I had hoped to post a blog soon after giving my evidence at the Hearing two weeks ago and to include a link to the transcript which is normally posted on the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry website soon after. Unfortunately due to unforeseen problems the transcript was only posted yesterday and there is no direct link to it. To read the transcript one has to click HERE then click onto Hearings, then click onto Transcripts and my evidence can be found on day 104 dated 22nd October.
I believe that in April 2014 I was the first witness to be interviewed by the Inquiry lawyers who being from the UK understandably had little knowledge about how Jersey functioned. My statement was lengthy and I provided considerable documents as supporting evidence. At the start of my Hearing the Inquiry lawyer Parick Sadd QC pointed out that my statement provided a landscape that the Inquiry has since been covering and it was my statement that provided a very useful introduction to the Inquiry as to those issues which the Inquiry was to investigate under its terms of reference.
It is now evident that some of the information I provided fell outside the Terms of Reference but it did provide useful background information. However although I had been used to giving evidence at times I felt it difficult to get into a train of thought as Patrick Sadd who is clearly a very competent QC jumped from one part of my statement to another. There was a reason, that being the need to seek clarification of some my evidence and for me to justify some of the claims I had made.
As an example I had claimed that whilst I could not say I was lied to by civil servants, I did feel at times that some were economical with the truth or just withheld information. The issue of the Maguire case was an example and Mr Sadd sought clarification. In the Minutes of the meeting in May 1999 I was present when we were informed that possible criminal action was not being levelled against Mrs Maguire because it was not in the public interest. We were also told that Mr Maguire was suffering from cancer.
At that time Committee members were in complete ignorance of allegations of abuse in the Island’s care homes and naturally what the eye does not see the heart won’t grieve. Mr Sadd then produced a document signed by the Attorney General’s Office dated November 1998 which said that the no further action was being taken because of lack of evidence. It justified my concerns but I felt upset because had we been aware of the true facts of the Maguire’s background and of the abuse problems in the care homes, further abuse could have been prevented because action could have been taken at the time.
It is to be hoped that as a result of “lessons learnt” no abuse is inflicted in the first place and if it does, systems are now in place to quickly remedy the problem.
As my transcript shows I covered a wide range of issues including the role of the Centenier, Parish Hall Enquiries, the lack of an independent prosecution service and the issue of the Head of our prosecution service is also the Titular Head of our Honorary Police and legal advisor to the States.
We touched on Operation Rectangle and the involvement of former Police Chief Graham Power and his Deputy Lenny Harper. I had the opportunity to make it known that although we were aware of each other’s existence I could not recall ever having met Mr Harper in Jersey or in Lambeth where we had both served as police officers.
As for Mr Power although we had met during the eight years he had served as Police Chief our meetings were brief and he came across as a highly efficient and upright leader of the Island’s Police Force which had under his leadership become more professional and efficient. My interest in his case was certainly not because he was a friend as I hardly knew him, but because it quickly became apparent that he had been “stitched up” and people were going to great lengths to hide the truth.
It is almost 7 years to the day t since Mr Power was suspended and effectively dismissed because he was kept suspended until his retirement 18 months later. Many hours have been spent trying to get to the truth, however for the past two days Mr Power had his day in court and was able to give answers to the many questions which troubled some people.
I was present and Mr Power came across as a highly competent manager who played it by the book. He rightly saw the need for the States Police to be independent and free from political interference. However this did not find favour with senior States Members or senior executive officers. He was not responsible for Mr Harper’s appointment but had made his Ministers aware that Mr Harper had a reputation as someone who rattled cages. The Jersey Police had a corruption problem and it did not take long for Mr Harper to get stuck in and become unpopular
It would be fair to say that when Operation Rectangle was launched no one envisaged what would develop or that our senior States Members would be so ill equipped to handle the media circus that followed. Mr Power said that some mistakes were made but none that were serious. To be fair apart from the media frenzy, the excavation was warranted, not to do so would have left too many unanswered questions. Thankfully there were no bodies found, but ironically it is evident that because none were found, in some people’s eyes the excavation represents a failure. I am afraid it was a case of being damned if one dug and damned if one did not.
The time was quickly eaten up but much of Mr Power’s 65,000 word statement was untouched. At one time I just wondered where the Panel was going and why so much time was devoted to matters which Mr Power was not responsible for. His apparent mismanagement of Mr Harper was covered and it soon became evident that it was more about perception than fact.
Mr Power’s suspension was world news and a cruel and unjustified act as substantiated in the Napier Report. It was also as a result of poorly planned conspiracy which led to the ending of a distinguished career and a bill of around £2million in a futile attempt to justify it. Surprisingly and almost as after though the Panel addressed the matter in the last 5 minutes of the Hearing, why?
It is to be hoped that when those responsible for Mr Power’s suspension appear before the COI more than 5 minutes will be devoted to finding out why they took such drastic and unjustified action.
The direct link to your transcript is HERE.
Today a long serving Honorary Police Officer's funeral took place with a great deal of praise for his lifetime works.ReplyDelete
At the same time a long serving (30 years) Officer of the States of Jersey Police Force was jailed for 3 years following conviction for possessing 1500 indecent images of children "of the worst kind" . Both officers had worked extensively with children over the years.
Having sat though the evidence of former St Helier Constable Bob Le Brocq, Ian Le Marquand and Graham Power at the Inquiry over the past few days I am left in a state of bewilderment. Was the convicted officer active during their terms in office and will further examination now be necessary to consider whether he was involved in the cover-ups from the past that other witnesses have been claiming?
I am further puzzled at the contrasting behaviour of an "honorary" officer (largely untrained) compared with that of a "paid" and fully trained officer of the States of Jersey Police. The contradictions revealed during the Inquiry have been extraordinary but does this latest conviction simply confirm that the problem remains and that the "Jersey Way" that Graham Power described in his evidence still prevails?
I can understand your concern, but sadly there will always be a "rogue" element in any organisation. I would expect the States Police to conduct an audit trail of the work undertaken by the officer to see what sort of involvement he has had with young children.Delete
I would also expect the police to question the officers who worked with the officer to establish whether he was a one off or part of a ring.
There is now a police authority and it will be interesting to know what if any assurances it has sought from the States Police.
Unfortunately the Jersey Police Authority was outsourced to one of the big cover-up tainted legal practices and even operates from their offices !!!!!!!Delete
How can failed children be safe under a hijacked police force overseen by a hijacked police authority?
You have just witnessed the CoI refuse to investigate the hijack of the police force.
History can only repeat itself.
If you tolerate this your children will be next.
You make an interesting observation about the location of the Police Authority Office and was picked up by the former Deputy Roy Le Herissier who questioned the wisdom of location in that its office is located in the Chairman's office who also happens to have senior position with Financial Services.Delete
Wearing several hats is a common practice in Jersey.
Nobody is surprised to hear Power's version of events but its old news, nobody he was in contact with is in real power anymore and the Wiltshire Report paints a very different picture. Not forgetting as well that Syvret has done nothing but disgrace himself since 2007 anyway thus proving Frank Walker to be right in getting rid of him.ReplyDelete
Spoken by a JEP-believer LOLDelete
except even the JEP is no longer trying to wring out that tired line.
If you read the JEP and other media you will realise that like me, we are reporting on the Hearing.Delete
I have to say Bob that I too was bewildered at the very rapid closure of Mr Power's evidence when we came to the suspension matters. There were at the very least 20 plus pages relating to this in his statement and it really does beg the question, why was this not covered? As with yourself Bob, two honest and honourable witnesses who really needed more time to give their evidence.ReplyDelete
Well done both.
Thank you for your kind words.Delete
I would have thought that as the Panel had raised the issue of the suspension they would have given the matter more time. It has repeatedly heard from witnesses of the culture of fear and what can happen when some one does not comply.
They heard of the difficulties Mr Power encountered when he chose not to get involved with political matters and they are also well aware of what happened to him and to others who have raised their heads above the parapets.
The suspension is a classic example as to why so many members of the public do not come forward with evidence of wrongdoings. That I think is what Tom Gruchy is commenting about.
Am I right in thinking that Frank Walker was the biggest problem during Operation Rectangle?ReplyDelete
You are entitled to a view. Does Jeremy Paxman and shafting Jersey ring any bells?Delete
Frank Walker shafting Jersey internationallyDelete
Perhaps it was Anne Pryke who was Frank Walker's direct link to the States Police in the form of her husband Roger Pryke:Delete
No, becuase I think you will find that Anne was a widow by then.Delete
But it is the "rogue" element that has been running this organisation for centuries.ReplyDelete
It was so in 1769 and remains the same today.
Graham Power confirmed as much in his analysis of the "Jersey Way".
Don't minimise the extent of the problem because that is just how the Establishment wants it...
I am not minimising anything, but it is a fact that the States Police has arrested one of their own. Would that have happened in 1769 or even in more recent times?Delete
It is not a wise move for an honorary cop to do the right thing. As demonstrated HERE.
There were of course no States Police in 1769 and the "Honorary" system was in full swing around a totally corrupt Royal Court which acted as the government of the day. What has been obvious as the evidence unfolds in the current Inquiry is that incompetence, cover-up and corruption in office have been integral within the Jersey system in all departments. Whether it has been any worse than other places such as the UK seems doubtful - especially since it is not at all unusual for fully trained supposedly "professional" police officers to be found to be crooks both here and beyond. So this recent jailing is not at all unique and Lenny Harper for all his stone-turning efforts presumably did not reveal him. So are there and were there many others? As an ex-Police officer yourself I realise that it is difficult to contemplate the worst scenario and Graham Power emphasised that the Jersey Police has many decent and competent officers but with a different shake of the dice it could be the convicted ex-officer now appearing as a respectable but suspended CO witness and who would know the difference? The world of child abuse is people by the "most respectable" in society just as much as any others and it is absolutely evident that the "Jersey Way" has been and remains incapable of its own supervision.ReplyDelete
I think you may need to ask the Inquiry to correct the transcript of your testimony. On page 73, line 16, there appears to be a conflation of the surnames Walker and Warcup. This is what the transcript currently says:
"It certainly makes no sense to suspend him at that time, particularly when we are almost at the end of a Parliamentary session and he has already indicated that he was intending to resign or retire after Mr Walker had been put in place and a new minister, because it was on the cards that -- we knew that Ms Kinnard was going to retire, Mr Walker was go to retire, it seemed almost as if the opportunity came with a sort of window of opportunity came with Ms Kinnard resigning and Mr Walker then having Mr Lewis as his new minister, who he had proposed."
I believe that the instance of "Mr Walker" highlighted in bold above should actually say "Mr Warcup". Do you agree?
I trust you will bring this to the Inquiry's attention and asked for the transcript to be corrected?
Following up my earlier comment about the mix up of Walker/Warcup in your transcript, it happens again on page 87, line 2:
"a certain amount of sympathy for Mr Walker"
That should really say:
"a certain amount of sympathy for Mr Warcup"
as evidenced by the context in the next phrase where you say "I understand the position he was in, but here we have a very, very senior police officer who should know the difference between right and wrong"
If I were you, I would go through your whole transcript with a red marker pen, correct it, and send it back to them.
You have to cut the stenographer some slack - the names Warcup and Walker do sound very similar - but, given the circumstances, it is critical that the transcripts are correct.
There are also numerous typos. "Now" for "Know" for example.
The infamous suspension review(s) held by Ian Le Marquand also has transcripts that use the name Walker for Warcup. HERE.Delete
VFC, your photographic memory of the many, many deficiencies of the Le Marquand regime is truly to be admired.Delete
Dear "Hawk Eye" well spotted and thank you for informing me. As a matter of interest I was not asked to check the transcript. As mentioned in my blog there was a delay in posting the transcripts because of the need to check for accuracy.Delete
Whilst its possible that I said Walker instead of Warcup, I don't think I would have repeated the mistake, however now that you have drawn my attention to the errors I will contact the COI on Monday with the view to going through the transcript.
After reading your statement and transcript, I am reminded of the "missing" Napier term of reference and that, when dealing with the States of Jersey or any body appointed by it, one must never, ever allow them to get away with inprecision in a written document.
One of the new things I learnt from your evidence was that Terry Le Sueur was minded to instigate disciplinary proceedings against Bill Ogley, because of events related to the Napier report.
Terry Le Sueur's email to you dated 27 September 2010 (in the documents you submitted to the inquiry on day 104) says:
"Whilst you have been away I have been considering Mr. Napier's findings and have come to the conclusion that I should institute disciplinary proceedings against Bill Ogley."
How *exactly* did they get from considering invoking disciplinary action against him over Napier to then writing him a cheque for £546,337?
Perhaps it all got explained behind closed doors, eh?
Thank you for another well researched comment and also for the links. Those who take the trouble to read the supporting documentation that can be found on this Blog as well as the Voice for Children and Rico Sorda blogs will realised how information is withheld and deals are done behind closed deals.Delete
You are right to remind readers of the Le Sueur email, because it shows that disciplinary proceedings were contemplated yet none were taken but a golden handshake was received without the knowledge of the Treasury Minister. The evidence is all for people to see. Sadly there will still be people who will choose not to accept the evidence.
You are obsessed with Napier from what I read and to say that Graham Power was suspended to cover up child abuse, which was always implied is a slur against all other Police officers who took over.ReplyDelete
You are obsessed with fogging obvious truths
This wouldn't be the same Death Threat Troll that got Syvret banged up for 3 months for data protection offences and harassment is it?Delete
I don't know where Patrick Saad was coming from, but to my reading, you were treated disgracefully.ReplyDelete
The inquiry was hopping all over the place, interrupting you, not having the relevant quotes always up on the screen, and so on.
I have appeared before parliamentary committees of politicians, many of whom were grandstanding in a disgraceful manner, but I never had to contend with the runabout you were put through.
Much of your testimony was from intelligent analysis of what was reported to be going on around you. And that was perfectly valid. In your testimony, it is made to look like a fault just because you were not directly at the receiving end of much of what was reported.
Without the blogs, much of the analysis would not have been done in the first place because the source material would still be locked up or destroyed.
Just as well submissions are all being published. That interrogation did not do you justice.
I have given evidence in make shift courts in school halls and the Old Bailey so I have experienced a number challenging situations.
You have noted the difficulties I mentioned in my blog of the jumping around with my statement which made it difficult. I was also shown documents which I had not seen and asked to comment.
My statement contained some pretty strong claims so I expected to be asked to substantiate them.
I have found that sometimes witnesses telling lies have been more convincing then those telling the truth, simply because the truth has appeared to be outrageous. Therefore I can understand Mr Sadd having difficulty in believing that States Members and civil servants could act in such a underhand way.
What I feel is now evident is that the Panel is beginning to understand the Jersey way and there is substance to much of the allegations of cover ups and malpractice which have been given the light of day via the Blogs but kept under wraps by the main stream media..
Item 75 line 2-ReplyDelete
I think this should read 2007- not 2008 for Stuart's excellent Christmas Speech.
(FYI- I am not Hawk Eye, Kestrel will do)
Thank you, I am not sure what you mean by Item 75, I have looked to page 75 but there is nothing which mentions the Christmas speech which you rightly say was in 2007.Delete
I would be grateful if you could let me know what you mean about Item 75.
Sorry Bob, typo- it was paragraph 74 on page 18.Delete
Thank you, I will add that to the list.Delete
When Terry Le Sueur appeared before Scrutiny to explain how Ogley received such an amazing pay-off he explained that Ogley was invited to amend his contract for some reason whilst in office. It was Ogley who drafted the terms that he should receive the payoff whether he was sacked or left of his own choice. Le Sueur explained that this deal was never challenged because they did not expect that the deal would ever be invoked....no doubt the Report is available on the Scrutiny web-site but I have not checked it out....ReplyDelete
I think what you have said is about right, it was known as the golden parachute and agreed whilst Frank Walker was in office.Delete
It may be a matter that the Panel will discuss when Mr Ogley appears before them.
what was the reason Piers Baker left Vic Colledge?ReplyDelete
FORMER Chief Minister Frank Walker has accepted a major part of the responsibility for the £546,337.50 payoff to ex-States chief executive Bill Ogley.ReplyDelete