F.J. (Bob) Hill, BEM, is Jersey born and educated at St Martin's Elementary School, left the Island and served for 31 years in the Metropolitan Police. He returned to Jersey in 1991 and in 1993 was elected Deputy of St Martin until 2011.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
the written answers given to the questions asked by Deputy Higgins and are in
the public domain but I have added my commentsin 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
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 () 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.
Detention Authorised Did the FME actually assess HG before this
decision was reached?
Detention authorised by Police Sergeant on
26 September 2010 at :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
when the first statement was taken from the 3 witnesses.
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 12:45What 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
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..
Duty Sergeant note of Medical Review,
Task Medical Review Required completed.
Comments: Medical review complete fit for detention FME to return in two
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
17:30hrsThis is now 8 hours after HG's arrest.
15:04-15:45 Statement recorded - Statement of first witnesstaken from Mrs Key, the Dean's wife at the Deanery. Why was
her statement not taken earlier, she was not conducting the Church Service?
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 processPolice 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 witnessFormer Bishop Michael Scott Joynt at the Deanery
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 witnessThe Dean at the Deanery.
I have contacted the duty consultant psychiatrist directly,
who will attend in due course.
Seen by duty Consultant Psychiatrist, for detention, no
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.
PACE Status Changed
PACE status changed from PACE to Non PACE for the
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 Doctor (FME) Comments
No evidence of dehydration although not drinking fit for
detention and court
Handed to court officers and taken to court
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?
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.”
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.
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?
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?
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.