Haut de la Garenne

PRESS RELEASE: Haut de La Garenne

8th August 2011

Insult to Jersey abuse case victims

Still no compensation for victims of Haut de la Garenne horrors

Victims of the notorious Haut de la Garenne abuse in Jersey are still awaiting compensation more than three years after the case hit the headlines.

The wait continues for the victims, despite their abusers Michael Aubin, Morag and Tony Jordan and Gordon Wateridge being successfully prosecuted and convicted during 2010.

36 of the victims, many elderly and in poor health are represented by Solicitor Alan Collins of Verisona Solicitors & Advocates in Portsmouth.

He said: “The victims of these appalling crimes believed that following the guilty convictions, the States of Jersey would accept the allegations of abuse, along with its moral and legal obligation to compensate for the harm that had been inflicted. In fact, the State is actually scrutinizing the investigation that led to the convictions; unbelievably politicians in Jersey have questioned the truth of the abuse despite the guilty verdicts.”

One victim, who cannot be named due to the impact it may have on any civil proceedings, said: “The States of Jersey seems to have done everything in its power to try to bury this historic child abuse investigation.  Its attitude has been ‘move along folks, nothing to see here’, it’s appalling. Politicians seem to care more about Jersey’s reputation, than they care about those of us who were mentally and physically abused as children whilst in the care of the States of Jersey”.

Another victim added: “The States seem more involved in fighting each other then assisting the victims. We are, as quoted by a States Member, ‘a bunch of disturbed minds & criminals’.”

Alan Collins, a specialist in historical child abuse cases, added: “The failure to compensate the victims is a case of rubbing salt in to open wounds. Many of the victims, as a result of the abuse suffered, are vulnerable. The children were in the State’s care and the criminal trials clearly exposed that this care was wantonly lacking. The abuse went on year after year.”

A former member of staff at Haut de la Garenne, not linked to any abuse, and considering giving evidence at potential civil proceedings said: “I would like to see as much time, effort and money put into the aftercare of 'my children' as is put into all these investigations into investigations”.

Mr Collins believes that the only way victims can now get justice is by taking proceedings against the States of Jersey.

He explained: “Civil proceedings would be regrettable because of the stress involved to the victims and witnesses, as well as the cost implications. The States of Jersey have put the victims in an intolerable position though and it is about time they did the right thing. No amount of money would make up for what happened but the gesture of meaningful compensation helps victims draw a line in the sand and move on. The horror of what went on at Haut de la Garenne will not go away.”

Jersey's historic abuse investigation ran from September 2007 until December 2010 with the conviction of married couple Morag and Tony Jordan, who were house parents at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Others were also suspected of abuse going back 70 years but died before they could be prosecuted.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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