Monday, 21 October 2013


As one of the very few Jersey politicians who fought long and hard to finally secure a fully independent Committee of Inquiry to look into the decades of State covered up child abuse I was very upset when the chosen Chairwoman suddenly had a stroke. It seemed we were always hit by obstacle upon obstacle.
Finally, the beginning of the end - or at least the end of the beginning?
Now,  at a time when our wholly unfit-for-purpose 'Justice' system continues to fight tooth and claw to maintain its Dark Age untouchable status in undermining police investigations; and even in colluding with abuse by refusing to face up to its own failings such as in appointing individuals (John Le Breton) who have been happy to look the other way on evidence against the most horrific of paedophiles to become Jurats it is very uplifting that today we at last have a replacement Chair announced.
We must hope that she is allowed to get on with the job at the very earliest opportunity. Further still that those who have fought we few who have struggled so long on behalf of the victims, whether by ludicrous political argument within the Assembly; or by spreading scurrilous lies about the two brave police officers who first went against the Establishment policy of silence and intimidation will now see the error of their ways Aand adopt the silence they have followed for so long when they should have been speaking out.
The victims have surely waited long enough!
Time for PPC to grant Citizens Media the 'accredited' media status we deserve
Meanwhile, in pushing long and hard for the local Citizens Media (outlets such as Voiceforchildren, Rico Sorda and others) to be rewarded for their admirable professionalism and tenacity in dragging corruption out into the spotlight by being given parity with a Jersey MSM that -  with a few individual exceptions - just regurgitates the Establishment party line I could not go without commenting on the latest example of un-professionalism and arrogance displayed by the Jersey Evening Post.
Why oh why could they not even grant the new Chairman the short time requested within the embargoed press release to enable her to inform all the necessary people of her appointment. Breaking it as the JEP did really should have some repercussions. It was pathetic. Insulting. Yet sadly also wholly predictable. Will PPC now finally do something about penalising those who break the rules and reward with parity of access the excellent Citizens media outlets who comply?
I doubt it but we can always hope...

 A senior UK lawyer with 36 years experience of family and criminal law matters is being nominated to chair the Committee of Inquiry into Historical Abuse.
Frances Oldham QC was first called to the Bar in 1977 and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 1994. She is regularly instructed in high profile cases in both criminal and family matters and has considerable experience dealing with cases involving sexual and physical abuse. She was appointed as a Crown Court Recorder in 1994 and is authorised to try serious cases involving rape and serious sexual offences.
She has been a Deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division for over 12 years and she spends several weeks each year sitting as a judge in the criminal and family courts. She is also a judge for the Mental Health Restricted Patients Panel Tribunal and in 2012 she was appointed as a member of the QC Appointments Panel. She was leader of the Midland Circuit between 2002 and 2005 and Head of her Chambers for 7 years.
Mrs. Oldham’s nomination comes after the lawyer initially appointed to chair the inquiry, Mrs. Sally Bradley QC, became unwell in July and was unable to take up the position. The recruitment process for the replacement chairman has been undertaken by the same selection panel comprising Michael de la Haye, Greffier of the States, Belinda Smith, Senior Legal Counsel – Child Protection at the NSPCC and Ed Marsden, the Managing Partner of Verita. Informal discussions were held in the United Kingdom with 9 potential chairmen before 3 people were invited for a formal interview.
Mr. de la Haye said "The selection panel is unanimous in recommending Frances Oldham QC for this position. She has very extensive experience in many high profile cases in the UK and her combination of criminal and family law experience at the highest levels makes her eminently suitable to chair the inquiry in Jersey. She sits regularly as a judge in both the Crown Court and the Family Division of the High Court and she has vast experience of dealing with some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Frances started her working career as a management trainee in the NHS before qualifying as a barrister and she was keen to point out to us that she did not come from a privileged background which undoubtedly, in our view, helps her to relate well to people from all walks of life. The selection panel is convinced that she has exactly the right combination of empathy and firmness to chair the inquiry successfully in a totally independent and objective way."
Following the selection of Mrs. Oldham to chair the inquiry the selection panel is now working with her to finalise the appointment of 2 committee members from the United Kingdom for the inquiry. The selection process for the members was already well underway before the summer but had to be placed on hold following the news of the previous chairman’s ill health. The selection panel is hopeful that the recruitment of 2 committee members can be concluded by the end of October so that the Chairman and members can begin to make plans for the inquiry to start.
Mrs. Oldham said "I am very pleased to have been nominated to chair this important inquiry and I am keen to do all I can to avoid any further delay so that the inquiry can start in earnest in early 2014. I am determined to run the inquiry in a way that will encourage all those who want to come forward to speak to us to do so. It is essential that the inquiry is able to establish exactly what happened in the care system in Jersey during the period covered by our terms of reference and I will ensure that everything possible is done to achieve that aim".
The nominations of Mrs. Oldham and the 2 committee members will need to be approved by the States and the Chief Minister will be lodging the necessary proposition in due course so that the appointments can be considered by the Assembly in December. 
For further information and interviews about the selection process please contact Michael de la Haye on (01534) 441013 or by e-mail (
Mrs. Frances Mary Oldham QC – biographical information
Mrs. Frances Oldham QC was called to the Bar in 1977 and appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 1994. She was appointed as a Crown Court Recorder in1994 and has also been a Deputy High Court Judge for over 12 years. She is a judge for the Mental Health Tribunal Restricted Patients Panel, is a Master of the Bench at Gray’s Inn and was Leader of the Midland Circuit from 2002 to 2005. She has been a member of the QC Appointments Panel since 2012 and was Head of Chambers at 36 Bedford Row for 7 years until 2011.
Mrs. Oldham is regularly instructed in high profile and complex cases of the most serious and sensitive nature. Her practice encompasses all aspects of both serious and complex crime and child law. She has substantial experience in family law and is regularly instructed by local authorities, parents and guardians ad litem.
Her criminal practice includes all aspects of serious crime particularly murder, manslaughter, sex offences, armed robbery and drug related offences. Many cases involve complex medical and scientific issues, and mental health issues. In the Family Division she appears in substantial matters and has extensive experience of cases involving S.I.D.S; factitious illness syndrome and sexual abuse.
Mrs. Oldham practises from Chambers in London and Leeds and she lives in Leicestershire. She is married with 2 children and 3 step-children and her interests include sailing, theatre and medieval history.
The Legal 500 states that Mrs. Oldham 'straddles criminal and family matters to great acclaim'.

Sunday, 6 October 2013



I publish below the submission I made to the UK Justice Select Committee following their visit to Jersey back in July 2013.
As readers will recall the Chief Minister's department went to extraordinary lengths to try and ensure that those States Members who actually both knew what skulduggery was going on within our so-called 'justice'system; and crucially were also willing to stand up and tell the truth about it didn't get to spill the beans. All of course why the self-proclaimed 'Great and the Good' of the Establishment  Party were enjoying a thousand-odd pound jollie at the Atlantic Hotel and all at taxpayers' expense. 
Nevertheless, following what had been an attempt to later stage-manage a brief official meeting with the Committee - a meeting to which only 17 of your 51 representatives cared enough about justice to even turn up - having been pressured by Deputy Shona Pitman it was agreed by the Chairman that the deadline for anyone else wishing to make a submission to the Committee to tell things exactly how they are rather than the spin of the Atlantic Hotel shindig would be extended.

Any such submissions would then, we were assured, be posted on the Committee's government website. Indeed, we were told that individuals must NOT make their own submissions public until this simple process was complete.
Like a number of other deeply concerned individuals I did just this.Yet what happened? Three months on not one of the submissions has ever appeared on the website as we were promised. Why I ask? Perhaps the true reasons why anyone who dares rock the Establishment boat in Jersey can never then hope to achieve justice suddenly becomes a whole lot clearer...
Submission from Deputy Trevor Mark Pitman
My name is Trevor Mark Pitman. I am Jessey born and a Deputy representing St Helier Districts No. 1 in the Jersey States Assembly, the Island’s Parliament. I was first elected to the States in 2008 and re-elected in 2011. All mandates are for a three year term of office; though this set to rise to four years.

Directly prior to entering politics I was a professional youth worker within the Jersey Youth Service (this being a part of the Island’s Education, Sport & Culture department); my university qualification in this regard being in Informal Education/Youth & Community Development.

At the time of my initial election to the States I was the Chairman of the Island’s first officially registered political party (now defunct) the Jersey Democratic Alliance (JDA). A movement founded on the principles of social democracy; this had been set up to try and bring some degree of transparency and policy accountability to the local political scene.

As is the case with a number of my colleagues the purpose of my submission is to draw to the Committee’s attention my serious concerns about various aspects of the governance of Jersey and in particular what can only be described as abuses (both corruption and lack of the necessary diligence) within the Criminal Justice and Legal Systems; the lack of appropriate separation of powers between the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive; and the recent Referendum on the Structure of Government.

The reality is that, as has already been highlighted by one of my colleagues, Deputy Mike Higgins 3,000 words is wholly inadequate to fully elaborate on the above matters to the degree needed. I would thus simply echo Deputy Higgins’ request that at a later date the Committee consider accepting highly detailed, evidence-based written submissions into these areas. As such I briefly detail below a number of these personal concerns arising from both my own experience as both a politician and a member of the public; similarly others arising from evidence given to me by numerous members of the Jersey public.

Indeed, though a highly stressful and hugely expensive experience it has been the first-hand experience of my wife Shona (also an elected Deputy) and I in being foolish enough to trust to the workings of the Island’s justice system that has enabled me to see clearly a number of the most staggering and disturbing abuses/failings still currently being allowed to ‘run unchecked’ as a consequence of the UK government not intervening to ensure ‘good governance’.

The reality underlying this experience being that, though thoroughly evidenced as failures in both adhering to rules on conflict of interest and in monitoring of the local Jurat (lay judge) system was, with the UK government’s failure to intervene we were left being passed back from the UK Justice Minister to appeal to the very offices whose lack of professionalism had let us down. As we were subsequently to learn – we are very much not alone in being subjected to such abuses of justice.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, however, is the reality that most of these abuses/failings appear to have gone on for many, many decades. Again, I make no apology for reiterating the view that these abuses and deeply entrenched institutional failings have been allowed to come about because of a failure by Westminster to adequately monitor what has been happening within one of its own Crown Dependencies.

Correcting this ‘blind eye’/non-interventionist approach is, an ever-increasing number of islanders believe, the only way these abuses and failings will be halted and true justice and good governance restored. I thus list below just some of the incidents/issues causing me grave concern as a Member of the island’s parliament.                                                       

1. The loss of evidence from police custody relating to child abuse (Haut de la Garenne) and which is also highly relevant to the States Compensation Scheme for the victims of abuse;

2. Failure to prosecute highly wealthy ‘Establishment’ figures in the Royal Court despite clear and solid evidence of child abuse;

3. The collusion of civil servants and politicians to remove a Minister, former Senator Stuart Syvret, from Office during the ‘Historic’ Child abuse investigation revolving around Haut de la Garenne; this being revealed by a former Chief of Police, Graham Power QPM;

4. The consequent rapid, and in the view of many of us, illegal removal of the very same former Chief of Police soon afterward; this being followed by an orchestrated and falsified ‘trashing’ of both the individual, his recently retired Deputy and the investigation;

5. An in my view illegal police raid on the home of the same former Senator highlighted above and his then partner;

5. The failure of the UK to intervene to dismiss a former Attorney General – subsequently Bailiff and now a Senator for allowing a convicted paedophile, Roger Holland, to be sworn into the Honorary Police – this leading to the paedophile abusing more young girls;

6. Failure on the part of two successive Bailiffs to appropriately scrutinise and remove – over a period of 14 years – an individual sitting as a Jurat – John Le Breton, who is highlighted (within the government suppressed 1999 Stephen Sharp Report) to have refused to look at/consider evidence against a paedophile colleague, Andrew Jervis-Dykes. Yet then written in support of him; stating amongst other comments that the paedophile ‘had served the College in an outstandingly competent and conscientious way’; and that there ‘may be no case to answer’.

7. Failure by the Bailiff’s Office to ensure the same Jurat recused himself, as required, from sitting and judging on evidence/fact in a defamation case where the Jurat has a long-standing and evidenced relationship - both personal and working - with a director of one of the defendant companies;

8. The failure to ensure that all trials are compliant with Article 6 of the European Court of Human Rights

9. The failure of the States of Jersey Police to properly investigate allegations of perjury by Civil Servants in a Court of Law, especially when it has been alleged that some of their former colleagues were involved;

10. The failure of the States of Jersey Police to properly investigate or even refuse to accept complaints of perversion of the course of justice and other unlawful activities: both by serving officers and individuals within the legal profession;

11. The working of the Island’s legal aid system which means that ordinary citizens lacking the necessary ‘deep pockets’ have almost no chance of getting any justice in the legal system; regardless of the strength of their case;

12. Abuse of the Data Protection Law to implement what I can only describe as politically motivated ‘secret court’ proceedings;

13. Shocking and inexplicable inconsistency within sentencing for child abuse offences;

14. The failure of the Crown Dependencies ‘Team’ to appropriately consider and act upon complaints of criminal acts/abuses of the Jersey justice system; instead referring them back mass produced ‘template’ letter to be dealt with/appealed via the same individuals/institutions that have allowed the problems to occur

15. The lack of an individual’s right in Jersey to take out a private criminal prosecution;

16. Allegations of tampering with trial recordings within the Magistrates’ Court prior to said recording being sent for transcription;

17. The refusal of the UK to intervene to put an end to the ‘Dual Role’ of the Bailiff which allows one individual to preside as both Head of the Judiciary and Legislature; a system far worse in ECHRs failings than the system now being addressed in Sark;

18. A wholly unwarranted and divisive monopoly to practise allowed to exist for ‘Jersey lawyers’; this being the key factor in the extortionate rates such lawyers are allowed to charge – thus limiting justice to the wealthy and excluding most who may be termed ‘middle earners’;

19. The refusal of Jersey courts to ensure litigants in person are provided with copies of the law (relevant to their case) in language that they can understand;

20. The failure of the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office to properly assist members of the public who file subject access complaints to the States of Jersey Police in order to pursue cases against the Police - when they are being actively obstructed by the police;  

In concluding this brief submission I repeat that I sincerely hope the Committee will be willing to accept further, detailed written submissions at a later date; and similarly will be willing to hear oral evidence from those with the concerns – regardless of some us being tagged ‘anti-Establishment’ figures - rather than the usual Executive members and Civil Servants the UK authorities normally hear from and have contact with.

I fully concur with my colleague, Deputy Mike Higgins, is stating that like others I am turning to the Justice Select Committee for assistance because it is proving impossible to successfully address many of these issues in Jersey and firm external intervention is needed to end the abuses that are occurring in this Island.  None of this may be new – but it is high time the UK played its part in putting an end to such failings and abuses.

Deputy Trevor Mark Pitman

Keep the Faith. No-one in the UK government may be listening yet - but come Hell or high water; in office or forced out - the time is coming when we will MAKE those who should finally HEAR and bring the corrupt and the complacent to book.