Jersey

Jersey care inquiry: Abuse victims 'plied with alcohol'

Haut de la Garenne care home
Image caption Haut de la Garenne eventually closed in 1986

A girl who made allegations of abuse in the 1970s was nearly prosecuted for being drunk, the Jersey care inquiry has heard.

The inquiry is currently examining what happened at the Haut de la Garenne children's home in the 1960s and 1970s.

On Wednesday, the panel was shown memos and letters between child care officers about a man accused of assaulting girls from the home.

They allege he sexually abused some children after giving them alcohol.

Documents, including statements given to police and the historical abuse redress scheme, show girls were assaulted by a man in his own home near Haut de la Garenne.

One document detailed a complaint of abuse against the man, who cannot be named, by two girls from the home.

No action was taken against him and the police considered prosecuting at least one of the girls for drunken behaviour, the document said.

Rape accusation

Letters from the time show management at the home made the man's house out of bounds to children and told staff to report any occasions when children visited his house, the inquiry heard.

The inquiry was also shown a statement made to the police in 2008, in which a former male resident said he was raped by the head of the home after being accused of stealing.

Despite needing medical attention, he said nothing happened to his abuser.

Official documents made no mention of sexual abuse but refer to the witness's deteriorating behaviour and staff frustration at his inability to deal with his problems.

The inquiry heard that repeated requests for the boy, who moved to Haut de la Garenne in the 1960s, to be assessed by a unit in the UK were finally met in 1975.

The inquiry continues.

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