Child Abuse Investigation Spreads To Guernsey

The investigation into child abuse at Jersey children’s homes is likely to spread to Guernsey after an alleged victim said he was attacked by staff of residential homes on both Channel Islands.
Carl Denning, 49, claims sexual abuse happened at two children’s homes in Guernsey when he was there in the early 1970s.

Police investigating decades of alleged abuse at the Haut de la Garenne former children’s home in Jersey said any allegations of child abuse in Guernsey which arise from their inquiries will be passed on to their counterparts on the neighbouring island, which has its own entirely separate police force.

Guernsey-born Mr Denning, who now lives in North Wales, spent six years at Haut de la Garenne, beginning when he was five, and later was sent to two different homes in Guernsey.

He told the Guernsey Press that some of his female friends were sexually abused at the first home he stayed in, and that two nurses were sexually assaulted at the home but told to keep quiet.

He was not sexually abused in Guernsey, but was regularly physically assaulted by one particular member of staff.

“One day he knocked me flying,” said Mr Denning. “He was a big, stocky bloke and used to bash the kids around, but you could not say anything. No-one would listen.”

He was sent to another home in his late teens, and said: “The Guernsey homes were not squeaky clean. Far from it. I was not abused at the second home, because by then I was too much of a loose cannon. I would have said something. But I knew there were boys who were.”

Mr Denning believes the authorities in Guernsey were guilty of covering up child abuse in state-run homes, just as the authorities in Jersey have been accused of doing.

He added: “I feel like the Guernsey authorities really don’t believe what went on.”

Some staff at the homes had turned a blind eye to the abuse, he said, and: “For not speaking up, they’re worse than the person abusing the children.”

A spokesman for Jersey police said: “If anyone we interview makes allegations of assault in Guernsey that will be passed on to Guernsey police.”