Jersey Search Moves To New Chamber

Police searching a Jersey care home where it is claimed children were raped and flogged in underground chambers are expecting to break into a second bricked-up cellar this week.

Fragments of bone, blood spots and graffiti reading “I’ve been bad for years and years” have already been found in the first of what police believe is a network of four secret rooms at Haut de la Garenne.

The chambers were not on the original plans of the building, say police.

More than 160 people have come forward to officers investigating the site of the former children’s home to say they were abused in the underground rooms.

Officers now hope to break through into the second cellar in the early part of this week, a police spokeswoman said, as test results on the bone and blood samples are being awaited.

Investigators are also reported to be expecting to make three arrests in connection with the case within the next fortnight, two in Jersey and one in the UK mainland.

The man leading the investigation, Jersey’s deputy chief officer Lenny Harper, told a newspaper that police were concerned that one incident could have led to the death of a child.

“We have a particularly graphic account of an incident which still causes us concern,” he told the newspaper. “We can’t say that a person definitely died but if you look at it you have to think there is a strong possibility that the person died. That followed by the fact that this person was never seen again.”

Officers have reportedly received accounts from former residents of the care home of abuse taking place on seaside trips and of children being forced to watch others being abused.

They also fear, reports the newspaper, that bones could have been removed from the home as recently as five years ago, either accidentally or in a deliberate attempt by perpetrators to cover their tracks.