Monday 31 March 2014

Jersey's Dean-- Bob Hill-- Matthew Price Interview.

As a follow up to the Dean’s interview on signing the Agreement and a look back on the events over the past year I appeared on Matthew Price’s programme yesterday morning in which it was hoped the Bishop of Winchester would also appear but alas he did not.

Matthew and I covered a number of issues including why Winchester commissioned to review a matter which had been dead and buried for some time.Why was Jan Korris commissioned to review a complaint which was made 5 years earlier, particularly as the main person in what has become a sorry mess was to be ignored. In her opening paragraph Jan Korris states “I have been asked by the Safeguarding Panel for the Diocese of Winchester to look into the response of the Diocese to a complaint made by a vulnerable adult against a church warden in a parish on Jersey.” However no reason was given as to why and for whose benefit?

On page 37 of her report Jan Korris wrote “The Church let HG down. Despite the difficulties of her background and disablement, and her struggle with some everyday practicalities, HG was none-the-less in employment, pursuing hobbies, socialising and wanting to be accepted in the church community. Over the next three years HG’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.”

That comment was written a year ago, but apart from tendering a meaningless public apology what has the Church done to right the wrong, the answer is very little but has caused even more harm by breaking promises and treating the Bishop and Dean as the victims. 

It will be for readers to comment on the 10 minute interview which covered a number of issues, but given the failure of Winchester to communicate with me and others including BBC Radio Jersey many questions will remain until the Bishop comes out from what appears to be his self imposed exile, or is it from the doghouse?

Please listened to the interview below

Friday 28 March 2014

Jersey's Dean--- The Canterbury Agreement---Appeasement/ Sell Out.

On Tuesday in line with the announcement in January and at the fifth attempt the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Winchester, the Bishop of Dover and each of the Deans of Jersey and Guernsey signed an Agreement to give effect to the interim oversight arrangements.  It is not known what the actual wording is but apparently it will allow for the Bishop of Dover to have temporary Episcopal oversight of Jersey and Guernsey and ending the Winchester link.
There are a number of issues arising from the Agreement and one must ask why it was deemed necessary and is it not hypercritical? On one hand the Church of England preaches the virtue of loving thy neighbour and seeking peace and conciliation yet it has two of its senior members not only acting as spoilt children by not practising what they preach but causing a 500 year split from Winchester without any thought of the thousands of ordinary church goers and the general public whose offerings and taxes pay for their keep and salaries.
Just what is the Archbishop of Canterbury playing at? In his press release he said: “I am delighted that we have found a way forward which engages the full support of everyone concerned, and which will enable the ministry and mission of the Church of England to flourish in the Channel Islands while acknowledging on the long and complex history of the Islands’ relationship to the Church on the mainland, and I look forward to doing so from the secure understanding we have now reached.”
Who are the everyone concerned, it would be unforgivable if they just happened to be the five people signing the Agreement.  What consultation has there been with the congregations within the Diocese, don’t their views count for anything?
To many readers the Agreement has more to do with appeasement than leadership. It is a sell out which is akin to Neville Chamberlain’s “Peace in Our Time remark.” Does the Archbishop not see the harm being caused by the split and also the message going out that personalities are more important than principles?
There are a number of outstanding issues which include the completion of the Gladwin and Steel Investigations. Does the Agreement transfer the oversight of the Visitation to Bishop Trevor? What about the promise to help HG and for her to give her account of events. What about the promised transcript following my meeting with Dame Heather. What about the Safeguarding issues, does Jersey follow the Canons Law or the Church of England Safeguarding Policies? Are these issues included in the Agreement?
One would have hoped that in the spirit of openness and transparency the Agreement would have been published at the time the Archbishop of Canterbury circulated his press release. I have emailed both Bishops requesting a copy but do not expect a reply as they have ignored my previous emails relating to other issues.
We may not know what is in the Agreement but there is one person who is overjoyed with its contents and that’s the Dean who can’t wait to work with Bishop Trevor. However the Dean seems to be oblivious to the fact that the split from Winchester and the hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on the Visitation and other related issues stem from his handling of HG’s complaint against a Church Warden in 2008.
Also he was party to HG's arrest and deportation from Jersey and left destitute in England. In his interview on Radio Jersey on Tuesday the Dean asks that we pray for Bishop Trevor but conveniently ignores HG who is the real victim. Where is love thy neighbour and peace and conciliation, where is the Christianity?
On BBC Radio Jersey on Tuesday morning Matthew Price interviewed the Dean about the Agreement which can be heard by clicking here.
I am grateful to BBC Radio Jersey for the link and inform readers that I shall be appearing on Radio Jersey after the 8am news on Sunday morning to discuss the events over the past year I understand that the Bishop of Winchester has been invited to participate, I hope he will accept the invitation.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Jersey's Dean----Steel and Gladwin Reports On The Rocks

It was last March that the Bishop of Winchester Tim Dakin suspended Jersey’s Dean, Bob Key. It was also last March that I published my first Blog on the matter. One year on I thought I would look back at what has or has not happened and what has been achieved.

The Dean was suspended following a review conducted by Ms Jan Korris into his handling of a complaint made in 2008 against a Church Warden by a young lady known as HG.

One question that has never been answered is what prompted Winchester to engage Jan Korris to conduct a review and what did it hope to achieve particularly as neither HG nor the Church Warden were ever interviewed. HG was never made aware of the review or received a copy of the report nor asked to comment on it.

The Korris Report contained a number of the recommendations and also identified a number of failings by the Dean and the Parish Vicar in the way they dealt with the complaint. The report also recommended that the way HG in 2010 was arrested, detained in La Moye Prison for two weeks, then removed/deported from Jersey in her pyjamas and left destitute at a UK airport on cold October night should be investigated.

The Korris Report is dated March 2013 yet within a matter of days of it's publication the Dean was suspended, unreserved apologies given to HG  and it was announced that a Visitation would be conducted by John Gladwin the former Bishop of Chelmsford. Quite dynamic action but thereafter it has been down hill all the way as those at the helm have struck one rock after another and is now stranded.

In looking back what has been achieved? At some stage it was unwisely decided that John Gladwin would only address the Constitutional issues and Dame Heather Steel would address the Dean’s handling of HG’s complaint but no immediate Terms of Reference were published. However when published they were narrow and unclear. There was also the issue of Dame Heather's perceived conflict which has never been addressed.

It was soon evident that Winchester was totally unaware of “the Jersey Way” and that questioning any establishment figure would be seen as an attack on Jersey. It only took a letter from Senator Bailhache to the Archbishop of Canterbury to lift the Dean’s suspension even before he had been interviewed by the Investigators so why he was suspended in the first place.

However it should be noted that on being reinstated the Dean apologised for mistakes made in 2008 and publicly apologised to HG, but not personally.

Last June with HG I met John Gladwin and Christine Daly in London and some very important promises were made. Meetings would be recorded and reports to be agreed. Further interviews would be arranged so that HG’s side of story could be recorded and acted upon. Tangible assistance would be given to help her and to avoid unnecessary stress all communications would come via me. Also reference was made of Dame Heather’s perceived conflict. It is now evident that these promises were not forwarded to Winchester or Dame Heather, why?

In early August a full page advert on behalf of the Jersey Laity appeared in the Jersey Evening Post. It asked members of the public who had experienced inappropriate or unbecoming behaviour by Bishop Dakin to write to Dame Heather Steel. The advert clearly placed Dame Heather in both camps but neither she nor Winchester took any steps to refute or clarify the Adverts’ claims.

Dame Heather’s investigation has been a disaster where she not only failed to interview HG or the Church Warden but her report which she claimed to have completed last October is apparently still incomplete. I wrote to Dame Heather on seven occasions asking to meet her but somehow my emails which were also copied in to the Bishop’s Chaplain and John Gladwin were ignored until late October when by that time Dame Heather had almost completed her report.

It was hoped that HG would accompany me to Church House in Westminster but on learning of her visit, the venue was changed because the powers that be refused to allow her on the premises. Unfortunately HG did not attend the meeting but Dame Heather promised that my meeting with her would be recorded and I would be given a copy of the transcript.

However Dame Heather has reneged on her promise and has refused to give me a copy. I have made repeated requests to Bishop Dakin for a copy but although first promising to let me have it he now fails to even respond to my further requests.

In November Bishop Dakin announced that although Dame Heather had not completed her report no disciplinary action would be taken against the Dean and the Vicar. He also announced that the Bishop of Dover would now have oversight over Jersey and that another review would be commissioned on the Constitution issue.

We are now into the third week of March but what has been achieved? It might be easier to ask what has not been achieved. For a starter John Gladwin has not published his report but now that a similar review has been commissioned his report is irrelevant.

Dame Heather submitted her report at the end of October yet almost 5 months later we are told that it has not been completed. If that is the case why has she refused to see HG or arranged for some one else to interview her so that her account of events is recorded? At the States Sitting on 4th March Deputy Le Fondre via a written question asked the Chief Minister to provide an update on the likely date for the publication of the Dame Heather Steel review?

Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst replied “The position has not changed since I made my statement to the States Assembly in January. I continue to expect that the Bishop of Winchester will honour the commitment made in the terms of reference of the investigation by Dame Heather Steel that, upon receipt of the final report, the Bishop of Winchester will supply a copy to the Bailiff, the Dean and the Ministry of Justice. Lambeth Palace confirmed in January that the reports being conducted by Dame Heather Steel and Bishop Gladwin will be completed in due course. I hope that the Steel report will be completed as soon as possible in order that our community can be strengthened through reconciliation and healing based upon integrity and transparency.

I thought the Chief Minister was being hypercritical because he has commissioned a report on HG’s arrest which has not been satisfactorily investigated because like Dame Steel, the investigator Ms Glenys Johnson has not interviewed HG so her report will be as worthless as Dame Heather’s. Where is the integrity where is the transparency?

Following my meeting with Dame Heather I published a Blog on 28th October 2013 Jersey’s Dean--- The truth, the whole truth or nothing but a whitewash? At  its conclusion I said the following, “What is becoming abundantly clear is that the Visitation is a waste of time and money, the guilty will be found innocent and the innocent condemned. What sort of message is the Church of England sending out to the poor, needy and vulnerable members of our society?

I stand by that statement, the Visitation has been a meaningless and financial disaster as events have overtaken it. John Gladwin’s report is pointless and Dame Heather’s should be confined to the dustbin. Not only has she failed to conduct her investigation in a satisfactory manner but her conflict and bias is evident by her failure to see HG and supply me with a copy of the transcript in which Dame Heather was less than discreet in her support for the Dean and her condemnation of HG.

The promise to assist HG has not been kept and Winchester’s decision last November to refer her to the NSPCC without consulting her or me was a disgrace. In his press statement dated 22nd November the Bishop said he was praying that HG would accept what she had been offered. He knew full well that his offer was totally unacceptable and has since been reminded that it is action not prayers that is needed, but alas my advice is still being ignored.

Over £200k has been spent, no reports have been published, Winchester no longer has oversight for Jersey, apologies have not been given personally, promises made have not been kept and HG is still being ignored. What is interesting is that the Church Warden is certainly still within the fold and it is strongly rumoured that he is a candidate for the Church Warden’s position at the Town Church. If that is the case then God really does move in mysterious ways.

I have tried to find the positives from the past 12 months but to no avail. Perhaps readers may be able to inform me.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Curtis Warren---La Moye Hilton, Prison or Holiday Camp?

In my previous Blog I reported that Deputy Montfort Tadier had lodged a number of questions relating to disciplinary cases involving Prison Employees. The full questions and answers are as follows;

Will the Minister advise members how many disciplinary cases there have been in the past 10 years at the HMP La Moye Prison for employees, and in how many of those cases the employee was either dismissed or resigned pending, or after, the action?

Will the Minister provide a summary of any alleged misconduct, in terms of its nature (i.e. sexual, drug dealing etc?)

Will the Minister, in particular, inform members whether the former member of staff in charge of the drug and alcohol counselling services who is alleged in a national newspaper to have had an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner was the subject of a disciplinary investigation and, if so what was the basis for, and result of, that investigation? Will the Minister make the case notes, if any, for any such disciplinary action available?


Prior to 2007, data on the number and outcome of disciplinary cases was not collated. Therefore the information requested could only be extracted through an examination of all staff personal files. Further to discussion with the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, I believe Deputy Tadier has helpfully agreed that I should focus on Gross Misconducts where dismissal is a disposal available to the Prison Governor.

Between 1 January 2007 and 26 February 2014, 16 Gross Misconduct Investigations were initiated. The outcomes were as follows:

· 1 Prison Officer dismissed

· 2 Senior Officers reduced in rank to Prison Officer
· 1 Senior Officer, 3 Prison Officers and 1 Civilian grade given Final Written Warnings
· 3 Prison Officers given Written Warnings
· 1 Senior Officer, 2 Prison Officers and 2 Civilian Support Grades resigned before the disciplinary process was concluded

The nature of the offences committed included:

· 7 of the 16 Gross Misconducts and 2 of the resignations arose as a consequence of events while off duty in the community. 2 related to inappropriate behaviour in public and 5 due to criminal charges;

· 2 involved trafficking (1 x mobile phone and 1 x confectionery and stationery items);
· 1 related to a breach of the States Information Systems policy;
· 1 involved inappropriate use of a Dictaphone;
· 1 inappropriate disclosure of confidential information;
· 1 failing to report a significant breach of security;
· 1 leaving a part of the prison insecure and failing to complete core duties;
· 1 harassment of a prisoner;
· 1 breach of security while on an external escort (left a prisoner locked in the escort vehicle unsupervised).

With reference to the specific questions related to the ex Manager of Drug &Alcohol Counselling service at La Moye, on 14 September 2010 the Prison Governor would have suspended this individual pending an investigation into whether she had been trafficking items into Prison but she immediately resigned and is believed to have left Jersey within a matter of days thereafter. Because this matter did not proceed to the stage of a disciplinary investigation, it is not included in the figure of 16 Gross Misconduct Investigations set out above.

There has not been an investigation related to any form of sexual activity in the prison.

It is not appropriate to make the case notes in relation to disciplinary matters, or potential disciplinary matters, available.


Each year the Prison Governor submits an Annual Report to the States. His report includes a Mission Statement which is as follows.

H.M. Prison La Moye will provide a healthy, safe, secure and stimulating environment for all who live and work here. Prisoners will be encouraged to address their offending behaviour and to become involved in education and work related training, which will enable them to live a law-abiding and purposeful life in custody and after release. 

• Supportive relationships with families will be facilitated in order to maintain the positive links that will ensure a successful return to the community. In partnership with other agencies the prison will provide effective ways to reduce crime and its resultant social and economic costs. 

• Our aim is to be a model of best practice and an example to other prisons.

These are fine words but seem to be easier said than done.

I know a number of people who work in a variety of jobs in the Prison and they are a credit to them selves and the Prison Service. Unfortunately there will always be a few bad apples who bring the prison and their colleagues into disrepute. This is now evident by the information provided above which has had to be eked out thanks to Deputy Tadier.

In the Prison Governor's latest Report R41/2013 (see below) He reports on the misdeeds of the inmates but completely ignores those committed by his staff, why? Running La Moye Prison costs the Jersey Tax Payer over £10m a year, has on average 157 inmates and around 157 staff which includes drug councillors and other ancillary staff. I believe that the number of known disciplinary offences are disproportionate to the number of staff particularly as they are expected to be highly trained and disciplined.   

Whilst the Minister has provided some details and the number of disciplinary cases one is left to question their validity because a person claiming to be a member of the prison staff has circulated an email which includes the names of personnel who appear to have committed a number of misdeeds but have not really been taken to task. Some do not appear to match those given in Senator Le Marquand's answers above.

As the email contains allegations which have not been investigated the names of the individuals have been omitted and the following is the redacted version.

" Dear all,

First I will apologise for sending this information in this way, I do not have the strength to identify myself as I will be subjected to persecution by prison management and will lose my job which […] I cannot afford to do but I cant stay silent any more.

The story instigated by Theresa Rodrigues is on the whole a fairy tale but it opens up other questions that should be asked.

Rodrigues was suspected, investigated and challenged for numerous acts including sexual activity with numerous inmates(not warren) supply of drugs phones and pornographic materials. She was allowed to leave with pension reputation and a pay off from management. 

Officer AA was suspected investigated and found guilty of the same and again was allowed to leave with reputation pension intact and move too another states job

Officer BB found guilty after investigation for supply of drugs  no action taken, still states employee.

Counsellor CC guilty of supplying mobile phones to inmates  no action taken

Civilian DD   guilty of supply of drugs, phones and pornographic material. no action taken

Officer EE   Guilty of having improper relationship with Curtis Warren, passing and smuggling items and mail in and out of prison.  no action taken

Officer FF having affair with inmate, no action taken

The questions asked should be why have all these incidents been covered up X, ultimately the buck stops with the Governor but it is common knowledge X who runs La Moye and makes the decisions. 

Several Officers convicted of violent offences and kept job because of personally protected by X 

The moral in the prison is the lowest by far in the 10+ years I have been there, the management especially X run a regime based on corruption, bullying and lies and deceit."

It will be for readers to question the validity of the contents of the email or the author's authenticity as his/her spelling and grammar is suspect. However some of the allegations even if they come from an anonymous source are too serious to be ignored and as the names of the staff are in the email it should not be difficult to verify some of the allegations.

Questions have been asked as to Ms Rodrigues' motives for talking to the Mail on Sunday, could the answer be found in relation to Officer EE  who it is claimed was found guilty of having an improper relationship with Curtis Warren, passing and smuggling items and mail in and out of prison.  whereby no action was taken. Is it a case of "Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned?"

Senator Le Marquand was subjected to a number of questions during yesterday's Question Time and can be found on The Jersey Way website. look for question 8 which was asked by Deputy Le Herissier. It is evident that the Minister is slowly having to concede that all is not all sweetness and light at the prison. The fact that some of his Prison staff have been found guilty of a whole raft of dishonest acts cannot be ignored. It is now evident that Ms Rodriques' claim is not in isolation and the Minister must have been aware of the number cases of misconduct including hers so how can he say her claim was fantasy? If as it is claimed, another Prison Officer has been found guilty of having an inappropriate relationship with Curtis Warren what is to say that Ms Rodrigues did not?

What is evident is thanks to the persistence of a small number of people, the truth is slowly emerging along with a loss of confidence in the Minister and Prison Governor who must come up with answers to ensure that the prison is a safe and secure one for inmates and those employed there. 

La Moye Prison is a small but very expensive place to run but it is apparent that despite the Governor's glowing report and his Minister's reticence the public is being short changed and need to know what is really going on at the Prison.

Curtis Warren has been detained in many prisons and if stars were awarded for catering for ones overall needs it would be interesting to know how many stars he would award to Jersey's La Moye Prison which affectionately is given the tag "Hilton."

The Prison Governor Bill Millar was appointed in  March 2008, he is required to publish an Annual Report which is usually presented to the States in the Spring. His last Report presented to the States in May 2013 can be read here

The Jersey Way website can be read here look for question 8 asked by Deputy Le Herissier.