Thursday, October 2, 2014




On the 10th December 2013, following a selection process, the appointed panel took the oath of office before the Bailiff of Jersey, Michael Birt. 

They are:

Francis Oldham QC 

Alyson Leslie

Prof. Sandy Cameron CBE

Council to the Inquiry are: 

Patrick Sadd

Harriet Jerram

The inquiry got under way in April 2014. Team Voice has been keeping an eye on the inquiry. This was done by having a Team Voice member present at hearings and being present in the media room. We had decided not to report on anything to  negative about the inquiry in case we put off victims from coming forward. That was, we believe, the right decision. What do you do when you see things that raise concerns? Do you just remain quiet? We have done so in the hope that things would sort themselves out once the inquiry had started to gather momentum. 

We have concerns. We are all willing the inquiry to succeed.  What has really alarmed us is the expulsion of Jersey Bloggers from the media room. The way it was done, the trying to get answers as to why it was done and the sheer lack of professionalism shown by the inquiry in handling this situation.  The situation arose, we believe, because of certain tweets sent out from the media room by former Health Minister and Senator, Stuart Syvret.  Is it just pure coincidence that the bloggers get ejected from  the media room on the day that Stuart Syvret raised some concerns about the inquiry and it's level of questioning of witnesses? This needs to be looked at. Some will say that Mr Syvret was over the top with his criticism but was he right to raise these issues? Let us look at his tweets.

The official line from the Inquiry Team was that there was a lack of space in the media room so Citizen Media became the sacrificial lamb. A blanket ban on bloggers was enacted overnight. We are under no illusion that it was the above tweets that caused this situation and gave the inquiry team the excuse it was looking for to ban bloggers.
Former Deputy of St Mary, Daniel Wimberley has also tried to raise concerns with the Jersey Care Inquiry and to date has not received any satisfactory answers.  His concerns can be read on this posting by Voiceforchildren HERE.

We are also aware of a number of witnesses who are yet to have sight of their statements which were given to the inquiry 3 to 4 months ago. 

As I mention in the discussion below Team Voice have been concerned that the testimony given by witnesses are not being audio recorded. We have spoken to a number of professionals in this field who find this inexplicable and of not best practise. We would like to have the views of any other professionals or readers about our concerns?

Team Voice want this Committee of Inquiry into decades long Child Abuse in Jersey to succeed. We advise that victims and witness come forward to give evidence. Without the evidence the truth will never end up in the final report.

Part 2 of the discussion can be found at VFC. Link provided HERE..

Rico Sorda

Team Voice 

Part Time Investigative Journalist


phil said...

I'm sorry but I don't like any of this
Please support the enquiry
The greatest testimony will be from the victims
Please give them every encouragement to give evidence
No negative vibes
If you have legitimate concerns please address them to the enquiry team

rico sorda said...

Hi Phil, with the upmost respect I suggest you read the post and listen to the interview.

voiceforchildren said...


We have (for months) been trying to address these concerns with the Inquiry Team and not gone public. Don't you think we have a duty to the victims/survivors/witnesses to let them know what has been going on?

We have done everything we can to iron out any short-comings with the inquiry, only to be ignored and fobbed off.

What other choice do we have?

Anonymous said...

Well done, Team Voice. You asked a question about Stuart Syvret being right to voice his criticisms on his tweets, and I was reminded of how former Police Chief Graham Power avidly defended Stuart's critical questioning of how police were handling child abuse. Either the people and their representatives can hold authorities to account or they can't.

An outsider might think the balance of power between interested citizens and certain arrogant authorities has become so out-of-balance that honest criticism is considered over the top, and more dangerous to the truth than the Inquiry team's far too anemic questions.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I've had the impression the COI was assigned to get to the heart of the matter - how decade after decade, children in care were abused, silenced, ignored and even denigrated by the care system, police, mainstream media, essentially all of the religious, government and charity institutions as well as the medical profession.

Trust is naturally in short supply. It should be. It would be wholly illogical and ironic under these circumstances to suggest anyone should sit back and trust the process and avoid legitimate criticism now for the sake of... who, the victims?

This is a COI which has already made numerous mistakes which it has entirely failed to address with public response. Legitimate questions raised by responsible, interested parties have been ignored. The failure to provide answers is suggestive of either unwillingness to account to the public or an unwillingness to make this a truly thorough inquiry. That unwillingness is the real risk to victims and survivors.

Criticism of authorities is an absolute bedrock of democracy, and failure to hold authorities to account is the real reason Jersey child abuse was allowed to continue on this horrific scale. It was true at the time the abuse took place and it is true now, with the COI and conflicted mainstream media coverage.


phil said...

At least give the victims a chance to tell their stories and be believed
Everything else will follow
Now is the time for support

phil said...

Tomorrow is another day

Anonymous said...

Phil, I hope the survivors will tell their stories. I trust them to make an informed choice on how they feel about this COI process, and to make it regardless of our pointing out legitimate concerns and obvious shortcomings of that process. Failure to address these may be a graver challenge to survivor goals of full exposure and inquiry into the abuse.


Culture of Secrecy said...

@Phil "Tomorrow is another day"
Indeed; a day when children will be abused and exposed to inappropriate sexual attention if genuine attempts attempts to stamp out this disease are not made.

Lessons have been learnt .....yadder yadder


Anonymous said...

So (from the video) in a nutshell
.......bloggers have been banned from being able to effectively report (media room facilities)
.......witness transcripts are coming back with inaccuracies AND HUGE OMISSIONS

phil said...

Perhaps particular attention should be paid to the manner in which these legitimate concerns are expressed during Phase 1 of the enquiry.
In her opening statement Frances Oldham states:
14.It is our intention so far as possible to hear the evidence in 3 phases, each of which will aim to cover specific terms of reference.
15.In Phase 1 we will take evidence from those who have accounts of abuse to give and from those who worked or were in contact with child care. Phase 1 will also hear from those accused of abuse.

voiceforchildren said...


No Victim Support available to vulnerable witnesses at Jersey CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY.

Anonymous said...

Phil Skinner, been thinking for a while now of something positive to say on the nothings coming to mind but lame effort at damage limitation by the State!

Anonymous said...

The purpose of an inquiry is to somehow inquire, no? Or is it simply a record-making task?

If it is to inquire, the opportunity to do so is lost when vulnerable survivors offer their stories but no follow-up questioning is utilised. There is no apparent plan to go back and fill in the blanks later, when the survivor is possibly unavailable to answer relevant questions to get to the root of the abuse and coverup suffered. In any case, it seems particularly unfair to survivors to have to recall them to answer questions their original statements should logically open up.

The failure of follow up does not seem to be connected to the COI panel's concern for the survivor, as no support is apparently being provided for those who need it. That's shameful.

So, once again, how can it benefit survivors or witnesses or whistleblowers or future abuse victims if there is no effort to fully inquire and expose once and for all, what happened?

Will these failings lead to demands for another inquiry into this inquiry? One way or another, these failings will be exposed. The Powers That Be may fervently wish to say they held an expensive, exhaustive inquiry and that it is "time to move on," but it is not going to be that. Lessons are definitely not being learnt yet, are they?


voiceforchildren said...


Should Constables remain as Members of the States as an automatic right DEBATED.

Who to vote for #1 ? said...

From February 2008:

"Although Jersey is a self-governing jurisdiction, which makes its own laws and sets its own tax rates and so forth – like a mini-nation state, – it is, effectively, a single-party state. 98% of political candidates run for office as so-called 'independents'.

How this manifests itself in practice is, of course, a de facto [ultra] Conservative [Tea] Party – operating on a covert basis working to hidden agendas. Moreover – the ‘cultural’ resistance to political parties has been very carefully nurtured and promoted by the island’s media over the decades – particularly the Jersey Evening Post.

The reason for this is obvious to anyone upon a moment’s reflection.

With political parties the voting public actually have a clear choice concerning which political philosophy and manifesto of policies they will be governed by. The electorate has power.

And that is the very last thing that the Jersey oligarchy wants to see.

Voter power, you might think, is a very foundation stone of functioning democracy. But in Jersey it is viewed as though it were the second coming of Mikhail Bakunin.

Instead, in Jersey, people like me trawl around the election campaign trail – trying to sell our wares to the voters – usually on the basis of nothing more substantive than “Hey – I’m a nice guy – my great-uncle lived in this parish – and I like your pub - so please vote for me.”

In my case I like to imagine I offer a little more substance – but the net result of this approach to democracy is a legislature comprised of a disjointed, directionless rabble which possesses no electoral mandate for a particular political direction or programme of policies.

Such a lack of focus results in a “let’s make it up as we go along” approach to policy formation. Most members of the Jersey legislature, no matter how well intentioned, are just sitting around waiting to be led – waiting to be told what to do.

And it is into this policy vacuum that the winds of power rush ....."


One suspects that the above has changed only in that the Establishment Party is now better organised with more of the candidates being selected or "parachuted in" and then expensively marketed so that the E.P. no longer needs to rely on the innocence and gullibility of those elected.

Please vote "NO" on the AUTOMATIC/Ex-Officio right of the largely unelected Constables to vote in the States.

Please also VOTE for the LEAST BAD candidates in the other elections.
BUT WHO ARE the "LEAST BAD" ...........?

USE YOUR VOTE. If Bailhache gets elected and especially if he gets a referandum "YES" your democratic rights will be reduced yet further
....all in the name of 'tradition'

It's your vote USE IT or LOSE IT !!!

Who to vote for #2 ? said...

Further to Who to vote for #1 (It's your vote USE IT or LOSE IT)

If you cannot get out to vote on election day you can still cast your votes at St. Paul’s Centre in Dumaresq Street, St. Helier - NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE ON THE ISLAND
St. Paul’s Centre is open for pre-poll voting from 8 am to 6 pm WEEKDAYS up to and including Monday 13th October
You need a driving licence OR a passport etc as photo ID

More info at


Many (myself included) would seek sensible recommendation as to WHO to vote for.

Personally I am right leaning but I am happy to give a chance to anyone suitable from the centre-left or centre-right, especially if they demonstrate any moral fortitude and any ability to resist by the secret far-right "Establishment Party"

SARAH FURGUSON is top of my list having well-proven herself (after a shaky start)

I will probably vote ANNE SOUTHERN because she is a "Reform Jersey" candidate
Reform Jersey at least is a focus for reform and opposition which may curb unbridled power and begin to hold it to account
This overcomes my lack of knowledge of her record, including as a civil service/teachers(?) union rep.

Are there any other REFORM JERSEY senatorial candidates?

How about john young ? ........ is he OK or OK-ish?

I should like to use all 8 senatorial votes as I work up the list of the "least bad"

Which candidates are FREEMASONRY LINKED ?

"TEAM VOICE" (& and informed readers) do you have any suggestions on the least bad?

PLEASE HELP, and then perhaps follow with recommendations (for or against) the various parish candidates.

We don't want "more of the same" or the continued cover-up of child abuse.