NATIONAL: Report into historical abuse at Jersey children's homes to be published

The most notorious of them was Haut de la Garenne children's home, dubbed "the house of horrors", where hundreds of crimes were carried out over decades before it was shut in the 1980s.
The most notorious of them was Haut de la Garenne children's home, dubbed "the house of horrors", where hundreds of crimes were carried out over decades before it was shut in the 1980s.
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A long-awaited report is being published following an inquiry into historical abuse and mistreatment of youngsters at children's homes in Jersey stretching back decades.

The inquiry was set up to establish what went wrong over many years in the care system on the island, which has been rocked by horrific revelations of sex abuse against children in care.

The most notorious of them was Haut de la Garenne children's home, dubbed "the house of horrors", where hundreds of crimes were carried out over decades before it was shut in the 1980s.

Paedophile Jimmy Savile was implicated in the home's shady past, with an allegation received by police in 2008 that an indecent assault occurred there in the 1970s. But it was decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

The States of Jersey asked the inquiry to probe the abuse and mistreatment of youngsters placed in children's homes and in foster care on the island from the Second World War.

In December 2010, the island's chief minister Terry Le Sueur issued a formal apology to all victims who suffered in the states' residential care system.

The apology followed the end of an investigation by the States of Jersey Police, codenamed Operation Rectangle, into historical child sexual, emotional and physical abuse in institutions.

The probe reported 553 alleged offences between September 2007 and December 2010 - and most, 315, were reported to have been committed at the Haut de la Garenne.

Police identified 151 named offenders and 192 victims but just eight people were prosecuted for 145 offences, with seven convictions. Four of them related to Haut de la Garenne.

The probe left the reputation of the island's police tarnished with claims of murders at Haut de la Garenne made in 2008 later discredited after a piece of "skull" was found to be coconut and what had been called "punishment rooms" where children were tortured were found to be too small for an adult to stand up in.

Then in 2013, the States Assembly agreed terms of reference for a public inquiry to carry out a wide-ranging investigation into the historical abuse in Jersey.

Inquiry chair Frances Oldham QC promised a "robust and fearless" examination of what went wrong and to find answers for the victims.

At a preliminary hearing in 2014, Ms Oldham said they would investigate what abuse took place, whether it was reported and what was done, and whether abuse was covered up.

She also promised to review the actions of the police, the justice system, politicians and the various government agencies to consider how each responded to child abuse in Jersey.

Three phases of hearings were held in public in St Helier between July 2014 and June 2016.

The report will be published from 3pm on Monday.

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