of discrepancies in William Bailhache’s decision not to prosecute witness “Mr. K” bring serious doubts over his integrity/honesty and professional capacity to hold the office he did and does. It further adds evidenced weight to the theory that it’s the paedophiles who are protected by Jersey’s “Justice” System and the Victims/Survivors (like the most of us) DO NOT enjoy the protection of law.

It also adds weight to the claim that the Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) should be re-opened and should NEVER have been SHUT DOWN.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Former Politician Raising Money, And Awareness, For sufferers of M.E.




Former Jersey Deputy, Shona Pitman, is embarking on a 1,200 mile walk from Land's End to John O' Groats in order to raise money, and awareness, for M.E.

Mrs. Pitman, a long time campaigner against Child Abuse, and its cover up in Jersey, has issued a Press Release reproduced below.

Team Voice interviewed the former Deputy before she set off on her epic journey and discussed her 15 year battle with this debilitating illness and why she suffered in silence with it for so long. We hope our readers/viewers will find the interview (and Press Release) of some interest and might consider donating whatever they are able to afford to this worthy cause?

PRESS RELEASE

ME Sufferer Walks 1200 miles Across Britain

With the support of the Association for Young People with ME (AYME) and ACTION FOR ME, Shona Pitman (an ME sufferer of 15 years) will be embarking on a 1200 mile route walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats on the first day of the International ME Awareness Week – this being the 12th of May. 

Due to the physical effects of her ME, the journey is estimated to take up to five months to complete.  During this time, Shona’s  intention is to stop and speak to raise awareness about ME and funds for the above charities (with the target of £4000.00 each – see the Just Giving website to donate) HERE and HERE at as many national, county, city and town TV and radio stations and newspapers, as is possible, throughout the course of the walk.  These charities undertake great work in supporting research and informing and supporting sufferers, the wider public and Government about the illness - they deserve all the help and recognition possible.

Initially, Shona was undertaking the challenge with a gentleman who also has ME.  Unfortunately the severity of his ME at this present time is such that he cannot start the walk with her.  However, Shona is hopeful that he will still be able to join her on the trek at some point. ‘Baz has put in such a lot of work to help make this fund and awareness raising challenge happen’, Shona says. ‘I thus very much hope he will be able to join me when and wherever he can’.

Why she is doing it: There are an estimated 250,000 people in the UK (with 25,000 of those being children and young people), living with the illness.   Each experiencing the symptoms listed below - to different degrees.  Please note, these are just some of the symptoms:

·      Brain fog, poor concentration, confusion, short-term memory problems
·      Reduced coping skills, depression, mood swings, anxiety
·      Intolerance to certain foods, drinks, drugs and chemicals
·      Digestive and detoxification problems
·      Weakened immune system
·      Sensitivity to light and noise
·      Joint and muscle pain
·      Chronic and persistent fatigue

The degree of the illness and symptoms can vary from person to person and so too can they vary within the sufferer, depending on the levels of stress to the body and/or mind.  Some sufferers are able to work; some are housebound; and some are even bedbound and need physical assistant with the most basic of tasks such as: changing clothes, preparing meals and even going to the toilet.  The illness may affect a person for just a few years or it may be decades. 

With medical conditions like ME also being what may be called a ‘hidden disability’, the truth is that the lack of awareness amongst the public, the medical profession and Government about the illness, leaves most sufferers and their families to ‘deal with it’ themselves in whatever way they can afford.   This can be as stressful as living with the illness itself and can regularly make symptoms even worse. 

Increasing awareness and understanding is absolutely crucial in support of ensuring adequate funding is made available at Government and local authority levels.  Within this context, Shona will also be talking about how the work of the Optimum Health Clinic (a private Clinic treating ME sufferers) have made a huge positive difference to her own mental and physical state in just a few months of starting their on-line computer course; and will be assisting them with their own fundraising for a very significant undertaking that they are also launching in May.

‘The irony is’ states Shona ‘ if Governments accommodated for the need properly, it would actually save taxpayers money in the long-term because sufferers can fully recover or their health may at least improve sufficiently to a point where they may be able to work and once again be able to contribute to the economy and thus the Treasury’.  Health Services, Social Security, Housing and other Departments would then save money in the long-run.  This is undoubtedly a major issue that politicians are always apparently concerned about – making savings!  ‘The bottom line is that with adequate funding for support and greater research quality of life can  be significantly enhanced’.

Shona is very passionate about pushing this subject in to the position of public and Government awareness it so deserves and to where sufferers have waited for, for far too long.  In essence - to achieve official recognition that ME is as serious as many far better understood debilitating illnesses which as a consequence, receive more appropriate levels of political backing for the funding of public service provision and research.  For this reason, she feels it necessary that it should be a person who has the illness to make this point - and do it in a big way. 

As Shona states: ‘This is what I wish to play my part in by undertaking this marathon walk; and by talking about the realities of ME to all and anyone willing to listen - not least national and local media who have so much potential to force those in positions of power to take note. ME is very real and at present it is ruining a lot of lives, which with greater awareness and funding could be made so much better'.