Ex-resident Michael Aubin spared jail for Jersey children’s home abuse

A former resident of Haut de la Garenne was spared jail today for sexually abusing other boys at the Jersey care home. Michael Aubin, 46, who was born in Jersey and lives in Southampton, carried out the attacks while he lived at the home in the 1970s.

The former cleaner, who claims he was abused himself at the home by a member of staff known as ‘the bogeyman’, was sentenced to two years’ probation at Jersey’s Royal Court for two counts of gross indecency and two of indecent assault on children under 10.

The court heard Aubin suffered “serious sexual abuse” at the children’s home in St Martin, after, at three-years-old, he was taken from the care of his alcoholic mother.

He later carried out the attacks on two boys aged eight to 10 years old when he was just 14 years old himself, between 1977 and 1978.

Aubin has been held in custody since his arrest in May 2008 – an equivalent prison sentence would be 19 months – and will today walk from court a free man.

Passing a sentence of two years’ probation, presiding judge Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith said the court had to consider how Aubin would have been dealt with in the late seventies, as a 14-year-old.

He said: “The court would have been faced with a boy aged 14 years old, with all the mitigation that goes with youth.

“He would have been in care since he was three years old. He would have been brought up in the institutional environment.

“He would have been presented as a victim of serious sexual abuse himself.

“Although these offences were serious, they were not the most serious level of the scale.

“At 14 years old, he would not have been equipped to show the same restraint as an adult.”

Commissioner Clyde-Smith said there was an element of “cruelty” in the circumstances of the case.

“The defendant was taken in to care at three years old. The state was in loco parentis,” he said.

“He became what he became while in the care of the state and now the state comes after him to prosecute him for what he did when he was in its care when he was 14 – a disturbed and brutalised 14-year-old.”

Aubin committed what was considered a “minor” sexual assault in 1990, when he touched an 8-year-old over his clothing, but otherwise has not sexually offended, since his time in Haut de la Garenne, Commissioner Clyde-Smith said.