Thursday 19 December 2013

Jersey's Dean---Unofficial Report on the Bishops' Jersey Visit.

It was reported that the Rt Rev Tim Dakin had sought the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to initiate a pastoral visit to the Channel Islands so that a fresh perspective could be taken on safeguarding. The visit was to be undertaken by the Rt Rev Nigel Stock Bishop of Lambeth and the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott Bishop of Dover who were to visit Jersey and Guernsey.

It was also reported that the Bishops were to meet with local church leaders and Island Authorities from both Deaneries in order to help understand how the current situation might be progressed. No details were forthcoming as to who the local church leaders were but the visit would enable further conversations to be held which he was sure would benefit the Islands and the wider diocese. The two Bishops are due to report back to the Bishop by the end of the year.

It was interesting to read that Bishop Tim had sought the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It now seems ages ago when the Archbishop was praising Bishop Tim for his swift, decisive and wholly necessary actions following the receipt of the (Korris) Report and wholeheartedly supported the investigation that had been launched. Does Bishop Tim still have the Archbishop's wholehearted support?

It was also interesting to see that the visit was in relation to safeguarding and not to constitutional matters which seems to be the only thing that matters to some of the perceived great and the good. That is borne out by how little interest they have shown for HG's well being, meeting her or investigating her complaints.

The Bishops' visit appeared to be shrouded in mystery and although it was supposed to be about safeguarding matters, from what little is known of the meeting, it appears to have been more about the relationship between Jersey and Winchester. This is evident as the Bishops were wined and dined at Government House where I doubt whether HG's well being or complaints were ever discussed.

Having more than a passing interest in the visit, I contacted the Bishops and Luther Pendragon the PR company asking for an itinerary of the visit and that I and others would be pleased to meet them. My emails never received a reply so it was quite obvious that the visit was not a fact finding but a spin and one sided one.

In a festive spirit I will report on one of the meetings that was held at a very secret location in which a number of very important people were invited. I must confess that I have had to rely on the information passed on to me by a church mouse who reported that the meeting was so shrouded in secrecy that all attendees wore burkas to ensure that even they did not know who was attending.

Apparently the two bishops arrived in a burkamobile.

Entry was by invitation only and in line with strict security all attendees had to produce their ID cards before entry was approved

On entry all attendees had to select a chocolate egg which had number inside. There were two main prizes which had been kindly donated by the Jersey Magistrates'  Association. The first prize was a one night stay outside the Jersey Deanery, the runner up won a two night stay.

As one can see the location had ideal air conditioning, spacious surroundings and an uninterrupted view of the moon and stars.

It was also an opportunity for Dame Heather Steel and Senator Sir Philip Bailhache to meet again and for him to ensure that her still incomplete report is now suitably amended. Thereby after the words; "no disciplinary action is being taken," the following words are added; "and the Dean is wholly holy exonerated."

The ever bashful Bishops Trevor and Nigel took the opportunity of photographing themselves.


Thus inspiring lesser mortals to do so at a less auspicious event.

It was also an ideal occasion for attendees to witness the official shredding and burning of the Korris Report and the transcript of the Bob Hill and Dame Heather Steel October meeting.

The meeting ended with some pole dancing but I am told that it was not the sort of pole dancing that some of the attendees were expecting.

Although I have tried to take a humorous approach to the Bishops' visit one wonders what it was all about because I am not convinced that it was just about safeguarding. The one thing that has become evident during the past 9 months is that religion is playing second fiddle to politics. Regretfully it is also evident that what you see is not what you get and the way our church and political leaders have acted it is definitely a case of do as I say not as I do.

Nine months on there are still more questions than answers, hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent, but what for and is anyone the wiser? Well I suppose Bishop Tim now is because he now knows that the Winchester Way is a route and completely different from the Jersey Way which is a culture.

However he can take credit for at least having the courage to instigate an investigation which is something our Ministers would run a mile to avoid as evidenced by their lack of support for an inquiry into Jersey's Historic Abuse.

One could ask what lessons have really been learnt and where does HG fit into the equation, but then again does any of the clergy really care as not one of them has asked to meet her. Remember that when it was known that HG was due to meet Dame Heather at Church House she was not allowed on the premises so another venue had to be found. At least Mary and Joseph were offered a stable.

Friday 6 December 2013

Jersey's Dean---States Police or Police State?

On Wednesday Tony the Prof published another thought provoking blog in which he reported on some of the comments that had been reported in the Guernsey Press. It included a comment from Guernsey Deputy Ellis Bebb when offering a view on the possible break between the Diocese of Winchester and Jersey and Guernsey in which he said "I think that the question we should ask ourselves is whether Winchester is the right diocese for Guernsey. I think that what happened in Jersey poses a lot of questions, but I'm convinced that as with any breakdown in relations, there's plenty of blame to go around for everyone. One small correction, the woman wasn't deported but bound over by the Jersey courts; the decision to do so was at the courts discretion and nothing to do with the church."

Tony corrected the statement because the Court case was all about the Church as it was their Clergy which levelled the complaint and pressed for charges as Readers will see below.

At the States Sitting on Monday afternoon the unelected Deputy Bailiff drew Members attention to the Bishop's press release and then said that Members would be pleased to know that the Dean following an investigation by Dame Heather Steel had been exonerated. Thus wrongly echoing his brother's remark and now repeated by the Dean during an interview with the BBC. What the press release said was that no disciplinary action was being taken, but certainly did not state that anyone had been exonerated, that may well the case but until the Steel Report is published it is wrong to speculate.

What is fact is that Dame Heather did not interview the Church Warden or HG nor did she fully investigate HG's arrest, detention and deportation in line with the Korris recommendation. Therefore how can she honestly arrive at a decision not to recommend disciplinary action? What is interesting is that the Bishop published a press statement saying for legal reasons he can't circulate the Report, yet at same time saying that Dame Heather is still finalising it. It should be recalled that when I met Dame Heather on 24th October she was finalising her report and intended submitting it by the end of the month. How long does she want before she finishes finalising her report? I will also add that I was promised a transcript of the meeting but that too is being withheld by Winchester.

The (miss) information given by the Deputy Bailiff was met by a round of appreciative foot stamping from States Members in the presence of the Dean who like the Deputy Bailiff is an unelected Member. Soon afterwards answers to Written Questions were formerly lodged which are often unreported by the media. Included in the Written Questions was a question to the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Le Marquand from Deputy Mike Higgins. 

It is evident to those who have been closely following the Dean's handling of HG's complaint is that the Jan Korris Report is slowly being rubbished and it wont be long before she and HG will be seen as the real villains and the Dean, his church colleague and the Church Warden are the victims.

There is no doubt that having failed to be satisfied by the Dean, the Bishop and the Safeguarding Officer's handling of her complaint HG was zealous in her pursuit for justice. Not only did she complain about the alleged abuse but also at the way it was handled by the aforesaid Church officials but her complaints were ignored. She was clearly an embarrassment to the Church and a way had to be found to silence her, particularly as they wrongly believed that she might disrupt a Confirmation Service being held on Sunday 26th September.

Readers will know that I have previously written how HG after appearing the Magistrates Court on Monday 27th September was remanded in custody in La  Moye Prison for 2 weeks before appearing  before Magistrate Richard Falle and being bound over to leave Jersey where later that evening where she was left destitute at Southampton Airport whilst still wearing her pyjamas.

Thanks to questions being asked by Deputy Higgins the truth is slowly emerging of the shocking and callus way in which HG was treated when held in custody and denied bail on that fatal Sunday whilst the people responsible for levelling the complaint which led to her arrest were conducting a Confirmation Service at St Mary's Church.

 It is all very well for Deputy Bebb from the safety of the Guernsey shores to claim that no blame can be attributed to the Church. It is all very well for Messrs Philip and William Bailhache and indeed the Dean himself to claim that he has been totally exonerated. No disciplinary action is being taken but can the Dean be really proud of the part which he, his wife and former Bishop Scott Joynt played in incarcerating and eventually deporting HG because she may have disturbed their Church Service.

I receive a number of calls from people who cannot believe that we in Jersey could allow such uncaring action against a vulnerable young lady of previous good character who had made Jersey her home, had a job and a home but all were snatched from her thanks to senior church figures. I have previously published official documents which although are in the public domain are rarely to be found in what is called the mainstream media.

Below is the written answers given to the questions asked by Deputy Higgins and are in the public domain but I have added my comments in red. 

Will the Minister set out a detailed timeline showing from the time of the arrest of the woman known as HG to the moment she appeared in court to face charges of harassment, the times anyone interacted with her, who those interactions were with and the times at which witness statements were taken, the charges were drawn up and read to her?

This timeline covers the period from the time of arrest to the time when HG first appeared before a Magistrate.  The timeline does not deal with routine interactions with the custody staff or other routine matters.

26 Sept   9.34    Arrest

At 0934 hrs on Sunday 26th September HG was arrested at her home address by a Police Constable. She was arrested on suspicion of harassment. Another officer was also in attendance.  She was calm and following caution answered the officer’s question about the location of her laptop.  She walked unaided to the police officers’ car where she remained while a search of her room was carried out.

While waiting in the car HG started to show slight signs of distress. On arrival at Rouge Bouillon Police Station (10:17) HG was able to walk to the Custody suite.  Once there she sat on the floor and began to show signs of distress. 

Despite repeated efforts to calm her down officers were unable to communicate with HG and she was eventually carried by three officers into a cell where she was placed on the floor and a cell guard posted.  At this time the police Force Medical Examiner (FME) was unable to carry out any assessment of her due to her demeanour.

10:45 Detention Authorised Did the FME actually assess HG before this decision was reached?

Detention authorised by Police Sergeant on 26 September 2010 at 10:45:00. The grounds for detention are: I am satisfied that the arrest is lawful, proportionate and necessary. There is insufficient evidence to charge at this time. I authorise the detention for the purpose of obtaining evidence by questioning and process. It is incumbent on the police to take immediate steps to obtain the evidence, but it appears that the process did not begin until 3 pm when the first statement was taken from the 3 witnesses.

11:12  Doctor  (FME)

Doctor's comments:  Removal to cell observed, not possible to assess because of agitation I suggest minimal stimulus in terms of intervention until HG is calmer and then assessment may be possible.  Currently, fit for detention, I will assess fitness for interview at 12:45 What background medical information did the doctor possess or attempt to obtain which would helped him to understand why HG was agitated. It should have been obvious that the agitation was aggravated by HG being confined in a cell which because her health concerns was causing her untold harm. 

13:00 Doctor Fit for detention, I will review again in 2 hours. It was now three and a half hours since arrest yet no statements had been taken which was totally unfair. Those who made the complaint should have placed that action ahead of their other arrangements and the police should have ensured that it was the case..

13:10 Duty Sergeant note of Medical Review,

Task Medical Review Required completed. Comments: Medical review complete fit for detention FME to return in two hours

15.00 Duty Sergeant’s entry

Police officers’ notes:  Appropriate adult located. When was it decided that an Appropriate Adult was required and why did it take so long to obtain one? After numerous phone calls to a number of agencies I have been put in touch with the on call Mental Health Social Worker via the hospital switch board and she has stated that she has heard of HG and will be happy to act as an Appropriate adult.  Will be attending at 17:30hrs  This is now 8 hours after HG's arrest.

15:04-15:45 Statement recorded - Statement of first witness taken from Mrs Key, the Dean's wife at the Deanery. Why was her statement not taken earlier, she was not conducting the Church Service?

15:48 Duty Inspector

Duty Inspector’s notes: I have attended with the intention of conducting the formal review of detention. however HG appears to be in a heavy sleep and is unresponsive to attempts to wake her.  HG is in the care of the Custody staff and the FME is also in attendance.  It is therefore intended to let the FME assess HG prior to additional attempts to conduct the review process Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) stipulates that a review of detention before charge must be conducted after 6 hours of being in custody. This review is not conducted by an independent person but by another police officer. 

16:00-17.00 Statement recorded - Statement of second witness Former Bishop Michael Scott Joynt at the Deanery

16:28 Doctor

Seen in cell, since last review, now lying on the floor. Have spoken with Mental Health Social Worker who will read hospital notes prior to arrival.  Fit for detention at present.

17:20-17:45 Statement recorded - Statement of third witness The Dean at the Deanery.

17:43 Doctor

I have contacted the duty consultant psychiatrist directly, who will attend in due course.

18:21 Doctor

Seen by duty Consultant Psychiatrist, for detention, no mental illness 

19.30-19.45 Statement recorded - Statement of Arresting Officer Why was this not taken soon after the arrest when the facts were still fresh in his mind.

19:47 Entry -Charged by Centenier Phillip Coffey whose report shows that he charged HG at 2030 hours and remanded in custody. Jersey does not have an independent Prosecution Service and the decision to charge rests with an unpaid voluntary/Honorary police man. Pleaded guilty after charge. When a person is charged they are cautioned and what they say is recorded. It would be interesting to know where HG’s alleged plea is recorded.

21:43 PACE Status Changed

PACE status changed from PACE to Non PACE for the following reason: 

Centenier has refused bail in order to prevent further offences. Why was HG not bailed, what evidence did the Centenier have to deny bail, she had been arrested from her home and was of good character she had been receiving medical attention since her arrival at the police station and was clearly distressed and unwell so what evidence was to hand that HG would commit further offences? 

Held at Police HQ overnight

27 Sept 2010 07:52 Doctor (FME) Comments

No evidence of dehydration although not drinking fit for detention and court

09:50 ENTRY

Handed to court officers and taken to court

10:00 Magistrate’s Court Sitting

Seen by Duty Advocate Jane Grace, Appeared before a Magistrate at 1216 hours. Represented by the Duty Advocate who was not in court when he decided to remand HG in custody at La Moye Prison for two weeks, why?

Readers will know from my previous Blogs that HG later appeared before Magistrate Richard Falle, pleaded guilty and agreed to be bound over. On paper it appears that HG was dealt with according to Law and proper procedure. However it is claimed that the Clergy’s decision to press charges was for HG’s own good, if that is so what did they actually do to help HG to benefit from being arrested. The Dean and Bishop were conducting a church service whilst HG was detained in a police cell waiting for them to write their statements. It would be interesting to know what the sermon was, but hopefully it was not based on “Judge not lest ye be judged” or “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

It is evident that HG was sending any number of emails and was proving to be a nuisance however it does appear that a sledgehammer was used to crack a nut which has had a life changing affect on HG, for which the Archbishop, Bishop and Dean have all publicly apologised.

Was it necessary to arrest HG, was she deserving of the callus and unchristian treatment she received and is it some thing that the Island and the Church of England can be proud of?

It is not disputed that HG contacted the Dean’s wife and the Bishop early on the Saturday evening when it is alleged that HG was rude and allegedly said she would see the Bishop in St Mary’s Church, but did it mean that she was going to attend or what were her motives. There is no mention of that question being asked by the arresting officer. Why was the decision to inform the police left until early Sunday morning and was it necessary to arrest and go to such extraordinary lengths to detain and deport HG from Jersey?

The decision to arrest HG has left no winners but only shame on those involved with the arrest and subsequent action. The States Police will say that they were responding to an allegation of harassment but could be said HG was treated even handily. If it was decided to arrest her why it did it take so long to obtain the evidence and why was she not bailed? Was the Force's action an example of good States Police practice or more akin to that of a police State? 

Unfortunately neither Winchester nor Jersey cares a damn about HG or Safeguarding and it is doubtful whether these matters will even be discussed by the two Bishops during their flag waving visit to Jersey.

Friday 22 November 2013

Jersey's Dean--- True Christians or Pontius Pilate?

At the States Sitting on Tuesday 19th November 2013 Deputy Mike Higgins lodged two written questions for Senator Le Marquand the Minister for Home Affairs in anticipation of receiving answers relating to HG's arrest, detention and removal from Jersey in October 2010.

As Written Questions cannot contain more than 200 words it was necessary for the questions to be in two halves, both of which can be found below as Part 1 and 2. The Minister had a week to carry out research so States Members and the public should have received accurate answers. Alas this was not the case.

As a matter of interest I sent my last Blog to Senator Le Marquand and said I had quite a file and would be pleased to clarify any discrepancies. Unfortunately my offer was rejected. Had we met his answers below would not only have been different but nearer to the truth.

As in my previous Blog my comments will be in red


Further to answers given on 5th November 2013, will the Minister inform Members?

1. When and what time the States Police received an allegation of harassment which led to the arrest of a woman known as HG?

Answer. The States of Jersey Police received the allegation of harassment at 0934 hours on 26 September 2010. Not so. On Saturday 25th September 2010 between 545 pm and 821 pm HG phoned and emailed the Dean’s wife and the Bishop and it is alleged that at 645 pm she was rude and told the Dean’s wife that she would see the Bishop and Dean in Church the following morning.  It is apparent that the Bishop, the Dean and his wife did not contact  police until the Sunday morning. If they were so concerned for their safety why did they not contact the police on the Saturday evening?

When I saw Dame Heather Steel she informed me that the matter was not reported to the police until the Sunday morning, she could not remember the time but promised to send it to me. She has since told me to obtain the time from my own contacts. The arresting officers arrived at HG’s home address at 934am and arrested her on suspicion of harassment. So they must have been informed some time earlier and the action taken was certainly in a panic. 

2. Whether a female officer was present when HG was arrested at her flat and, if not why? 
Answer. No female was present during arrest. There is no requirement for a female officer to be present when a female is arrested; only for search purposes.

The officers were arresting a lady whom it was alleged was harassing people and had to be immediately arrested and who was later charged and refused bail on safety grounds. Most police officers for their and the prisoner’s own safety will give the prisoner a quick frisk to ensure that they are not armed with any instrument to cause harm. It would have been good practice for a female officer to be present. It is also possible that had a female officer been present HG would have been able to confide in her and ensure that she was able to change into day clothing.

3. Was HG given time to change from her night attire and into appropriate day clothes and, if not, why not?

Answer, both arresting officers and the custody officer have been spoken to and cannot recollect what she was wearing. There is no custody photo from the date of arrest. CCTV in custody is kept only for 90 days. The States of Jersey Police say that it is inconceivable that either they or the Court would have allowed her to appear in Court on 27 September 2010, for the remand hearing wearing night attire. When she arrived at the Prison on 27
September she was wearing a navy blue sweat shirt, a navy blue polo shirt, blue tracksuit bottoms and training shoes. Furthermore, the custody photo taken when HG returned from Court awaiting her departure from Jersey on 11 October 2010, shows that she was wearing appropriate clothing including a blue sweat shirt and blue polo shirt.

The question was short and to the point the Minister was asked if HG was given time to change and if not, why not? If the officers cannot recollect what HG was wearing then the answer must be no and she was not allowed time to put on day attire.

The Minister also claims that there is no custody photo from the date of arrest. When people are arrested and charged most police forces take a photograph and fingerprints. This does not appear to be case or is it another mistake?

In my previous Blog, the Minister in answer to a similar question from Mike Higgins said that the claim “is, frankly, totally ludicrous and totally inaccurate.”  If the Officers cannot remember what HG was wearing how can the police and the Minister claim that it was inconceivable that she went to court or prison wearing night attire?

4. Was HG placed in a police car whilst her flat was searched and, if so, why?

Answer yes; she was placed in a police car, guarded by a Police Officer, whilst another Police Officer searched for evidence relating to the alleged offence.

The Minister has again failed to answer as to why she was placed in the police car when her flat was being search. HG‘s flat should have been searched in her presence to prevent allegations of police “planting” evidence or putting themselves in a position where they could be accused of stealing property. As a former Magistrate the Minister should be mindful of good police practice so why did he avoid answering the second part of the question?  By placing HG in the car with one male officer also opened the officer to allegations of indecent assault. Not that HG would be the type of person to make a dishonest allegation.

5. Was HG charged 11 hours after her arrest and, if so, what was the reason for the delay?

5. No. HG was in police custody for 9 hours and 25 minutes prior to charge. She arrived at the police station at 1022 hours and was charged at 1947 hours. Delays were due to the need for a mental health assessment by a doctor (Force Medical Examiner) in consultation with a consultant psychiatrist and the need to obtain an appropriate adult to support her at

The official documents record that HG was arrested at O934 and charged at 2032 which is 10 hours 58 minutes after arrest. Whether it is nine or eleven hours the time taken is unacceptable. One relevant omission is that statements were not taken from the Dean, his wife and the Bishop until between 4 and 6 pm that afternoon. That is over 8 hours after the arrest and would have required a senior officer’s approval to permit HG’s continued detention. Why were statements not taken before the arrest? It implies an arrest first and obtaining the evidence after mentality. It is also evident that HG was not treated in a fair and impartial manner. Also if there was a need to require the presence of a doctor and a consultant psychiatrist and an appropriate adult, that assistance should have been called for on her arrival and it would not have taken over 9 hours for them to attend.

6. Why, given that HG was of good character, employed and had a fixed abode, was bail denied after she was charged?

Answer. Decisions as to whether or not a person should be retained in custody prior to presentation before a court and as to whether bail should be opposed in Court are made by prosecutors and not by the Police. The Minister has avoided answering the question. Again the question is simple, why was HG not bailed after being charged? The Minister attempts to confuse Members by mentioning the bail arrangements at the court.  There were no valid reasons for refusing bail, given HG’s good character she was entitled to be bailed after being charged at the police station where the decision to bail falls squarely on the police. She was arrested early on the Sunday apparently because the Dean and Bishop thought she was attending their Confirmation Service at St Mary’s Church later that morning. They appear to have conducted the Service first and that is why they did not make their statements until well after the Service and the possible threat was over. The reason given by the Clergy men for pressing charges was because they believed the best way of helping HG was to arrest and place her in the hands of the police and courts. This view can also be found in the Korris report.

Bail was opposed in Court on 27 September 2010 by a Centenier upon the basis of the risk of re-offending and upon the basis of the protection of HG herself. The Centenier was different from the one that charged HG how did he come to that conclusion, where was the evidence? When considering bail the Magistrate said, “With a case such as this conditional bail would be quite normal, which would mean that you would be released from custody and be subject to a condition not to contact people, who ever they might be. I am not sure this is… this is not an ordinary run of the mill case (why, was HG not equal in the eyes of God and the Law?) and before I grant bail I need to be satisfied that you still have accommodation available to you and I would also like to know that you still have employment because obviously you would have been at work today.” Why was it necessary to carry out further checks? The Duty Advocate had made a strong case for bail pointing out that HG had been arrested from her home and was in work and would also abide with what ever conditions the court would impose. She also said that to hold HG in custody would be detrimental to her health. Her pleas were ignored. To deny HG bail and detain HG in prison for two weeks was inhuman, a disgrace and totally disproportionate to the alleged offence which was unlikely to attract a custodial sentence. The Magistrate indicated that the reasons for the refusal of bail were the risk of further offending and also for HG’s own protection and he was influenced by information that HG’s landlady did not want her to reside at her former accommodation. I have spoken to the land lady who has confirmed that she would have been happy for HG to continue her tenancy had the police not with held the reasons for arrest. 

Part 2 of the Written Questions is as follows;

Would the Minister advise whether the woman known as HG within the Korris report appeared at the Magistrates Court on Monday 11th October 2010, in the night attire she was wearing when arrested at her flat two weeks earlier despite having been held in custody in La Moye Prison for
two weeks?

Further to the response given on 5th November 2013, that HG was dressed in appropriate clothing when being deposited at Jersey Airport for onward journey to the UK, will the Minister inform members what the appropriate clothing was?

Will the Minister inform Members whether any provision was made for HG to collect her personal effects and clothing from her home before being put on the aircraft?

Will the Minister inform Members whether, when agreeing to HG’s request to call at her flat to collect some clothing and personal effects, the officers did not allow her out of the police car to collect them herself and, if so, why? 

As I advised Deputy Higgins in my response to his oral question on 5 November 2013, I can confirm, again, that the woman known as HG was not wearing night attire when she appeared in Court on 11 October 2010. I have personally seen a custody photograph taken of her on that day after court and she can clearly be seen to be wearing a navy blue sweat shirt and a navy blue polo shirt. For the avoidance of doubt why didn't the Minister produce the photograph, is it because the only photograph available is the usual head and shoulders. That appears to be the case because there is no mention of what HG was wearing below her waist. Further, I am advised by the Prison Governor that on HG’s arrival at the Prison on 27 September 2010 she was wearing a blue polo shirt, blue sweat shirt, blue tracksuit bottoms and training shoes. These clothes were removed from her on arrival for laundering and placed in her personal property. She was given prison clothes to wear whilst in prison. On exit to attend court, on 11 October 2010 the Prison records confirm that her own clothes were returned to her. Whilst the Prison do not record the fact that she was actually wearing these clothes on departure from the Prison, the custom and practice is for prisoners to change into their own clothes, in the reception area, prior to departure for Court. HG did not have any night clothes in her property and prison staff would not have permitted her to leave the prison in night attire in any case. HG is clear as to what she was wearing and given that she was arrested at 934 on a Sunday morning it is likely that she was wearing night attire. There is no record of her being given other clothing whilst in prison so it stands to reason that she was put on the aircraft in the clothes she was wearing two week previously. 

I am unable to say precisely what HG was wearing upon leaving Jersey, although it is reasonable to assume that this included the navy blue sweat shirt, navy blue polo shirt, blue tracksuit bottoms and training shoes.

At HG’s request, post sentence, and en route for the airport, the escorting officers called at a St Brelade address in order to collect some of HG’s personal property, including clothing. HG remained in the car whilst the property was collected for the purposes of police security and in accord with the Court decision that she stay in custody until she left the Island.It should not have been at HG's request as mentioned in the States on Tuesday the proper procedure is for the officers to have allowed HG to collect sufficient clothing and personal effects. As it was she remained in the police car with her land lady whilst the police rummaged through her clothing and personal effects

The issue as to what HG was wearing is really a minor issue when compared with her arrest, the time taken to charge her, refusal of police bail and then being held in custody for two weeks. However even if those events are bad the manner in which the court via her Advocate and Magistrate came to remove HG from Jersey and leave her destitute is the real issue and should have been reviewed in line with the Korris recommendation.

Clearly HG was posing problems by sending any number of emails to the Dean, Winchester staff and the Bishop when seeking redress for the manner they had handled her complaint. The Bishop's statement records that he thought that by levelling complaints to the police HG may be further helped with her needs. Unfortunately he did not explain what he had in mind and did not attend at either of HG's two court appearances? 

Why were the Clergy not in court to explain what the problem was and that their reason for pressing charges was to help HG. From the supporting papers it is apparent that pressure was put on HG whilst in La Moye Prison to agree to leave the Island but she was opposed to that idea. Yet a few days later she is apparently agreeing to plead guilty and be bound over to leave the Island. Why and why 3 years and why was no provision made to help HG on her arrival? The Clergy men's reasons for pressing charges was to help HG but what were they doing about it?

HG’s deportation has all the hallmarks of a done deal where she says she was given the choice of leaving the Island or returning to prison. The Charge involving the Bishop was dropped, some may say it was to pave the way to get HG out of the Island. Why was she Bound Over to be left destitute in the UK when she could have been bound over to be of good behaviour in Jersey where she had friends, a home and a job? On reading the court transcripts it appears that the Defence Advocate and Magistrate had more concern for the alleged victims than for HG.

We shall never know the answers because both Winchester and Jersey have refused to properly investigate the matter. Clearly if a proper investigation was undertaken they would be embarrassed by the findings. However the matter leaves a nasty taste in one’s mouth and the matter will rumble on. The Clergy men's actions was very much akin to that of Pontius Pilate and were washing their hands of HG who was left a broken and destitute woman in the UK. Hardly the act of Christians let alone high ranking Clergy men.

Monday 11 November 2013

Jesey's Dean---------Deputy Mike Higgins-- Oral Question..

Last Tuesday Deputy Higgins asked an Oral question of Senator Le Marquand the Minister for Home Affairs relating to HG's arrest and removal from Jersey for 3 years. Most readers see the removal as deportation but HG is a British citizen she cannot be legally deported but the way in which she was removed amounted to deportation as readers will discover when reading this Blog

The States Standing Orders, require written questions to be lodged on the Monday before the next Sitting which is the Tuesday the following week. Written questions must not exceed 200 words. Answers are printed and published at the next Sitting but there is no opportunity for the questioner to ask further question orally unless they had also lodged an Oral Question which must be lodged before noon on the Thursday before the next Sitting. Oral Questions must not exceed 70 words.

In theory the time allowed for research is adequate and there should be no reason for any Minister to mislead Members. Unfortunately there is a big difference between theory and practice and all too often Ministers either intentionally mislead Members or their answers are inaccurate. Senator Le Maquand is a past master of side stepping questions as readers will see. Below is the Oral question and answer session and it was open for any of the other 49 members to ask supplementary questions. As one can see supplementary questions were only asked by 2 male Members and one must ask why lady Members did not think it worthy to ask questions or was it that they did not wish to offend the Dean who an unelected Member of the States and had led the prayers at the start of the Sitting.

My Comments are in red ink.

3.8 Deputy M.R. Higgins of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the binding over order imposed on the woman known as H.G. in the Korris Report:

Will the Minister explain to Members whether the woman known as H.G. in the Korris Report was bound over to leave the Island and, if so, would he advise whether she was removed from the Island in her pyjamas and left destitute at a United Kingdom airport?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs):

The harassment case to which the Deputy refers dates back to October 2010 and the latest Korris Report was published in March this year. The fact that the woman known as H.G. in this case was sentenced for harassment on 11th October 2010 is a matter of public record. H.G. was legally represented in court at her sentencing by a Jersey lawyer and supported in court by both a mental health patient advocate and by friends from Winchester who were in Jersey on holiday at the time. HG did not see her lady Advocate until she had actually arrived at Court and who then advised her to plead guilty. HG claims that she was unaware of the full extent of the Binding Order or that she was going to be shipped out of the Island that day. HG's friends were by chance on holiday in the Island and the Court records show that they were not returning to the UK until the following week. HG had made her home in Jersey and had a job, if her Advocate advised her to plead guilty why did she not ask for a binding order to be of good behaviour in Jersey. However had she been given the opportunity to plead not guilty and the court had actually tried the case she may well have been found not guilty due to mitigating circumstances which were not even mentioned before HG was sentenced. As it was she was treated in a shambolic way in a behind the doors deal where it was conveniently arranged to kick her out of the Island. H.G. pleaded guilty to one charge of harassment. Her lawyers invited the court to deal with sentencing in the case by way of a binding over order to leave the Island, I repeat why a binding over to leave Jersey??? and H.G. consented to this. She was appropriately dressed in daywear attire when appearing at court, as was the case when she left the Island. How can the Senator make that claim and how does he know? HG was arrested at 930 on a Sunday morning at a time when many people are still in bed or as in HG's case she was still in her pyjamas, she was not wearing a dressing gown but for warmth had put on a pullover/cardigan. She was wearing a very old pair of trainers and if not arrested she would have showered and got dressed into day clothes to assist at a charity event at Reg's Garden. Senator Le Marquand fails to explain why two male officers turned up. The States Police knew they were arresting a lady so why the rush why no female police officer? Perhaps if one had been present HG might not have felt embarrassed to ask that she be allowed to put on some underwear and day clothes. HG remained in her pyjamas when taken and detained over night at the police station and then in the same clothes when appearing in court and then taken on to La Moye Prison for two weeks. As she never set foot in her flat again it stands to reason that the clothes she was arrested in were the clothes she was wearing when she was deported from the Island two weeks later. HG was given prison clothing but reverted to her pyjamas when she appeared for sentencing on 11th October. I challenge Senator Le Marquand to disprove this claim. The States funded her flight to Southampton later that afternoon. Big deal, did they expect HG to pay for her flight? The States of Jersey Police assisted in the recovery of personal possessions in storage at a St. Brelade's address for her before leaving the Island. Only partly true. On leaving the Magistrates Court's cell HG was still in the clothing she was wearing when arrested two weeks earlier. She claims she received no help from her advocate or mental health advocate regarding her onward journey and there is no reason to disbelieve her as no arrangements were made for HG to collect her belongings. She asked the police officers if they would stop off at her flat whilst on the way to the airport so she could collect some clothing and personal effects. this they did but would not allow her out of the car. A Police Officer entered her flat to rummage through her belongings bringing with him HG's passport and bank card and two bags of old clothing which HG had put aside to give to charity I am unable to advise on her onward travel or other arrangements from Southampton. I am not surprised at that answer but if he had asked HG She would have told him that she was left to fend for herself and left destitute.

3.8.1 Deputy M.R. Higgins:

A supplementary. I think the Minister’s response is misleading; I will put that down to the information he has been given. The lady concerned was in her pyjamas, she had no underwear, she had a cardigan over her pyjamas, that was all. The police officers took her back. On the way to the airport, she asked if she could go home and get some clothes. They would not allow her to go in and get them; they got some plastic bags with goods that were going to a charity shop and she was basically left in the U.K. with no money. Deputy Higgins's information is correct. What I would say to the Minister is: is that how we should be treating people in the 21st century? What sort of impression is it giving to people outside this Island? The tactics used are very similar to that of a totalitarian state. Now for a classic Le Marquand side step clearly he did not want to answer the question because the tactics adopted were akin to that of a totalitarian State. Let's see the answer given.

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I am afraid that much of the information being given by the Deputy is wholly inaccurate. A typical answer from a Minister who naturally must be believed because he is a Minister. The fact is that this young lady had spent 2 weeks in prison prior to coming before the court for sentencing. Why was she remanded in custody for two weeks, why was she not bailed? To suggest that she would be in prison for 2 weeks and that the prison authorities would allow her to be taken down to Police Headquarters in her pyjamas is, frankly, totally ludicrous and totally inaccurate. The Senator is completely ignoring the facts, where did he acquire his information? HG was taken from La Moye Prison to the Magistrates Court not police headquarters. I submit that he should check the facts with those who know rather than from those who like Dame Heather refuse to accept them because it shows the judiciary and police in a poor light? The functionality of my department in this area is the functionality of the police officers in carrying out the court order in relation to the binding over order, and that functionality is, first of all, to hold the individual in custody for a period and then to place them on a flight or on a boat out of the Island. HG was hardly a Curtis Warren or high risk offender, her alleged crime was that she was going to disrupt a church Service Surely there must be proper procedure for persons who are bound over to leave the Island to be given an opportunity to gather some clothing and personal effects before being put on a boat or aircraft. In addition to that, they assisted the lady in seeking to regain possession of items which she had in the Island to take with her. The Senator is wrong again.
3.8.2 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I have to ask, are we getting extra time for these very long answers? I hope we are adding extra time. My question is this: in the Korris Report, pages 41 and 48, the author recommends that H.G.’s arrest and deportation should be investigated as the matter is not being investigated by Dame Heather Steel, as it is not considered to be a church matter. Does the Minister agree that the matter should in fact be the subject of an inquiry instigated by the States itself and, if not, why not?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:
The use of the term “deportation” is inaccurate in this context. Korris described HG's removal as deportation. Here, we have a situation in which a person’s lawyer invites the court to deal with the matter by way of a binding over order with a condition of leaving the Island and not returning for 3 years. There is no mention of the 3 years in the Court transcript. Why did the lawyer who had never met HG until the morning of the Hearing advise HG to accept a binding over to leave the Island, why if guilty could she not have been bound over in Jersey to keep the peace? The answer is because HG was becoming a thorn in the Church's side and a legal way had to be found to remove her from the Island. If there are concerns in relation to the manner in which the young lady was dealt with, I am aware that earlier this year the Chief Minister commissioned a report from the Jersey Independent Safeguarding Chair into the care and welfare of H.G. This is news to me and HG. A few months ago I repeatedly asked the Chief Minister to instigate an investigation but he refused. Why the U Turn, why has HG not been informed, what are the terms of reference and will the report be released to the public? in respect of these matters, and the outcome of that report is expected some time in the future, but I have no particular details on that other than the fact that such a report has been commissioned by the Chief Minister. Why no details, the investigation must be looking into the arrest and detention which were carried out by the police.
3.8.3 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

A supplementary? It is not an attack on the Minister, as I am sure he is not responsible for all these things, but the examples of how Jersey flouts the absolute right to a fair trial process are growing weekly. The evidence we are hearing is so different. Does that not in itself suggest that, really, to put people’s minds at rest, that the Minister should initiate an inquiry?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

It is a matter of public record what happened in the courts. Does that mean what happened in the Court cannot be questioned? I have in front of me, not only a copy of the charge sheet for sentencing purposes, but also a transcript, albeit one which has been edited out to remove certain details and information, of both hearings which took place. Will the Senator explain why the charge against the Bishop was dropped? I submit that by doing so it paved the way to remove HG from the Island. She could hardly be bound over to the UK if the Bishop was living there.That is a matter of public record. If Members are interested to try to obtain a copy of the edited matter, they should approach the Magistrates’ Court Greffier to see if he will provide them with such a copy, otherwise, they can go and listen to the tape recording. These matters are not held in secret; this is a public, open court. Some of the information which I have given today comes directly from those transcripts. And very selective too.

3.8.4 Deputy S.G. Luce of St. Martin:

I would like to agree with Deputy Pitman inasmuch as we are used to having contrary views across the House but, in this case, the 2 versions of events seem to be very far apart. Could I ask the Minister if he would be prepared to meet Deputy Higgins to try to ascertain where Deputy Higgins’ version of events comes from and if it is truthful?

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I do not think there is any point in that, personally. I have invited Deputy Higgins on many occasions to come and talk to me about many different matters in which we have a difference of opinion; he never wants to come and talk to me, but if he wants to come and talk to me on this matter, I will happily see him. This is the usual approach to keep matters under the carpet.

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I will come too. Not sure why Trevor wants to waste his time, he did not get very far when he saw the Chief Minister in relation to Senator Bailhache's reading of documents on the plane.

3.8.5 Deputy M.R. Higgins:

I might say that I will be bringing matters to the House regarding what I want to speak to the Minister for Home Affairs about. As far as H.G. is concerned, perhaps the Minister will explain to us a number of strange things that happened: (1) she was arrested and spent 11 hours in custody before she was charged; perhaps he can tell us why there was the delay; (2) perhaps he can also tell us why the police did not bail her - she had accommodation, she had a job and she was of good character; (3) and also perhaps he can tell us why the police objected to her having bail at the court appearance on 27th September.

Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I cannot answer the first question; it is far too detailed and it was going beyond the area of the initial question back into earlier time. It was a genuine question and HG was not charged until 11 hours after her arrest. It is evident that HG had to wait until the police had obtained statements from the Dean, his wife and the Bishop. They also had to find a Centenier to charge. Again, if Deputy Higgins would care to look at the transcript of the hearing, he will see precisely what was said by the prosecution and he will see precisely the thought processes of the Magistrate concerned in relation to the matter. It was established during the course of the hearing that, in fact, she did not have a home to go to, that the person with whom she had been staying was unwilling to have her back again. That is on the record of the transcript. Deputy Higgins has described what really happened and HG has every right to claim that she was also poorly represented at the first Hearing too. One should really examine Magistrate Richard Falle's thought process and why he sentenced HG to be bound over to leave the Island for 3 years

3.8.6 Deputy M.R. Higgins:

I must address that last point about the person not having a home. The police phoned the landlord and said about H.G. and asked whether she lived and everything else and whether she could go back. They would not tell her what the nature of the charge was. The woman was aware of the fact that police had arrested her in the morning, the police would not say why she was being charged. For all they knew, she could have been a mass murderer and they would have been in danger so, as a consequence, because the police would not tell them why she had been arrested, they would not necessarily have her back in the home. I think it is monstrous to say otherwise. This is a stain on Jersey’s character and it is not going to go away. I spoke to the land lady some months ago and Deputy Higgins account is correct. The land lady said that had she been told the facts she would have been happy for HG to return to her flat.
Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

I have absolutely no knowledge of that; all I can say is what is in the transcript. The transcript will show that her legal representative had left the court before HG was refused bail. While I am on my feet, could I possibly correct a mistake I made in answer before to a question of Deputy Trevor Pitman on the previous answer? It is a matter of correction.

The Bailiff:


Senator B.I. Le Marquand:

This was in relation to the first set of questions by Deputy Trevor Pitman. I erroneously said that there had been a letter to Mr. Syvret setting out the position from which I had quoted. In fact, I now see, on checking it, that there was an email. I wonder whether Senator Le Marquand will correct some of the information he gave in his answers above.

I am drafting this Blog during the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and one day after the Remembrance Service where at the Cenotaph, the Dean during his closing prayers asked God to grant the Island PEACE,TRUTH,JUSTICE.

Are they just empty words, because where is HG's justice ? She was badly let down by the Church for whom the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Winchester and the Dean albeit belatedly have all publicly apologised. However she was also badly let down by the States Police, her legal representatives, the social services and the Judiciary, are those actions not worthy of redress?

And now to cap it all even though there is now a very expensive investigation into the events relating to the way HG's complaint was handled and how she was treated during her arrest, her voice has not been heard, where is the justice that the Dean was praying for? the answer is simple, it is not with God but the very people who were probably at other Remembrance Services either with the Dean was or elsewhere in the UK. What are they doing about it?

The way HG was arrested detained and deported is of grave concern but is it just an isolated incident? Are there proper procedures in place and if so were they followed by the police in the first instance. Is our legal aid system working against the interests of both the lawyer and accused who all too often feels pressurised to plead guilty. Was the Magistrate too close to some senior members of the Town Church? Deputy Higgins was right to describe the tactics used to deport HG as very similar to that of a Totalitarian State. Are there Binding Over procedures in place and again were they followed.

Even if HG was not dressed in her pyjamas, is the method of her arrest and deportation acceptable for an Island that claims to be Christian. Is it right to remove a vulnerable person from a secure environment and dumped and left destitute on a UK airport on a cold October evening?

In my very first Blog on the Dean titled "The Dean, Bishop and Good Shepherds, Fact or Fiction? published on 22nd March, I wrote "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."
I don't need to wonder any more because clearly Jersey is not trained or resourced and even worse it is unwilling to accept or rectify its failings.