Police Reopen Hampshire Child Home Investigation

Investigations into claims that children were sexually abused and murdered at the Jersey home have led to the reopening of allegations of brutality at a Hampshire home.

Detectives in Jersey hope today to resume excavations at the cellar of the Haut de la Garenne home after claims that staff used it as a dungeon to torture boys and girls.

Hampshire police announced that they were investigating claims that the Jersey case was linked to abuse at the Children’s Cottage Home in Portsmouth. Twenty-one men and women have told detectives that they suffered physical and sexual abuse at the Children’s Cottage Homes in Cosham, mostly in the 1950s.

A ten-month police investigation was closed in 1996 without any charges because 17 of the alleged abusers had died and lawyers decided that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the remaining three.

Claims by at least three former residents of Haut de la Garenne that children were murdered and their bodies buried led to the police search that uncovered a child’s skull and clothing on Saturday. Police are reexamining bones discovered in 2003 dismissed as coming from an animal.

The search is concentrating on a bricked-up cellar where former residents claim that children were confined if they misbehaved. Builders claimed that they found manacles, shackles and leather straps in the cellar before bricking up the entrance in 2003.