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HOW THE JERSEY ESTABLISHMENT SILENCES THOSE WHO BLOW THE WHISTLE ON CHILD ABUSE AND INJUSTICE. AN EXCELLENT PIECE FROM BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH'S MARK METCALF
The article I adapt below is the copyright of and kindly made available by the excellent UK magazine 'Big Issue in The North' and Mark Metcalf. I will attach a direct link to the magazine as soon as have it - assuming I still have IT access after our latest court battle at 10am Tuesday morning 26th November!
Meanwhile, thanks once again to Mark and his editor Kevin for regularly keeping an eye on the on-going struggle to drag Jersey democracy and its 'judicial' system into the 21st Century.With further UK coverage on the Jersey 'justice' system and our own battle coming up shortly Keep the Faith that one day the Bald Truth about the cover-ups will shine through!
Deputy Trevor Pitman
claims as Jersey court case gets under way
An MP fears the victims of child abuse on Jersey
will be “gagged” if the establishment on the island is successful in
bankrupting and disqualifying from office two local members of parliament.
Shona Pitman and her husband Trevor have
represented the St Helier parish since 2005 and 2008 respectively. Both have
expressed their concerns about child abuse on many occasions. Jersey’s child abuse
scandal first surfaced in 2007, following which 192 victims and 151 abusers
were identified during a police investigation. Seven people were successfully
An inquiry into child abuse on the island was due to have started
this autumn but had to be delayed due to the overseeing judge suffering a heart
attack. Visits by Jimmy Savile to a children’s home on Jersey will form part of
the inquiry. The Pitmans believe the island’s Law Office has not pursued
evidence against abusers. They have attempted, with backing from other
parliamentary members and campaigners against child abuse, to get justice
minister Lord McNally to “ensure good governance”.
This drew a muted response from the Lib Dem peer
who replied: “Jersey has its own justice system so we can’t really interfere.” The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who is head
of the Privy Council – which acts as a court of appeal for Jersey – has also
refused to get involved.
Last year, the couple sought damages for defamation
against the Jersey Evening Post (JEP) and the Broadlands estate agency,
which placed a cartoon advert in the paper in 2008. The Pitmans alleged this
was intended to portray them as money-grabbers who had entered politics for
John Lyndon Le Breton, the senior jurat in the
case, was a friend of the newspaper’s (owning company) director and vice-principal of an exclusive
fee-paying secondary school where, for indecently assaulting teenagers,
paedophile Andrew Jervis-Dykes was given a four-year sentence in 1999.
Colleagues of the guilty man refused to co-operate with the police and Le Breton
wrote in support of him.
Le Breton subsequently sat on other child abuse cases
but has since retired. The Pitmans lost their case after the defendants successfully argued
the cartoon referred to the fact that the plaintiffs would be able to obtain a
mortgage worth four times their joint salaries.
The Jersey parliamentarians were left owing around
a quarter of a million pounds in costs to their lawyers and the two defendants.
This week the Pitmans will appear before the Jersey Appeal Court in an attempt
to overturn an earlier decision that they have exhausted the time period in
which they can appeal against the defamation decision.
They are representing
themselves and need to win or face being declared bankrupt. Unlike in Britain,
this will mean they are disqualified from elected office. Their home and jobs
would be lost. The Pitmans argue: “The establishment and JEP want us to
be forced out of politics.”
Earlier this month, the Pitmans unsuccessfully
sought an injunction to prevent the JEP publishing a story about
threatening letters that had been sent to the lawyers for the JEP and
Broadlands, as well as a prominent individual in the original defamation case
and the Jersey politician Sean Power, who has previously criticised the Pitmans
in the JEP.
The Pitmans accused the JEP of “yet another smear”
and argued the letters had been sent to undermine them in the lead-up to their
appeal. The newspaper; deputy editor, Andy Sibcy, has refused to comment on the
Pitmans’ accusations or their claim that the letters had nothing to do with
them. The incident has led to no police arrests.
Birmingham Yardley MP John Hemming has taken a
keen interest in events on Jersey and it was his intervention that helped
remove the 500-day ban on American journalist Leah McGrath Goodman from
visiting the island and investigating child abuse allegations.
Hemming has recently
supported Stuart Syvret, Jersey’s former health minister, who was jailed for
contempt of court after he refused to remove online allegations about four
islanders. The Data Protection Commissioner brought the case against Syvret.
None of the four has attempted to sue the former politician for defamation.
Hemming has named the four individuals in an early day motion in Parliament and
called Syvret’s jailing “an affront to freedom of speech”.
This is the second time Syvret has gone to jail.
In 2010 he published a confidential report into suspicious deaths at Jersey’s
General Hospital. In both case cases, Syvret has argued there has been a
Hemming has now expressed his “fears that the
establishment in Jersey are using legal proceedings to disqualify the Pitmans
from their role in the island’s parliament”. He added: “This has the effect of gagging
victims of abuse as fewer people can speak out on their behalf. I very much
hope they are successful in their appeal.”