Friday, 22 March 2013

The Dean, Bishop and Good Shepherds, Fact or Fiction?

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester have both given unreserved apologies to the complainant known as HG. It is unknown whether the apologies were delivered personally or in writing but it appears that HG is the forgotten person as supporters on both sides make their positions known. There are calls for the Dean to be reinstated for a number of reasons, but cool heads are required and it is to the Acting Dean’s credit that he has circulated the following letter to the Clergy.
                                     ******************************
Friends,

The last week and a half has been enormously difficult for all of us. Thank you for your support.

Saturday’s meeting with Bishop Tim provided a welcome and much-needed opportunity to discuss the events leading up to Bob’s suspension. I was personally grateful for the opportunity to meet in person and for the service beforehand.

We now know that Bishop John Gladwin will be leading the upcoming investigation and visitation and I understand that he will be assisted in this by Norman Russell, Archdeacon of Berkshire. I do think the process being put in place is a welcome next step and I am sure all those involved will require our support and cooperation.

It goes without saying that there is there is considerable respect and love for Bob and Daphne in Jersey. Nevertheless, the recently-published Independent Review raised a number of very serious issues and it is absolutely for the best, not just for Bob but for the Church in Jersey and beyond, that these things are investigated properly. Support for Bob and support for what we trust will be a full and thorough investigation should surely be seen as mutually and entirely inclusive.

Finally, but not least today, there has been a great deal of unhelpful speculation in the press around constitutional questions. Much of this has only served to distract from the fundamental issue of safeguarding which, like the Bishop, we must be clear is at the heart of the Church’s mission. Whatever other conversations are required, the very best practice in safeguarding has got to be our overriding concern here. I know each of you places the greatest importance on safeguarding, as do I, and this is why we must look forward to the next steps in this process.

For now, I encourage you to continue in praying for all those involved and especially Bishop John Gladwin and Archdeacon Norman Russell in their leading of the inquiries.

Yours in Christ, Canon Geoff Houghton, Acting Dean of Jersey.
                               *******************************

Given the circumstances and the Review's/Report’s preliminary findings I don’t think the Bishop had any alternative other than withdraw the Commission of the Dean of Jersey, it is a pity that decisive action was not taken years ago whereby the former Bishop of Winchester could also have been “suspended” because I believe he has much to answer for.  If he was supposed to be a good shepherd he certainly allowed the wool to be pulled over his eyes. I may add that although in layman’s language the Dean is suspended, there is a difference between withdrawing the Commission and suspension. At last Tuesday’s States Sitting Members were reminded that as far as the States is concerned the Dean is at liberty to take his seat in the House. I am sure that statement was met with utter bewilderment by HG.

The Dean is reported as saying, “In Jersey there is a real feeling that suspending someone reverses the burden of proof in the public mind. Instead of our much cherished ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the suspended person becomes thought of (no matter what those in authority may say), as ‘Guilty until exonerated.’

I agree with that statement, the suspension is supposed to be a neutral act but has been used as a blunt but effective tool to end careers because of the time taken to complete the investigation. I can understand the Dean’s concerns, he is entitled to an even handed and timely investigation and hopefully that will be the case.

People will now have had time to read and digest the Independent Report written by Jan Korris. It would have been helpful if a Time Line had been included because it would have been easier to see how the matter was allowed to fester and like the Titanic was heading for disaster almost upon the Dean’s receipt of HG’s complaint.

As much as I respect protocols they do not override safeguarding victims or addressing their complaints, yet that appears to have been the problem with this case. It was in the autumn of 2008 that the Safeguarding Advisor (JF) informed the Bishop that the Diocese could be hugely exposed if the Church Warden was allowed to continue in post. Yet the warning went unheeded. It should be recalled that at that time the eyes of the world were focused on Jersey and the way it was investigating what became known as Jersey’s Historical Abuse. Concerns were being openly expressed about cover ups and old boy networks, yet this elephant in the room was not seen by the Dean nor the Bishop and his advisors.

I can understand the author’s difficulty in compiling a report and sifting through around 2000 documents, not having sight of the Dean’s nor the Vicar’s documents, plus meeting resistance from the Dean, his wife and the Island’s clergy, however I do believe there are some issues in the Report which needs to be addressed.

Whilst the Report is mainly about the Dean, it is evident that the former Bishop of Winchester was completely out of his depth and never got a grip of the situation. It is also evident that he never sought advice from senior church leaders including the Archbishop to overcome the impasse with Jersey’s Dean.

It is reported that “Bishop Michael described himself at interview as having been submerged in his role and facing very many tasks. He agreed that there was a difficulty in stopping and reflecting, or seeking external expertise and support. In an email to the Safeguarding Advisor in April 2009 Bishop Michael looks at the deteriorating situation and regrets he did not take a more forceful approach earlier on.”

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it cannot be used as an excuse for utter failure by a very senior church figure. The Bishop not only let himself down but it was at the expense of a highly vulnerable lady who was seeking his help.

The Report states that the situation was not helped because the Diocesan Chief Executive A.R. was away from July 2009 – September 2010. I ask how that claim can be made. HG first made contact with the Bishop’s Office on 13th September 2008 which was almost 10 months before AR temporally left his post, what was AR doing in the meantime? He claims “the Diocese takes its safeguarding duties very seriously.” If it does, there is little evidence of this being the case in 2008.

It is also reported that upon receipt of HG’ s email to the Bishop on 13th September 2008, the Bishop’s Lay Assistant (M.S) in forwarding the letter to J.F. on 14th September, commented in the referral, “I have been in contact with [R.K.], and he thinks it’s all a lot of nonsense.” One may ask why did the Lay Assistant make contact with the Dean and what was his motive? Surely his job was to forward the email directly to the Safeguarding Advisor ?

On page 25 the author covers the arrest and HG leaving the Island, I believe the matter needs clarification because what is recorded is not accurate. What is evident is that in September 2010 the Bishop was visiting the Island, staying with the Dean and was to attend a Church Service on 26th September. There was concern that HG might disrupt the Service and somehow a Harassment Order was obtained to prevent HG disrupting the Service. There is no explanation as how the Harassment Order was obtained or the circumstances in which it was executed.

However it is apparent that HG was arrested on or just before the Church Service on 26th September then charged and held overnight in police custody to appear before the Magistrate on Monday 27th September. It is evident that HG was remanded in custody at La Moye Prison and appeared before the Magistrate two weeks later on Monday 11th October 2010. It is also evident that the Safeguarding Advisor became aware of the situation because in her Report she records "her concern at these extreme measures and worked at setting up care for her with the prison chaplain.” However we do not know what she achieved or what help or advice HG received.

What is known is that the Safeguarding Advisor (JF) was shocked when on 11th October H.G. was bound over and summarily deported from the Island for three years and put on a plane with no-one to meet her, no planned accommodation and no money. J.F. wrote to Bishop Michael, “Whilst I don’t think this is our responsibility in that the court decision and action was not of our making, I do feel we have a basic responsibility, as we would have for anyone, to do all we can to ensure her wellbeing.”

I have made enquiries into the matter and it is apparent that when HG appeared before the Magistrate on 28th September there was a Duty Advocate in attendance but it is not known what advice, if any was given to HG. I have been unable to ascertain what advice or assistance was given during the 2 week remand period but at the Magistrate’s Court on 11th October HG was represented via Legal Aid by an Allocated Advocate. I do not know what pre court time was given to HG but I am advised that the Court has no authority to deport any one from the Island and contrary to what is recorded on page 25 HG was not summarily deported.

In cases of Harassment the accused is given the option of being bound over to leave the Island or accepting what ever sentence the Court considers to be appropriate. I am told that on the advice of the Advocate HG chose to be bound over to leave the Island. Given what is known of HG’s health one wonders whether she received the appropriate help and advice at the time of her arrest, whilst in custody or at her Court appearances.

What is evident that despite JF stating that “in her opinion the Diocese had a basic responsibility, as we would have for anyone to do all we can to ensure HG’s wellbeing,” it is unknown whether anyone accepted any responsibility and I include the Jersey authorities? Surely it must have been or should have been made evident to the Court that shipping HG to the UK was akin to sending a time bomb which was likely to explode at any time.

On page 41 the author records, “The decision and manner of H.G.’s deportation requires further investigation. It is clearly a matter of concern that a vulnerable adult in such a distressed state could be removed from Jersey with no thought to her imminent care needs. It seems surprising that the complainant against H.G., in this case the Dean of Jersey on behalf of the Church, was not consulted or informed about the decisions taken, or action planned, concerning H.G.’s future. There are no records of communication from R.K. with the Diocese at this time and Bishop Michael later expressed shock and distress that the deportation had occurred.”

This is a statement I entirely endorse the need for further investigation and to this end I shall forward details of this Blog to our Chief Minister. I believe  this is an Island matter and should be addressed via an Inquiry/investigation. I will request the Chief Minister to take immediate steps to address the matter and make his intentions known via a Statement before or at the next States Sitting which because of the Easter holidays is not until Tuesday 16th April.

The author records “the Church let H.G. down. Despite the difficulties of her background and disablement, and struggle with some everyday practicalities, H.G. was none-the-less in employment, pursuing hobbies, socializing and wanting to be accepted in the church community. Over the next three years H.G.’s life changed from having no history of being in trouble with the law, to having a police record and being a displaced person, homeless on the streets of the mainland.”

As a responsible and caring community how could the above happen, are our Health, Social Services, Police, Courts, Legal Advisors and other relevant agencies fully trained and resourced to respond to people like HG? Given her experience one is left to wonder.

99 comments:

  1. First class Bob.

    Whatever potential inaccuracies there might be in the report, unless it is completely off target the actions/inactions of the Dean are inexcusable. Furthermore, the negligence on the part of the upper levels of the diocese is clear. The apparent performance of the Acting Magistrate and the duty Advocate are seriously deficient. The current political indignation in support of the Dean is immoral, as is the stance being taken by the media - particularly the JEP. The call for support from the Island's churchgoers is misguided or worse.

    The simple fact is that a vulnerable person's life has been totally wrecked and those responsible for this should be made to answer for their actions/inactions.

    That this matter first arose around the time that our government were concentrating on getting rid of Graham Power and shutting down the abuse investigation cannot, in my opinion, be a coincidence. Given the support for the Dean in certain political and media circles at the moment, one wonders just how much political influence was brought to bear to cover this whole issue up at the time .....

    Once again, a full investigation is essential. I fear that those who have been bent on telling the world that Jersey is a special place where this sort of thing just cannot happen - despite all the evidence to the contrary - have done Jersey's reputation far more damage than admitting in the first place that there was a problem and taking all steps to deal with it properly.

    How much longer can this lunacy continue?

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    1. Thanks for the compliment.

      There is a feeling of another “tangled web.” and it will be interesting to see how deep the Investigating Officers will dig and report on. The former Bishop retired at the end of May 2011 and it is apparent that the new incumbent has had a look in the cupboard and found a few skeletons and understandably has taken steps to address them.

      I am sure he will have taken advice at the highest level and is acting according to the advice and knows that he can only withdraw his Commission whereby suspending the Dean in areas with the Church’s remit.

      Apart from the handling of the Abuse issue, something must be done to address the Constitutional issue because the current situation is archaic and anomalous.

      I did attempt to include the Dean when seeking approval for a review of the Crown Officers role in the States (P5/2009) but unfortunately the States via the Privileges and Procedure successfully approved an amendment to remove the Dean and the Lt Governor from the Review.

      Delete
  2. The decision and manner of H.G.’s deportation

    One very small legal cavil - this was not a deportation. Deportation can only be carried out on non-UK citizens and has to be sanctioned by the Lt-Gov's office.

    The removal in this case was solely the affair of the magistrate's court. It is possible that that is why the authorities never bothered to inform the Dean or the Bishop of what was going on - on the whole, a quick notice in the JEP suffices, so why would this be different?

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    1. I agree re your clarification of deportation.

      As you will see in my Blog, I am concerned about the way the matter was addressed and have emailed the Chief Minister requesting that he investigates the matter.

      Once received I will publish his response.

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  3. The Dean is reported as saying, “In Jersey there is a real feeling that suspending someone reverses the burden of proof in the public mind. Instead of our much cherished ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the suspended person becomes thought of (no matter what those in authority may say), as ‘Guilty until exonerated.’

    The man most notoriously guilty of this, one Mr Le Marquand, is, of course, a Church of England Reader...

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    1. There can be few who will not agree that Graham Power was dismissed by stealth. However there have been other cases where the suspension route has been used as a sledgehammer, the hospital gynaecologist springs to mind and I do not know whether the officer suspended in the Curtis Warren Affair is still suspended.

      Suspensions should always be the last resort. As a result of the States accepting my proposition, there is now a monthly review of suspensions, as the Dean is not a State employee he will not benefit from that policy. I do however hope that his empoyers will monitor his wellbeing and ensure that there are no delays in the investigation.

      Delete
  4. Who pays the Dean his salary and stamps his SS card? Presumably he has some form of contract with an employer and rights under the relevant law somewhere. I recall a Methodist Minister who tried to pursue his Jersey employment dispute in the UK many years ago.
    Presumably also the Dean's grand house is gratis and outside of housing law controls - but he has not yet completed his 10 years employment and would probably not yet have gained his "qualies" although he should be able to claim income support if times get tougher through loss of employment. Would he though have to attend at the SS Department for retraining and be seen to apply for at least 3 jobs per week as God's less fortunate 2,000 plus children currently do in Jersey?

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    1. Ministers of religion are treated as qualified individuals for housing purposes - the relevant category is 1.1.m. But whether they would retain that category if they had to resign is, I supect, something that has never been tested in law.

      On top of that I believe it is church policy that an ordained minister may not retire to live in the same parish he has served in, nor (I believe) in the same Deanery - so resigning would almost certainly mean a boat out in the morning.

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    2. Thank you, your Comment is most helpful.

      Delete
  5. 'As a responsible and caring community how could the above happen, are our Health, Social Services, Police, Courts, Legal Advisors and other relevant agencies fully trained and resourced to respond to people like HG? Given her experience one is left to wonder'

    An excellent posting Bob, and indeed one is left to wonder why, or if the Dean/Church had done its job properly what the outcome for this poor woman have been. Agencies could have communicated and worked together to help her, not just have fobbed her off as a difficult person who as well as suffering from autism was quite understandably very frustrated at the lack of compassion from the very organisation she was let down by, and who she turned to for help.

    None of this need have happened, and I do personally feel that the Church community in Jersey are doing themselves no favours in trying to get this decision overturned.

    Liken this to an employee who has erred at work. Bob Key is in effect an employee of the CoE, would not co-operate in the initial inquiry, and therefore has been suspended pending a seperate inquiry. No different to any other workplace situation. Let those who have a job to do to get to the bottom of this do so without any hinderance, then judgement can be made as to the rights and wrongs of this sad and sorry affair.

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    1. Actually, reading the report will show that there was a significant degree of support being provided by Autism Jersey AJ) at the beginning of the affair, and I think that AJ maintained contact with the relevant authorities. But as things spiralled out of control, the report says that HG cut off contact with her designated support worker at AJ. In those circumstances there is only so much you can do.

      That said, once HG was arrested the authorities should have got AJ back on board. We cannot know, but it might have prevented the need for HG's removal from Jersey.

      Delete
    2. Thank you both for your Comments.

      Jan Korris the Report/Review's author was correct when she said that everything that happened was too late.

      It is also apparent that no one understood what being autistic meant. I have written to the Chief Minister asking that the circumstances of the arrest and the way the authorities acted thereafter is investigated.

      Although we know that HG was assisted via Legal Aid at the Magistrates Court it is not known whether there were any medical reports before the Court and as said above, had Autism Jersey been involved HG may not have pleaded guilty nor would she have left the Island.

      The matter must be investigated.

      Delete
  6. Excellent posting Bob.

    "The Culture of Concealment"

    The whole Jersey system is built on sand. It is only when one ask's questions and starts to dig that you see how fickle the whole feudal system is. We are not in the 21st Century.

    There are still some very serious questions that need answering. Will the Chief Minister stand up and be counted?

    rs

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    1. Thanks Rico,

      I have emailed the Chief Minister and also informed the Media but have not received any response todate.

      Delete
  7. This is a very thoughtful posting. Well done.

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  8. An excellent post Bob. I'd agree that it was not exactly a deportation, any more than the suspension of the Dean was a suspension. But in terms of effect, the lady in question was effectively deported. Whether she was in a fit state to accept advice on accepting to be bound over is questionable. Shouldn't the magistrate, Richard Falle, have asked for a proper psychological evaluation? Or is quick decision making what passes for justice?

    It reminds me very much of the Witch Trials in Jersey which took place in secular courts - accept the plea the Court suggests, or return to imprisonment. To someone distressed, in need of mental health professionals, that's a far from proper way to present options.

    The report says:
    "The decision and manner of H.G.'s deportation requires further investigation. It is clearly a matter of concern that a vulnerable adult in such a distressed state could be removed from Jersey with no thought to her imminent care needs."

    I hope the Duty Advocate advising her and Magistrate Richard Falle explain their actions, and why they did not feel it necessary to look into her background further.

    (Incidentally, Richard Falle is mentioned in the JEP reports on the case, see
    http://tonymusings.blogspot.com/2013/03/investigating-deportation.html)

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    1. Hi Tony thanks for the compliment. Your Blog draws attention to the court appearance and like you call for an investigation. As mentioned in my Blog the matter cannot rest, I have yet to have a reply from the Chief Minister, hopefully he will look into the matter, to do nothing is not an option.

      Although HG pleaded guilty was she in a position to enter a plea and were all the facts made known to the Court? these are some of the questions that need answers.

      Delete
  9. Dear Bob, I am confused as to why Bruce Willing went on CTV the other day saying 'man to man' both the Dean and Bishop should sort this out. And what does the Deputy Bailiff William Bailhache have to do with interfering by saying that the Crown decide if the Dean stays or goes! what message is this sending out to the world at large! The COE have a job to do, I believe they will do it and the Dean will get his say as to what happened at the appropriate time. Once again it's the Lady who suffered and once again people like her are being left in this awful situation. Men in power like the Dean have some serious questions to answer and what on earth is the Dean doing in the States Chambers? I heard him give his speech about Child abuse before Gorst Concluded his speech then low and behold the Dean is suspended for doing something he himself in his speech said was wrong. Send him packing is my answer, A Dean who is not so in bed with the Establishment would be a good start! sorry if my email is harsh, well it is, as I want to fight for the Lady who has suffered through this awful situation. While the Dean sits in his warm home, she was out in the streets! where's the care in that?

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    1. I was surprised at Bruce Willing's comments about man to man, if one reads the Report it appears that one of the reasons for the report was because of the Dean's alledged failure to discuss the matter or co-operate.

      I also wonder whether Bruce had actually read the Report because one wonders how he would have addressed the matter had he been the Bishop. In his interview he showed very little concern for HG, why?

      For every one's sake I hope the investigation is conducted in a timely manner. I would also welcome some one from the Church of England informing readers of HG' health and well being.

      Delete
    2. It is worth noting that the two Trustees of the church of St Peter La Rocque, as of June 2010, were Brigadier Bruce Willing and Mr William J Bailhache.

      The retired brigadier has a considerable interest in local politics, having stood for election as Constable of Grouville in 2003, and also having managed the election campaign of Senator Cohen in 2005.

      There is, therefore, some question as to what Brigadier Willing's motives in intervening might be - "you scratched my back, now I'll scratch yours" would appear not to be beyond the bounds of possibility.

      Delete
    3. To be fair to Bruce Willing he is entitled to a view and to take whatever steps to advance it.

      What is apparent is that the media has given considerable time and exposure to his views and one wonders when the media will lend support for HG or even to my request to the Ch Minister to investigate the arrest and court hearings which led to HG leaving the Island.

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  10. A breath of fresh air this blog! The Establishment bang on about, care in the community, care in the church..... they walk around in their cloaks as if they are God's themselves. The story of the prodical son they preach in their sermons, in the States Chambers, in the church. Well it happened right outside their own doorstep. A lady was left with no where to go, nowhere to turn too. I hope the 'men in power' can sleep in their warm beds knowing that a woman was subjected to this awful situation, I hope they can really look at themselves when they wear their robes and prance around the Royal Square and that includes everybody that 'ignored' this lady, did not believe her, yet again the circle goes around and around in Jersey. They should be ashamed of themselves! truly ashamed! it takes one to tell others the 'will of the world' it's quite something else to live within the rules we 'give out to others'. Think again when you bow down to these people who think they are above everyone, the Sirs! yes they know who they are! they are not so superior are they! and those who want to be Sirs! I can list a long list of those people! how plastic, how narrow minded they really are!

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    1. Thank you,
      I can understand your concerns and when reading your comments “all fur coats and no knickers” and “mutton dressed as lamb” spring to mind.

      There may be some superficial people around but fortunately as we both know there are also a number of good people who do care for their fellow beings.

      Delete
  11. It will not surprise many when I write that 'this does not surprise me' I was subjected to years of abuse in Jersey, I was poor, I was a nobody. I write this with a 'heavy heart' a heart that goes out to the lady who was subjected to a life of 'no body cared' - I hope she reads this blog, I hope she knows that people like myself know what it is like to not be believed, to not be listened to. You are not alone, Dear Love, you are not alone. I am not a religious person, God didn't help me! God didn't give me loving parents, a caring home, a loving family. I hope you get the strength, I pray you get through this very difficult time and when all the 'in fighting' goes on, that you know there are some people in Jersey who do care 'about you' who will listen to you my love. Take care. x

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    1. Thank you for your concern and support for HG, I have no idea where she is or whether she reads the Blogs but I hope that she has been able to overcome the trauma of her ordeal and is receiving the support which sadly was not evident at the time she most needed it.

      As a matter of interest before publishing this Blog I did contact the Diocese asking whether they could update me on HG’s health. I received a reply saying the Diocese is working closely with the police and victim support agencies to make contact – we’d suggest contacting the police in the first instance.

      The reply implies that HG’s whereabouts are not known and the support agencies are trying to trace her.

      Delete
  12. This is a very worrying situation it happened in 2010? In 1982 I was taken away from Jersey. My mother was an alcoholic and had a criminal record. No one questioned the fact I was 12 years of age why I was leaving the Island, no one actually cared. And here we are over 20 years later, the same thing happened to this lady. What has Jersey actually learned would someone please tell me? is it because she was poor? she was no one important? is that really the message Jersey is sending out after 20 years, has it learnt from it's past? simple questions, I doubt we will ever get a simple answer. Deeply saddening. Deeply saddening.

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    1. Talleyrand who began his adult life as a priest is quoted as saying “They learned nothing and forgot nothing.” This in today’s language could be interpreted as “Nothing learned, nothing forgotten.”

      As you say, it is deeply saddening.

      Delete
  13. I did not hear Bruce Willing's comments but, if he did say something along the lines of sorting it out man to man, I am not surprised. Bruce is a good bloke but don't forget he is old school military - retired Brigadier - throw down the gauntlet and challenge to a duel!

    Whilst I might agree that many disagreements between individuals should be sorted out between those individuals as far as possible, I'm afraid his attitude is not acceptable in this sort of case. The injured party here is not the Dean. Serious charges have been levelled at him (along with the Acting Magistrate, the Duty Advocate and the Church Warden)for which they should be called to account. The real victim is the poor lady. This is not a simple disagreement between the Dean and the Bishop.

    I don't suppose the fact that Bruce and the Dean are close friends has anything to do with it .....

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    1. I agree that the real victim is HG and the issue is far wider than a disagreement between the Dean and the Bishop. Therefore the sooner the investigation is concluded the better.

      I spent considerable time in the States trying to address the suspension issue which was used as a tool to delay justice, ask John Day and Graham Power.

      I would have certainly welcomed support from the Church but the silence was deafening.

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  14. Bob.

    Credit to you for attempting to give "HG" a voice which is more than can be said for some.

    Have just published a Blog on Bob Key suspension and a recognised FORMULA

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    1. Thanks Voice,

      I have now read your latest Blog and also Rico's which was published earlier today.

      Well done, you have obviously spent considerable time compiling the various Blogs and reports into one Blog which will be invaluable to readers who want to learn more about the matter.

      Delete
  15. Well well well, William Bailhache and Bruce Willing....As above:

    "It is worth noting that the two Trustees of the church of St Peter La Rocque, as of June 2010, were Brigadier Bruce Willing and Mr William J Bailhache.

    The retired brigadier has a considerable interest in local politics, having stood for election as Constable of Grouville in 2003, and also having managed the election campaign of Senator Cohen in 2005"

    So Bruce and William are linked! there holds the answer. I could not understand why the Deputy Bailiff was getting involved instead of the Bailiff now we know the answer and where the suggestion came from in relation to the Crown having the say on if the Dean is suspended or not, Bruce do us all a favour, let the COE do the job they are more than capable of doing and go back to being friends with William Bailhache, don't mix your personal friendship with getting involved in this issue. Let the COE do the job they are very capable of doing.

    Thank you.

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  16. When people go to church wearing their Sunday best there are those who go genuinely to pray and there are those who go 'to play at being a Christian'. Those people know who they are.

    In God's Church a place where rich and poor should sit amongst each other and listen to the story of Christ. Take heed those plastic individuals who sit and do it only for one thing 'to be seen'.

    While those plastic people attend their Church take a second to think of one of God's children the lady who has suffered, yes the lady who suffered is the person who we should be thinking of, not ourselves.

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  17. Bob

    You are to be heartily commended for trying, as a States Member, to get to the bottom of the Graham Power suspension. You were courageous in the face of malicious opposition. I admire the fact that, even as a private citizen, you are still seeking justice for those who have been wronged.

    I would just like to take a superficial look at the cases of Power and Key -

    1. The Power suspension was overtly political. All the evidence gathered since then has proved this beyond doubt. Those who have sought to justify the action taken against Power have totally failed to provide any evidence of substance and have consistently contradicted themselves in attempting to maintain their impossible position. Was there a "victim" of Power's alleged transgressions? No is the answer. Was there a victim of the actions of those who carried out the suspension and those who subsequently covered up the real reasons? Yes - the victims of child abuse suffered because Power's determination to pursue the culprits had given them hope, which was now dashed.

    2. The Key "suspension" is completely non political. The Bishop acted quite properly on substantive evidence presented to him. Let us be clear - the Bishop did not suspend Key from his seat in the States. He withdrew his commission as he was entitled, even obliged to pending a full investigation. The evidence with which he was presented was not a vague, unsubstantiated letter written by someone who stood to gain a great deal from the subsequent suspension (as was the case with the infamous Warcup letter). The evidence showed a strong prima facie case to answer on the part of the Dean. Was there a victim? There most certainly was - someone damaged in so many ways and who cannot ostensibly now be found!

    Those who seek to protect the Dean and others to the detriment of justice and the denial of such justice to the poor lady who was so damaged are clearly hypocrites of the first order.

    Of course, I would reconsider my views in light of proper evidence to the contrary which might be adduced by the forthcoming inquiry. In the meantime, I hope that those who are leading the charge to support the Dean, together with those who blindly follow in ignorance, take time to try to reconcile their Christian beliefs with their current actions and words.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and succinct comment.

      Yes there is a difference between the suspensions and am disappointed to see intelligent people disputing Bishop’s decision.

      I devoted considerable time in pursuit of justice and the issue of suspensions took up a lot of my time as I wanted to ensure that suspensions were the last and not first resort. I am never happy when people are suspended but defend the right to do so because there will always be occasions when they are necessary.

      I have worked with Dean for a number of years and his suspension saddens me, but given the Report’s contents I don’t think the Bishop was left with any alternative.

      The Graham Power suspension was a disgrace, an abuse of the suspension process and certainly politically inspired. In police parlance it was a "stitch up." That cannot be said in the Dean’s case.

      Delete
  18. I have read your blog Bob. I must say I find it extremely informative, intelligent and 'straight thinking' keep up the good, honest work. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have been told by someone I trust that HG's whereabouts are known and she is being looked after. I will tell the person that there is considerable concern for her on the Blog sites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that is good news. Please could you tell your informant to read the Blogs as there are a great number of people thinking of her.

      Delete
  20. This has to be one of the most honest, soul searching blogs I have ever read. I hope people in Jersey are all reading it and take time to 'think' about others.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Please do tell HG she is indeed thought of and we (the good honest people on the Island care about her). We will do all we can to ensure those in power over here adhere to what they should be doing! I know many people in Jersey are extremely upset and saddened that this lady has had to go through so much on her own. This should not have happened and it makes me angry that it has!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. My original comment was posted in response to another comment, so I have removed it.

      What I wanted to say is I hope HG is able to read the Blogs so that she will know that there are a considerable number or her in Jersey.

      Delete
  22. Bob

    May I say you are indeed a great loss to the Government of Jersey. A Magistrate I was in conversation with told me, he was pleased you were gone because you were a meddler. For such an intelligent man this disturbed me.

    It is clear to everyone that loves Jersey as their home, that you are a force for good and admired for you honesty and worthy contribution.

    Thank you so much for your hard work and blog.

    Boatyboy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and it is disappointing to read of your conversation with the Magistrate. I don’t know who the Magistrate is but a former one is currently serving a 15 months prison sentence for fraud and the way HG was dealt with in October 2010 is open to question so that does not say a lot for some Magistrates.

      Delete
  23. My thoughts are with the Dean today he has a lot of stress. However, my thoughts are with the Lady who through no fault of her own has been let down by the Church and the Dean. Perhaps the time the Dean has to reflect will remind him and us all about the vulnerable and how we should be a community in Jersey that care for the vulnerable, those who need us the most. I don't agree Jersey should go down the Jersey Law route on this, (so Philip and William don't get involved) it's wrong and we must let the Church of England investigate or it looks like Jersey is hiding something 'again'. Dean I hope you get better, I hope you reflect and learn from this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. I think all our thoughts are with the Dean, his wife and HG. As mentioned in my Blog I devoted considerable time trying to ensure that a policy was put in place to ensure that suspensions were the last resort and investigations were speedily conducted.

      Suspensions are neutral and the Dean is entitled to the matter being dealt in an expeditious way because the whole affair is stressful for all concerned.


      Delete
  24. Dear Boatyboy, thanks for your message which I read with great interest. I hope the Magistrate gets to read this blog, although Bob is no longer in Government he has a lot of support for his work on this blog. And Support will continue to grow and grow and grow and grow. Also Bob can do more good by not being in Politics which to date has proven to be the case! Whoever the Magistrate is, it does not surprise me, but lets not forget that Magistrate is paid yes by the tax payer so he should be doing the job he is paid to do and if he wants to call Bob a meddler then I shall call the Magistrate a very rude person. Thank you. And Boatyboy thanks for the email, it's very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t know who Boatboy is but it is evident that you are exchanging emails about my Blog thereby widening the readership.

      I note your comments about the Magistrate, the fact they are public servants does not deprive them from having a view on matters. However if I am a meddler, it does not bother me if it gets things done.

      Delete
  25. Well said Bob. Well said.

    ReplyDelete
  26. To the person who sent me a Police website about privacy concerns.

    Thank you but I can't open the website you sent nor can I trace it via the Police website, please could you re-send with a website that can be opened.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sorry Bob, I can't do hyperlinks so have to use the old copy & paste.
    The website is below and should work.

    http://tomandshirley.com/28-states-of-jersey-police-website-privacy-concerns

    If not I've also posted on voice for children's latest blog and they have made it a hyper-link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very interesting read and here is the LINK

      Delete
    2. Thank you,

      I have now read the website via the Voice website and have asked Voice to send me the link.

      The anonymous report route is nothing new but it is pleasing to see that it is being taken by the States Police.

      Delete
  28. Bob - do you have any thoughts on Philip Bailhache's letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury (published in full in tonight's JEP).

    I do, but they would be unprintable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Senator Bailhache has written a very persuasive letter and I shall be commenting on it and the TOR in my next Blog which I hope to publish over the weekend.

      Delete
  29. I am so angry that Sir Bailhache has had his paw in this issue, he is not the man to do this. He is using the Law to discredit the work of the COE and this is not on. He has never been caring towards any of the vulnerable children. His speech at Liberation has proved this, nor ever an apology was forthcoming, maybe he did not come to vote on the Child abuse enquiry as he knew the Dean was to be suspended the following day, we will never know. He has never shown any compassion for the vulnerable and he is hurting the vulnerable by coming out 'guns a blazing on the legal Jersey route' this is so unhelpful for people like me who have suffered for years and it holds not place in Jersey this 'gun ho' approach to what I believe the COE are doing which is correct to find out the truth of what happened to this lady who suffered. I also note that Senator Gorst has not got involved, why is he letting his Assistant take this issue on? is Philip using his Legal brain to out do the CEO and others? in their attempt to find the truth? what message does this give to the world? not a good one I am afraid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Senator Bailhache is entitled to express his view but appears to have been very selective, particularly as he was not in the Chamber to speak or vote in the recent Abuse debate.

      There have been other suspensions which had serious career implications but Senator Bailhache chose not to involve himself. By now so doing he his likely to attract adverse comments.

      I would have hoped that Senator Gorst would have corrected the Reviewer's comments about HG being deported because it is clear she was not, however the fact that the error remains in the Report does not show Jersey in a good light.

      Delete
  30. Bob this was on the CTV blog, do read all the participants, it's obvious Philip Bailhache thinks he represents the People of Jersey, he does not! this piece on CTV's blog really has made me angry.

    ""He says, “The reviewer appears to have approached her task with a predetermined view that procedures in Jersey were inadequate. In my view she has allowed her empathy for HG to cloud her objectivity"

    Is this man Philip for real? how dare he! he should resign now and for good, he is not fit for purpose. I am so angry. Philip really doesn't get it, does he!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Senator Bailhache is entitled to a view even if you do not share it.

      Delete
  31. Philip Bailhache, do us all a favour, resign from your post and do a course on 'care in the community' so far you rate '0/10'. I would not have you anywhere near my Grandparents! nor my children. You have this idea that you are 'King' of Jersey and can write a letter in the JEP as if you represent the Island as a whole, I never voted for you, I know people who did and I can tell you the anger you have caused is considerable people who voted you are now saying 'you will never be Chief Minister' ever!

    'You reap what you sow, Philip and I am afraid to say' your arrogance has actually caught up with you'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is evident that you are not a Senator Bailhache supporter and his letter has angered, but as mentioned above he is still entitled to a view.

      The Senator's letter is an "open" one and no doubt he knew that would take some stick, but we should try to concentrate on the letter's contents and not on the author.

      Delete
  32. May we have on this on blog Bob? The letter P Bailhache had the arrogance to write? I would like everyone to read it. It tells us so much about this man Philip Bailhache. Power has completely gone to his head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to publish the letter but am having problems because of technical difficulties.

      Delete
  33. bishop.tim@winchester.anglican.org (everyone that has an interest in this please email the Bishop of Winchester, I have just done it) I want him to know that Philip's letter does not represent the whole Island. And that the COE must continue to find justice in Jersey that the Establishment will try to discredit the work being done. The same pattern for everything that touches the Establishment. We must unite and we must tell the world we are not going to support bullies like Sir Philip anymore, enough is enough, HG has helped us to open the door to a better future for Jersey, let's not waste a minute of it, let's unite and make our feelings known. We do not support the Ex Bailiff, Ex Judge, now Assistant Chief Minister. We are not his puppets anymore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have made a valid point which Readers might see as a positive way forward.

      Delete
  34. bishop.tim@winchester.anglican.org

    Those who do not agree with Sir Philip's letter please write an email directly to the Bishop of Winchester.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and you echo the comment above.

      Delete
  35. Thank you Voice for the link which be welcomed by our many readers from overseas.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I wanted to clear up something If I may, yes Sir Philip has an opinion and is allowed to voice that opinion but as 'Sir Philip' but he ends his letter as 'Senator Sir Philip'. This is a problem for me. He is acting as a Politician in his letter. He should not be sending a letter unless he has discussed it at least with Mr Gorst and other serving Politicians. After all Sir Philip is Gorst's Assistant Chief Minister.

    A question: Is a Dean in the UK also a member of the Crown? I do feel that Jersey needs to get itself updated into the 21st century in Law. Keep it simple follow the UK. For example if George Osbourne wrote a letter and put it in a UK paper complaining about the BIshop. He would be in a lot of trouble with Cameron and also a lot of people in the UK. So why is Jersey any different? Would we see George Osbourne work as a Crown Officer?, no we would not, there is the big problem here in Jersey. Let's use this mess as a way of cleaning up our Legal system, unfair Jurat System for once and for all...

    That way the Bishop can get on with dealing with this issue re: the Dean and put in the same procedure he would carry on in the UK as here.

    Instead we hear of some 2012 Canon? I don't understand it, so how can we expect others too. Of course Sir Philip does, he probably invented it.

    ReplyDelete

  37. Senator Bailhache was writing his letter as a longstanding member of the Church of England and a Senator in the States Assembly. It would not be necessary for him to discuss the matter with Senator Gorst, although I suspect they have discussed the matter of the Dean’s suspension.

    I do however believe it was an error of Judgement to have made the letter public because it has attracted adverse criticism because of who the author is.

    The Dean’s appointment in Jersey gives him various additional privileges such as the right to speak in the States as an unelected States Member. UK Deans do not have that privilege and one can imagine the comments that Members of Parliament would make if an unelected was able to speak in the House of Commons.

    When I lodged my proposition way back in 2009 re a review of the role of the 5 unelected Members of the States, States Members supported an amendment to exclude the Dean and the Lt Governor from the review.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Well, there is our answer, unelected members of the States must not be in the States, that includes the Bailiff and the Dean. I rest my case. I am sure Sir Philip wrote this letter with good will but it really is upto the CEO to do the job they have started and Jersey to sort out this issue re: Bailiff and Dean being un elected and sitting in States Assembly. Lets get our house in order. If we don't we will always end up with issues that the above keep coming up. If Sir Philip could stop trying to do everything and focus on his role the Island HE would be able to move forward democratically. Sir Philip please let go! Let Jersey move into the 21st century, we have a human health law not fit for purpose...(when I visited La Moye for example there were people in there that needed to be in St Saviours not in prison!) human rights...... un elected members of the States sitting when they should not be..... the list is endless..... Jurats not from all walks of life...lets get our own house in order if we don't the world will keep moving on while we go around and around in circles because we keep meeting the same problems that are not getting addressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have raised a number of important matters which should be addressed by Senator Bailhache and others but don't hold your breath.

      Your comment about facilities at La Moye for people suffering from nedical problems is one that HG had to endure for two weeks and it cannot have helped her situation.

      Delete
  39. The COE website shows clearly Mr Gorst's support for the CEO to investigate. The Assistant Chief Minister is now writing something that says the complete opposite. I rest my case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are correct and below is Senator Gorst's statement along with the Bishop's reply.

      Statement from the Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst

      WE ARE SADDENED TO LEARN that a vulnerable woman who came to Jersey suffered while living here and we very much regret that she was adversely affected by events during her time here.
      This is a matter that should be resolved by the Church, and we understand there will now be an investigation into the findings of the independent review. Jersey officials will be meeting the Bishop of Winchester when he visits the island and providing whatever cooperation is needed.

      We note the Bishop’s affirmation that his action in removing the Dean of Jersey's commission is a neutral measure which implies no judgement and is necessary while matters are investigated, in accordance with best practice.

      We welcome the commitment of the Diocese of Winchester to enhancing safeguarding procedures and policies. Jersey’s recently formed Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee, announced in October 2012, will help to safeguard vulnerable adults in our community.

      Islanders will know that the Dean is held in high regard by Jersey’s faith community and is highly respected for his dedicated work and contribution to island life since he came here in 2005.
      Ends

      Response from the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester

      I VERY MUCH WELCOME the full support of the Jersey authorities in this sensitive and difficult matter. In recent days I have had productive conversations with the Chief Minister amongst others and have been grateful for his assistance in particular.

      Together we are committed to investigating fully the findings of last week’s independent report and to enhancing safeguarding polices in Jersey and across the Diocese.

      I will shortly be announcing full details of the investigation

      Delete
  40. I am not a legal person and I have only just started reading your blog Bob but from what I am reading it seems this person Sir Philip Bailhache has done every job that stems from Law he can. Unfortunately having read the letter. He is absolutely correct to write what he feels is wrong. That is a right we all have, it's because it is coming from Sir Philip Bailhache. If you have a man who has been a Judge, a Bailiff and now a Politician then you have a person that is not going to want to give up any of his past experience and I am afraid here lies the problem. It's not so much he wrote the letter, it as you say Bob, who the person is. A man who has not apologised for his speech during Liberation Day when he undermined the Child abuse enquiry, a man who did not vote for the Child Abuse Enquiry. Who now mentions the lady in question on the Dean's suspension as mentally disturbed then I am afraid Sir Philip has caused his own problem, himself. He has stopped the Legal system moving forward, he has got involved in the Election Commission, he is a patron of so many things, he is I am afraid 'too controlling' and people are put simply 'getting fed up of it'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Senator Bailhache has certainly been in positions where his actions have not been subject serious scrutiny, however he is now a States Member and accountable to the electorate who are now openly questioning his judgement.

      He could be in for some flac.

      Delete
  41. I hear Sir Philip is to do a radio interview tomorrow, my hope is it is with the CEO and our Minister Mr Gorst and if the Lady involved also has representation, my guess is it will be Sir Philip doing what he does best, controlling the issue himself. I hope I am wrong. Sir Philip you need to let fresh air in and stop controlling everything that happens in Jersey. And that includes your brother William, I am sorry to have to remind you but it is true. Things must change as the person above stated 'unless we solve our issues' we will keep going around and around in circles that includes unlected States Members who have no reason to be sitting in a Chamber around elected members, that includes the Bailiff, the Dean and we also must sort out the Jurat system. Lets see change,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope that Chris has done his homework and will ask some decent questions.

      Delete
  42. Replies
    1. Hi Rico,

      Well done, another interesting and informative Blog.

      Delete
  43. "Senator Bailhache was writing his letter as a longstanding member of the Church of England and a Senator in the States Assembly. It would not be necessary for him to discuss the matter with Senator Gorst, although I suspect they have discussed the matter of the Dean’s suspension."

    Does Senator Bailhache have to refer to anyone before using States of Jersey stationary for his letter? I would have thought someone would have been responsible for insuring the States Crest was not used inappropriately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Senator Bailhache was writing as a States Member on a States matter so there is no reason why could not be using States headed paper and he would not have needed anyone's permission to do so.

      Delete
    2. Interesting, perhaps there should be a postscript on all States stationery. Something along the lines " the opinions expressed in this correspondence are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the Council of Ministers or the States Assembly as a whole"

      Delete
    3. Yes, that was my understanding. What did you think of his interview with Chris Stone?

      Delete
    4. Because of the clocks going forward an hour as the interview was just after the 7am news it was really 6am in old money, so I wonder how many heard it. Also it was so short one wonders what it was trying to achieve?

      Delete
  44. Well done Bob, weve both read your blog tonight, what this lady went through is disgraceful, we hope that nobody else goes through what she went through and that someone or somebody will be held accountable for there actions. With you on the case you have given this lady a voice as has been echoed by other blog readers.
    You gave me a voice and helped me through my tribunial, I am forever gratful, what you do for others is truley amazing, keep up the good work nhs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, but we hope that some one is looking after HG in the UK.

      Delete
  45. I have received a number of Comments from a person claiming to be HG. I do know HG’s name and would be happy to publish her Comments, however for my Blog’s credibility I would be grateful if HG would contact me at bobps91@yahoo.co.uk so that I can confirm the authenticity of the Comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bob, I have emailed you! HG :)

      Delete
    2. Good Evening "HG"

      Thank you for confirming your authenticity, I will be happy to publish them and will consider how best to do so.

      Delete
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