Wednesday 12 November 2014

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (6)----- Another Unhappy Anniversary

In my previous blog I wrote about the first anniversary of my meeting with Heather Steel who hardly acted like a Dame when breaking a promise to give me the transcript of our meeting. In that blog I also mentioned that we were approaching what will now be the 6th anniversary of the suspension of Jersey’s former Police Chief Graham Power.

I apologise if this blog is a little longer than usual but there is so much documentation to hand which has been collated to eke out the truth in what has been a disgraceful display of abuse at the highest level of government. This blog is intended to give an insight into the events leading up to and after the suspension and although lengthy there is still more which could have been included. 

Nothing can be done to undo the hurt inflicted on the former police chief and his family or to recover the million pounds plus incurred by Home Affairs and the States in paying for futile court cases and pointless one sided investigations whilst attempting to justify an unjust act. However those involved with the decision to suspend in the first place and those who did their utmost to cover up the truth and to deny the Chief Officer his natural right to answer the spurious allegation against him should not be forgotten.

The police investigation into the child abuse allegations came as a rude awakening to many Islanders who smugly believed that Jersey was immune from such claims. It is not disputed that the decision to implement Operation Rectangle was only taken after all the available evidence had been examined and was supported by senior officers from outside the Island. Given the weight of the information to hand, not to conduct a thorough search of Haut de Garenne would certainly have led to claims of cover ups. The police would be damned if they did not dig and certainly damned because they did, particularly as no bodies were found, although no explanation has been given for the collection of teeth that were found.

In recent months the Portuguese Police conducted a similar dig in the full glare of the world’s media for Madeleine McCann which apparently did not discover any evidence but I have not heard of the relevant police chief being suspended. What is evident is that it was the leadership of Jersey’ s senior politicians that was found wanting and having had their shortcomings publicly exposed some one’s head had to roll and it certainly was not going to be theirs.

I was a States Member at the time of the suspension which came as a complete surprise. I had been aware of concerns regarding the expense of the investigations but not of the professionalism of the police involved. I was surprised how quickly a Church Service was arranged for the victims when none had been identified. However the service was not at the behest of the police. I was also surprised at how quickly the investigation attracted the attention of the world’s media. However once in contact with several journalists it soon became evident that the principle of why let the truth get in the way of a good story prevailed. I was a serving police officer in Lambeth during the Brixton riots and there were times when I questioned the motives and integrity of the media who similarly sought to make mountains out of molehills.

The police chief was suspended on 12th November 2008 but because of the election the matter via a Minister’s statement could not be addressed until 2nd December. The Minister Andrew Lewis said it gave him no pleasure to read it. Given the evidence of Ministerial and Civil Servant collusion that later came to light it is not surprising it gave him no pleasure.

During the next three years there were well over a hundred written and oral questions asked by the likes of, Deputies Higgins, Tadier, Pitman, Wimberley and me as we sought answers from Ian Le Marquand, Terry Le Sueur and Philip Ozouf. Connetable Crowcroft in December 2008 lodged a proposition P182/2008 HERE requesting the Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand to commission a compliance check on the suspension and report to the States no later than 1st March 2009.

It seemed such an obvious yet simple request, particularly as Ian Le Marquand was new to the States and should have stood back and given his support. Unfortunately it was not to be possibly because he had been briefed by his acting Chief Officer David Warcup who was heavily involved and conflicted as he would have taken his boss's job and salary. His participation in the suspension not only led to criticism from Bryan Napier but rendered him unfit to replace Graham Power. He resigned prior to seeking States approval for his appointment.

Having failed to accept Connetable Crowcroft’s proposition in 2010 I lodged P9/2010. HERE which sought approval to establish an independent panel to review the suspension. Again the States rejected that proposition but accepted Chief Minister Le Sueur’s proposal to appoint an independent commissioner to conduct an “in house Review.”

Senator Le Sueur sought my support but I would only give it if I was to be party to the appointment of the Commissioner and able to have sight of the draft report(s), this was agreed as were were the terms of reference. However they were altered by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer without consulting me or Senator Le Sueur. It is known that at least two drafts were produced without me having sight of them as was the “final” version which I don’t believe was as written by the Commissioner Bryan Napier. His Report can be read HERE.  Whilst Napier found people at fault it is difficult to understand how he could find no evidence of a conspiracy when his report provides so much evidence.

One person not interviewed was Wendy Kinnard who was the Minister for Home Affairs until mid October 2008. She would never have been party to disciplinary action therefore she was never party to any of the secret discussions which took place between Senator Frank Walker, Andrew Lewis who was Assistant Minister of Home Affairs, Chief Executive Officer Bill Ogley, David Warcup and the Law Officers so how could it be said there was no evidence of conspiracy?

During the in camera question period after Andrew Lewis had read his statement and before I was privy to any of the facts that later emerged, I said there was a nasty smell about the suspension. Knowing what I now know it is evident that Graham Power was “stitched up.”  Deputy Lewis had replaced Wendy Kinnard and like Kinnard and Walker he too was retiring from the States in early December. Therefore having been given a window of opportunity it called for swift action. The action taken was akin to "planting" which was a despicable act undertaken by "bent coppers" and did so much harm to the reputation of all police officers.

It was known that Graham Power was to take a short break over the week end of 7/10th November. It is evident that David Warcup had a "friend" in the Met Police who was attempting to obtain a report into the Jersey Police Force's handling of the child abuse allegation. The Report was never intended for disciplinary action and neither was it complete because important witnesses had not been interviewed. It is also evident that the "friend" could not provide the report until Monday 10th November. However letters relating to the pending suspension were typed on the morning of Saturday 8th November which made reference to the Met Interim Report which was still not in Warcup's hands. The letters were dated 12th November which was the day that Graham Power was to be suspended

The Interim Report without the Met Police logo was received by Warcup during Monday 10th and was deemed to be so sensitive that they were for police eyes only, therefore it was not seen by Lewis, Walker or Ogley, Yet this was the damning evidence which used to justify suspending a police officer with over 40 years distinguished service.

There is no longer any dispute about the drafting of the letters because having had his request for evidence to support that fact denied by the Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, Graham Power made a successful application to the States Complaint's Board which found in his favour. The Board's finding via R115/2009 can be read HERE

The suspension was deemed to be a neutral act which was farcical claim because despite the evidence that came to hand the matter was allowed to simmer for almost two years at the cost of over a million pounds much of which was paid to the Wiltshire Constabulary whose officers made dozens of trips to Jersey trying to find evidence to level disciplinary charges. Although their report was submitted to Minister Le Marquand before Christmas it remained on his desk until Graham Power had retired the following summer. 

Bryan Napier presented his final Report on 10th September but Senator Le Sueur would not circulate it. He was minded to take disciplinary proceedings against the Chief Executive Officer Bill Ogley, but no doubt was advised not do so being fearful of what Bill Ogley would have made public. Somehow a way out was found whereby he was able to retire with a £500k parachute. The Napier Report was eventually published two months later but only after I had made it clear that I would publish my copy.

Napier made a number of recommendations such as to ensure that statements are preserved and not torn up as was the case with Bill Ogley. Therefore I lodged a proposition P166/2010 HERE which sought States approval to implement them. Also as Napier had found that Graham Power had been unfairly suspended I asked that he be given a formal States apology.

As with other propositions P166 was rejected and disgracefully the States rejected my proposal to apologize to Graham Power. In March 2011 after the former Senator Le Gresley had lodged P19/2011 requesting the Council of Ministers to reconsider its decision not to establish a Committee of Inquiry into Jersey’s historic abuse, I lodged amendments HERE seeking States approval to establish a Committee of Inquiry if the issues raised in R27/2008 HERE had not been not been resolved.

It is said that everything comes to he who waits and thanks to a U turn by some hard liners my amendment along with one from Deputy Tadier was approved. Paragraph 12 of the Committee of Inquiry’s terms of Reference is to determine whether the concerns in 2007 were sufficient to justify the States of Jersey Police setting in train ‘Operation Rectangle’. Not only must the concerns be reviewed but also the repercussions of that decision. 

The suspension was totally unjustified as was the cost incurred in to prevent the truth being disclosed. The Committee of Inquiry now has the opportunity of right a wrong. The Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, has promised a "robust and fearless" examination of what went wrong and to find answers for people who suffered abuse as children. In seeking answers to those issues she must also seek answers from those who abused their positions when suspending Graham Power because without his leadership there would be no investigation, no Committee of Inquiry and those abused and neglected would still be unheard.

P182/2008 Connetable Simon Crowcroft's request for a compliance check can be read HERE
R115/2009 The Complaint's Board Finding re date of drafting of suspension letters can be read HERE
P 9/2010 My proposition to request an independent public review of the suspension can be read  HERE
R.132/2010 The Napier Report can be read  HERE
P166/2008 which also contains Graham Power's Affidavit can be read HERE
P19/2011 amendment to establish Committee of Inquiry can be read HERE
R27/2008 Council of Ministers Report re possible of Inquiry can be read HERE


  1. I don't know why some people think that by making claims on Blogs makes any difference to actual events either past or moving forward.
    Like you say its been 6 years and still the answers are the same. Be the same in another 6 years and so on. The States of Jersey Police have moved on and maybe its time you did as well?

    1. You are entitled to your pessimistic view and you may be right, however what this and other Blogs do is to remind those who abuse their positions that they will be found out.

      If you know of a different way, please let me and other readers know of it.

  2. I'm glad you're keeping your eye on this ball. Just reading this stuff once again has sent my blood pressure up more than a few points, particularly as I had just read the Graham Power comments included in the Voice's latest blog!

    The contempt shown by Lewis and his masters (past and present) for justice is, unfortunately, mirrored in the UK by the contempt Grayling shows as Lord Chancellor. There is a clear and undeniable dissatisfaction in the UK with the lack of honesty and openness of politicians generally. Quite apart from Grayling's decimation of the justice system, the Home Secretary's recent record is now attracting the wrath of many people from all walks of life. And so it goes on ...

    However, the Jersey public are by and large blissfully unaware of, and oblivious to, such matters here. Nevertheless, the fact that Mr Power is now free to give provide full evidence to the COI will inevitably raise the temperature. Alongside this, Andrew Lewis has been foolish enough to allow himself to be persuaded to re-enter politics and so has provided the current and previous "establishment" will a ready made fall guy at the appropriate juncture.

    Those who have persistently covered up, lied and withheld information will be exposed eventually. Personally, I take little satisfaction from this. But I still retain some hope that those who have been so badly wronged by abuse and by cover-up will eventually be fully vindicated.

  3. Thanks for a factual publication of how Lewis helped to keep the child abuse covered up he is a despicable piece of work.

  4. A whine definitely doesn't improve with age. Please change the record

    1. I don't know why you read my blogs let alone whine about it

  5. Thank you Bob for showing us how corrupt Lewis is and how his actions helped cover up the abuse and corruption on the filthy Island of Jersey.

    James Pearce.

    1. No evidence of that whatsoever.
      I would have thought an ex-politician like yourself would have at least stopped sensational silly comments like that through.

    2. It is apparent that you have not read my, Rico or Voice's blogs. Had you have done so you might not be submitting comments like yours above,

  6. The Jersey blogs have come in to their own again today by publishing the stuff hidden by the Heritage Media. VFC Bob and Rico good work.

  7. Credit to you Bob for publishing such factual information and doing it under your own name. Unlike some who bully people's wives and spread bile over the internet about people like yourself trying to do your best for child abuse victims. These Trolls are nothing but cowards.

    Julie Sharrock Hanning.

  8. Great blog Bob and keep up the good work.

    Sue Young.

    1. I agree with Julie and Sue you are doing a great job Bob keep up the good work.

      Steve Sharrock Lewis.

    2. I thank the readers above for their support. I do receive comments from readers which are offensive but would be prepared to publish them if the authors had the courage to include their name.

    3. Ironic really. Take me, and plenty of others like me. We write supportive comments. We feel ashamed of our island in these areas at least and we know the Jersey authorities so often play foul, this being a classic and terrible example of it. Yet we also need courage too, to include our names on our posts, not because we write offensively,..... it's just we are very afraid of the Jersey Way. Lives can be ruined here pretty quickly if you stand out of the crowd and are seen supporting the wrong side. Even though we know they know, this is the right side.

    4. Look out for nut jobs who harass anyone who speaks up for abuse victims Bob. There are people who create false fakebook accounts because they don't have the courage to do the establishment's bidding under their own name.

      Jon S Haywire.

  9. 6 years on and this one view point is still getting nowhere because it is not the full story.
    So how can they speak for abuse victims?

    1. I f you would like to to draft a blog with the full story I might consider publishing it but I think most people know the truth but don't want to accept it.

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    1. Your link has nothing to do with my blog except for the word jersey so as a gesture of good will from a resident from the real Jersey I have published your link. Not sure whether you will sell many of your jerseys via my blog. But good luck.

  11. Julie Hanning Haywire-Lewis (nee Young)19 November 2014 at 18:14

    You are so right about all of this Mr Hill. If only we had men of your ilk in the States of today.

  12. Thanks for your kind comment, sad to say that I wont be back and the public last month chose to get rid of most of the independent thinkers.


  13. Bob,

    Did the public get rid of the independent thinkers ?

    When you have a states that allow a take over of the electoral commission to allow a heavyweight yes man and at least two firm like-minded supporters to keep the constables, on an electoral commission that is supposed to be neutral.

    When you have no will in Government to offer Jersey a modern democratic Government.

    When you have pre-voting with goodness knows where the voting slips end up and no arms length independent security.

    When you have pencil " X's " instead of pen, and where the voter does not fill in the full complement leaves the possibility that these could be filled in, at a later time with a chosen one by a supporter of the ruling gang.

    When you have Senator Ozouf admitting that the election process needs outside observers and scrutiny, but there is none.

    Most of all, when you have a small hard core in power and desperate to remain that way, did the public really vote out the independent thinkers when so few votes can decide who stay's and who goes ?

    1. I can understand your despondency and you have raised issues which are being shared by other concerned readers. This system requires change but the current system makes it difficult to achieve.

  14. How confusing for some, I wonder how many spoilt papers there were with the vote for constables remaining in the states as all the publicity , posters etc had a large tick across them ,maybe some people thought you had to put a tick when you vote on this issue! I know of three persons who did, were their votes counted ?

    1. I think it is slowly being recognized that there are flaws in our electoral system. Another was highlighted following the Royal Court's finding today in relation to an invalid Nomination Paper, where the Royal Court turned a blind eye.

      I will be publishing a blog on that issue tomorrow.