“A young girl being forced to sleep next to a dead nun is just one of the cruel punishments children were subjected to at a care home, an public inquiry has heard.
Staff at the Haut de la Garenne, dubbed the Jersery Horror Home, have been accused of dragging boys from their beds late at night to abuse them among other crimes.
Victims of the abuse told of other horrors they faced at the hands of care home workers in Jersey as part of an inquiry that is dealing with homes and foster care throughout the island, including Haut de la Garenne.
Some children reported being ‘beaten with metal spoons’ at nearby Sacre Coeur children’s home, while others said they had sheets put over their heads before being tucked tightly into their beds, trapping them.
One victim, identified only as Mrs A, told the inquest: ‘Children worked, they never played. As children you were given things to do.
‘Nobody spoke a word about anything. You just got on with it.’
Winifred Lockhart, who was held at the home as a child, said she was frequently dragged around by her hair and forced to sleep on straw in a shed outside.
(This picture taken in February, 2008 when the first instances of abuse at the home came to the attention of the authorities)
She also said upon speaking to a boy years later about the abuse they suffered, he told her a staff member had ‘done horrible things’ to him.
Police have taken 1,776 statements from 192 victims since September 2007 in what is the biggest ever investigation into care home abuse in Jersey.
The evidence was heard as part of a year-long, £6million probe into reports of abuse in the island’s children’s homes and fostering services from 1960 to the present day.”
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