Haut de la Garenne

Both the BBC and ITV have covered the Haut de la Garenne victims' fight for justice.

To quote from the report filed by the BBC:

“A group of former residents of the Haut de la Garenne children's home are suing the Jersey government at the High Court in London. They are seeking compensation over abuse at the home and say the States has taken too long to agree a deal.

 Their lawyers believe the High Court can hear the case and it is the only way they will get redress.

 The States said such cases had to be heard in Jersey's courts and it was dealing with compensation claims.

 The compensation claims follow an inquiry, between 2007 and 2010, into historical abuse at the island's children's homes.

The report goes on to quote me:

 “Not only must justice be done, it must be seen to be done,” 

 “For them, that means taking proceedings to the High Court in London, they feel that is the only opportunity they now have to be recognised and to be compensated.”

 Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, insisted a system for compensation claims had been set up and the “process is ongoing”.

 “[However] the States of Jersey is not aware of any moves to bring action in the English High Court in relation to claims for compensation made in relation to the inquiry,” he said.

 “In any event, the English Courts have no jurisdiction to entertain an action for damages against the States of Jersey that relate to events that are said to have occurred in Jersey, and any such claim would need to be made through the island's separate and independent judicial system.”

But Mr Collins disagreed and said: “The High Court in London is well used and has many years of experience of dealing with cases of this nature, I am unaware of any such case being tried in the Jersey court.”

 One victim, a woman who spent several years at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s, said she was forced to have sex with a member of staff up to five times a week.

 She said no one at the home seemed to notice or care and now feels the Jersey authorities are deliberately delaying dealing with compensation claims.

 “They think if they ignore it for long enough, it will go away but it won't not this time, there are too many people, there's too much come out,” she said.

 “The only thing they'll understand is when, if necessary, we all stand up in a court and say 'Look this is what you did, this wasn't our fault, we were kids, we were wards of court, you had a duty of care, simple'

The BBC's Sancha Berg covered the story on the “Today” programme on 30th October. To listen to the piece click on the following link:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-15488518

On the following Monday (2nd November) I understand that Senator Terry Le Sueur announced that proposals to compensate the victims were now going to be presented to them. According to the BBC:

Senator Terry Le Sueur told the States that despite delays, they were now ready to begin settling claims.

He said that any barriers causing delays had been removed.

Senator Le Sueur said: “During the delay the States' lawyers met with the claimants' representatives and assured them that as soon as the claims could be progressed the States' lawyers would be in contact.

“States' lawyers are now able to meet the claimants representatives to explain the agreed framework and the assessment of claims may begin”.

The victims are still waiting…

Alan Collins

0044 (0)2392492472

alc@verisona.com


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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