Bloggers Excluded by Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry.

Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) have been excluded from reporting from the Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry at 11-15 Seaton Place St Helier.

Regular readers will know that the Inquiry Team came up with the idea of "Media Accreditation" when it published its protocols earlier this year which can be read HERE. The Inquiry Team then decided to scrap the media accreditation after only receiving 5 applications. So rather than act in the positive and accredit the applicants which were three State Media and two Bloggers (VFC and BOB HILL) the team decided not to accredit anybody and give us all the same access to the media room at Seaton Place.

During this time the inquiry team were being made aware that the majority of the abuse survivors, and potential witnesses, to the inquiry, do not trust the local State Media who stand accused of  complicity in the Jersey cover-up....

Unhappy Anniversary 5

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the illegal suspension of former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. Regular readers will be aware that the former Police Chief was suspended under very dubious circumstances while (because?) his force were investigating allegations of decades long child abuse in the Island of Jersey.

Mr. Power QPM was suspended on the strength of a letter written by, possibly the most conflicted person there was, David Warcup. Warcup, stood to gain financially and a fast tracked promotion with the early removal of Mr. Power. The "Warcup Letter" was leaked to Blogger (Jersey's only independent media) Rico Sorda where he, exclusively, published it HERE.

Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) have (almost exclusively) published the facts surrounding the unprecedented illegal suspension, and related matters, in stark contrast to the party line, spin and propaganda, published/broadcast by the local State Media which has been little more than "Allegations Without Substance."

Although it must be said that there is as much NOT been published by the State Media as there has been propaganda and spin. Readers will be aware that the BBC were furnished with Mr. Power's 94 page, 62,000 word, interim defence case to the allegations put to him by the discredited, and disgraced Wiltshire Constabulary. The BBC, along with the rest of the island's State Media, reported extensively on the prosecution case against Mr. Power but when furnished with his interim defence case it was BURIED.

Team Voice has, and continues to, publish a reminder, every year, of possibly one of the biggest miscarriages of "justice" this island has ever seen, (although there is plenty of COMPETITION) in this illegal suspension, of a Chief Police Officer, decorated by the Queen, who's career which spanned 42 years came to an abrupt end when (because?) his force was investigating, not only decades of child abuse in State Run "Care" Institutions but some other "very uncomfortable" allegations concerning some very powerful people on the island.

This year is no different and we remind our readers that the Police Force under the leadership of Graham Power QPM, with Deputy Chief Officer, and Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper were investigating allegations that are almost incomprehensible. Allegations of children being brutalised, tortured, raped, abused and possibly even murdered. For a "Summary Report" on the excavation of children's home, Haute de la Garenne and a chilling inventory of the juvenile remains unearthed please read the "official Police Report" published exclusively by Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) Here.

For those with a deep interest of the "facts" surrounding Mr. Power's suspension and how the official line concerning the child abuse cover up has been TORN APART please look at the previous years "Unhappy Anniversaries."

Unhappy Anniversary 1

Unhappy Anniversary 2

Unhappy Anniversary 3

Unhappy Anniversary 4

Response from State Greffier Michael De La Haye.

Further to our previous posting where we published the PRESS RELEASE concerning the nomination of the Chairman for the Committee Of Inquiry into the decades of Child Abuse Frances Oldham QC. We publish a response from States Greffe Michael De La Haye.

In our previous posting we told readers that we were in contact (and still are) with Mr. De La Haye, all through the weekend. Before we published our previous posting, the relevant part was sent to Mr. De La Haye in order to give him a right of reply before publication.

Yesterday we received an e-mail from Mr. De La Haye, in response to the Blog Posting, and e-mail exchanges, which was considered for publication in the comments section of that posting. However, in the interest of fairness and balance, it has been decided that it should be a stand alone Blog Posting.

State Greffier Michael De La Haye. 

"I am writing in connection with our exchanges of emails over the weekend and today and in particular in relation to your request to be interviewed for your blog. I should mention at the outset that I have not given any media interviews about the nomination of Frances Oldham QC and the reports in today's media have all been simply based on the media release that I forwarded to you under embargo as requested at the weekend.

As I mentioned at the weekend I do not believe it would appropriate for me to be interviewed by you. As Greffier of the States I have to be scrupulous in everything that I do to ensure that I am never seen to do anything in my work that could be perceived as political or politically controversial. I hope all members of the States would confirm that I endeavor in everything I do to comply with this requirement so that no-one can ever claim that I am not at all times a totally impartial and independent officer of the States.

Although there are a range of political views about blog sites in Jersey I know you would not disagree if I say that it is clear that there are some States members who consider blogs are important and some of these are willing to engage actively with you and other bloggers to give interviews etc whereas there are other States members who do not wish to engage at all with you. It is not for me to comment on these varying views as to do so would be to be entering the political debate that will no doubt continue on this issue for the foreseeable future as the media landscape and the influence of the internet continues to evolve.

The immediate problem for me is that if I agreed to be interviewed on this issue my decision would be seen by some as a political statement on my part by those States members who feel it is inappropriate. These members could then be critical of my decision to be interviewed. I simply cannot, in my position, unilaterally decide that engaging with a blog site is a correct thing for the Greffier of the States to do. I'd stress most strongly that in taking this decision I'm not, as a result, 'siding' with those who think that engaging is incorrect but until there is general political agreement on what is appropriate I simply cannot be seen to be expressing a view either way.

I hope all who know me would agree that it is not in my nature to be awkward or obstructive and I am more than happy to explain briefly for you some of the steps that we followed in identifying Mrs Oldham so that you can be satisfied that she is a suitable person to chair the inquiry.

After the sad news about Sally Bradley QC's ill health the selection panel of Belinda Smith,Ed Marsden and myself met urgently to discuss how we could identify a new chairman. I should stress most strongly that we have never, at any time, sought any advice or guidance from anyone in Jersey about the appointment of a chairman and I can also confirm that luckily no one in Jersey has ever actually tried to tell me how I should go about the task of finding a Chairman. I have not, in fact, discussed the appointment process with anyone in Jersey until we had concluded it and even my own staff might say that I have been unusually secretive about what I have been doing! To avoid any 'Jersey' connection all the practical arrangements to contact people and arrange meetings etc were made through Ed Marsden's office.

We relied on a number of sources such as legal directories and enquiries with organisations in the UK to identify a number of potentially suitable QCs to chair the inquiry and Ed Marsden and I then met them for an initial discussion to explain what would be involved and to hear from them about their experience. We made extensive inquiries before and during the informal meetings that those we were seeing had absolutely no contacts at all with anyone in Jersey who was in any way involved with the issues to be covered in the inquiry and we made sure that they did not know anyone in Jersey who was in any way connected with the inquiry. A number of people were excluded because of connections and I think it is fair to say that we erred significantly on the side of caution when assessing any possible conflict.

When we saw potential chairmen we were keen to assess their proposed approach to the inquiry and ensure that they were aware of the importance of engaging in a sympathetic way with all who wanted to give evidence. We also wanted to hear what practical experience they had of dealing with victims of abuse and how they would ensure that appropriate arrangements were in place to handle all witnesses sensitively. We made sure that they appreciated how important the inquiry was for Jersey and wanted to know what experience they had of hearing potentially conflicting evidence and reaching an accurate conclusion. We were particularly keen to talk to QCs who had experience sitting as judges in the Family Division or the Crown Court as presiding in these courts and dealing with witnesses and lawyers for both sides would give very relevant experience for presiding over a public inquiry.

We shortlisted down to 3 QCs and the full selection panel then conducted a formal interview with these 3. We were unanimous at the end that Mrs Oldham had all the right experience to chair the inquiry. She has many years experience dealing with abuse cases and she explained to us that a huge proportion of the cases she deals with involve some form of physical or sexual abuse. She is determined to ensure that the inquiry allows people to tell their stories so that the inquiry finally brings closure and establishes exactly what happened over the period covered by the inquiry terms of reference. She has absolutely no connections at all with Jersey and has never met or come into contact with anyone connected in any way with the issues to be covered by the inquiry. She had never been to the island before coming for the interview we held. She convinced us that she will be fearless in getting to the truth to the best of her ability. She has sat as a judge for several years and in this capacity has to hear evidence and come to a reasoned conclusion. Importantly she has an extremely engaging and pleasant personal manner and we were convinced that she will be seen as a very suitable person to chair the inquiry by all who come into contact with her in the coming months.

Having been charged by the States to lead the selection process for a chairman I have done everything I can to ensure that the most suitable person possible (who was available to commit to work for some 12 months on this) was found. I recognize fully how important the inquiry is for the Island and was determined to do all I could to the best of my ability throughout the selection process to find the best person I could.

I hope this helps. For the avoidance of doubt I would mention that although I do not feel it would be appropriate for me to be interviewed I have no objection if you wish to publish this email on your blog site.

Michael de la Haye
Greffier of the States"(END)

It should be noted that in all our dealings with Mr. De La Haye we have found him to be extremely helpful, professional and impartial,willing to engage and answer any questions. If only some (most) of our politicians could take a leaf out of his book then maybe we could all work together in doing what is right for the Abuse Victims/Survivors and the Island as a whole......


Being the responsible and trusted media that we are we have adhered to the strict embargo placed on the Press Release issued by States Greffe Michael De La Haye (below) which is 00.01 Monday 21st October 2013.

This however didn't stop Jersey's ONLY "News"paper breaching the embargo by publishing information from it on Saturday 19th October.........Because they CAN breach embargoes being the ONLY "News"paper on the Island. If we Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) were to act so defiantly/irresponsibly we would never be given another embargoed Press Release. Thankfully, as mentioned above, we are more responsible than that and won't lower our standards to that of the discredited, and disgraced JEP.

As regular readers would expect, Team Voice will be reporting extensively on the (possibly controversial) appointment of Frances Oldham QC, and indeed the whole Committee of Inquiry and related issues.

But for now, at least, we give our readers the official Press Release (embargo respected).

"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 10 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 ensure that the inquiry starts 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."(END)


Team Voice, as regular readers would expect, have a number of REAL probing questions to ask that won't be asked by the State Media concerning the nomination of Frances Oldham QC.

Unfortunately, after repeated requests, we have been refused an interview with/by Mr. De La Haye (States Greffe) although he has been extremely helpful with supplying us with the embargoed Press Release (breached by the JEP) and has been in constant contact with us over the weekend.

We are still hopeful that we can reach some kind of a compromise on the interview front and Mr. De La Haye has said he is willing to answer our questions, it's just what format they take that is the sticking point right now, and hope to bring readers an update on that front as soon as we can.

Our argument is that we ARE the trusted media on the Island and the State Media stands accused of complicity in the whole cover-up of the Child Abuse and it's not us who breached the embargo or are accused of covering up any Child Abuse.

We believe the Committee of Inquiry will gain more credibility by engaging with those of us who have been at the forefront of investigative journalism on the island for the last 5 years or so and have campaigned heavily for the Abuse Victims/Survivors and indeed for the COI itself, for which we have been praised by a number of national/international journalists and local politicians.

The myth that surrounds the State Media being the trusted local news source, is just that,......a myth. If the State Media is granted an interview and Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) are refused, then it won't be our reputation/credibility that suffers, it will be that of the Committee of Inquiry itself.

This IS NOT a good beginning.

Stuart Syvret Court Case(s) and Judicial/Political Corruption.

In December 2011 VFC INTERVIEWED former Senator, and Health Minister, Stuart Syvret, on his release from prison after being convicted of Data Protection/contempt of court charges. The court case(s) have been described as "politicised and corrupt" and Mr. Syvret a "political prisoner." More about that particular court case can be viewed HERE.

On Mr. Syvret's release from prison, during the interview with VFC he said; "They're going to carry on bringing these kind of corrupt, oppressive, malicious prosecutions against me until they've succeeded in either intimidating me into silence or driving me out of Jersey permanently."

Regular readers will be aware that there is a hugely diverse number of people now coming forward claiming judicial corruption and that Jersey's so-called "justice" system is not fit for purpose. For a breakdown of some of these people claiming to have evidence of judicial/political corruption, which include former and sitting politicians, former Senior Investigating Officer of Jersey's Child Abuse Investigation, members of the public, national and international journalists and others please view THIS which might demonstrate that Mr. Syvret is no longer a lone voice with concerns of political and judicial corruption in the Crown Dependency of Jersey.

Mr. Syvret is now, and has been, involved in a number of court cases (as he predicted in Dec 2011) where he, and others, believe the purpose of some cases is to intimidate him, and others, namely Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) into silence telling VFC in the interview below, among other things, that although being a litigant in person, it is not unusual for him to receive a five hundred page document and is expected to respond within thirty six hours. Displayed in this latest interview are the eighteen lever-arch folders that concern just one of his court cases and he claims to have many more "possibly hundreds" which would/could be extremely daunting/intimidating to any litigant in person.

Also discussed in this exclusive interview is the apparent dangerous precedents being set by the island's judges (the real power in Jersey) where Mr. Syvret claims investigative journalism and public interest disclosures are being made illegal by the Island's courts by interpreting the democratically approved legislation in a way it was never intended.

The so-called super-injunction and secret court case also get a mention.


I outline below my written questions for next week's States Sitting. As I posted earlier, I unfortunately have had to postpone the intended report on the Justice Select Committee meeting with States Members due to picking up a flat tyre; and then needing to rush out again for the Parish Assembly. But this post will go up on Friday latest.
Those readers who follow the blog regularly will also notice that the questions below make reference to issues that we have still had no clear answers to despite well-focused efforts. No apologies for this whatsoever - questions that are passed by the system - however flawed it might be - should in turn then be given the courtesy of full and accurate answers.
When this does not happen, as is all too often the case, then the only thing to do is keep asking again, and again, and again.Brief comments on the background to each question is also provided underneath.

Written questions to Minister for Home Affairs

 'Has the Minister now handed over all details to officers undertaking ‘Operation Elvedon’ relating to the information he advised the Assembly had been leaked to a UK journalist during a live child abuse investigation by Mr. Gradwell?' 


Remember all the fuss made by people like Ben Shenton, Jim Perchard, Sean Power and co when they were trying (unsuccessfully) to link Lenny Harper's name to stories about Police Officers leaking information to national newspaper? 

Well, in stark contrast none of these individuals had anything to say at all about the expose by Citizens' Media that Mr. Gradwell - sickeningly portrayed by the Jersey Evening Pravda as a 'whistle-blower' - was named as leaking information to such newspapers; and done so whilst the Haut de la Garenne investigation was still live.

The Home Affairs Minister promised he would answer this question. But he hasn't. So I am back. Finally, just remember, this is not really about money but professional standards and trust. Indeed, in the UK a high ranking Met Officer was actually jailed earlier this year for this very thing...
Written question to Minister for Home Affairs
'Given that two independent businessmen have alleged that documents, including police witness statements, relating to the Dean’s suspension and the HG abuse case were read in view of passengers on a flight from Gatwick on 21st March 2013 by the Assistant Chief Minister Senator P.M. Bailhache, can the Minister confirm whether such confidential police documents were supplied to a politician acting, as we are told, simply as a lay member of the Church of England and not within his capacity as a States member and why?'
Is this question going to go away? No it won't no matter how much Senator Bailhache might bluster. He has threatened a personal statement. I say: bring it on. He has been caught bang-to-rights and trying to smear both me and, more importantly, members of the public as liars should result in the man who lectures people about the fundamental importance of 'truthfullness' and 'respecting' others biting the dust from the Council of Minister.
An important aspect to also keep in mind here. This also is isn't really about how he came to have/be given the documents any more. It is about the fact he wasn't big enough to hold his hands up and tell the Assembly the true facts. 'Chief Minister' Gorst (who knows the men are both genuine and truthful) may have conveniently fled to China to avoid next week's States Sitting but nevertheless - I might just have a little surprise for both of the Senators come  the final sitting 16th July...

Written question for Attorney General

'Given that the court transcripts of a 2009 case, which resulted in James Donnelly being sentenced to 15 years in prison, revealed that a number of other individuals were also identified as abusers by both the individual eventually convicted and the victim, why was no prosecution pursued in this case?'
How ironic that, in a week that saw the Chief Minister and his favourite Assistant/Boss meeting with the Justice Select Committee at the Atlantic Hotel; this to assure them over a slap-up meal that all within Jersey 'justice' was absolutely perfect I am again contacted by members of the public with hard evidence that shows nothing could be further from the truth.
Believe me, this case - or the 'swept under the carpet' evidence that was never acted upon - has the potential to blow through the halls of Establishment 'justice' like a hurricane. This case also almost certainly has a link to why former Chief of Police Power had to be disappeared. For the record all of this has nothing whatsoever to do with the victim; and no mention of her will be made.
It is simply about how under the Jersey 'justice' system it is not what you do that will see you either a scapegoat rotting in jail for 15 years, or walking free - it is who you are. There is no excuses for abusers - yet this kind of 'justice' cannot be allowed to go on. At this point nothing more really needs to be said. I have the evidence. I will just wait and see what the Attorney General has to say...
Written question to Attorney General 

'Now that the 'Secret' Court process against former Senator Syvret has concluded; will H.M. Attorney General clarify what has been the total cost thus far, whether public funding was made available equally to all four individuals involved, were they also required to utilise their own funds and was Mr. Syvret given “equality of financial arms”?'


Ah! The case no-one was allowed to speak about on pain of death. or at least on pain of having your door kicked in and your laptop and underwear rifled. The discerning reader will note the word 'secret' highlighted in red within the question. this case was as secret as you could get outside of a US rendition flight. But the Bailiff made me take it away. Not that he told me he was doing so until it was lodged! There will be an oral question coming fairly soon on this subject.
Secret court hearings shouldn't be happening in a place like Jersey anyway. Period. I mean, its bad enough that the JEP and Broadlands are being allowed to try and gain financially from a court case that saw the former allowed a jurat on the case who was conflicted and as suspect in commitment to 'justice' and assessing 'evidence' as one could ever hope to be. Burying bothersome, outspoken politicians behind closed doors is positively 1930's Germany in both tone and sinisterness.
Look out for a 'but the case is not fully concluded so no comment can be made' excuse in response. To which I will simply re-submit the question again, and again. We simply cannot have despicable thugs being given our money to oppress people of whom they are actually the abusers. I repeat: its our money; thousands and thousands of pounds of it. We have a right to know how it was spent; to whom it was given and just why?
Keep the Faith.
Justice Select Committee in Jersey Part 2 will be posted on Friday.






This is the first of a number of postings where I will be looking at the serious issues facing Jersey. 

First we must look at the Jersey Evening Post (JEP). This paper has been at the heart of "Island Strife" for a very long time.  Jersey has only one newspaper.  It has unashamedly been the establishment mouth piece for a very long time. In 2008 it came to the rescue of the establishment when it ridiculed the lead investigator DCO Lenny Harper and his teams investigation into decades long child abuse in the Jersey Care System "Operation Rectangle".  The Jersey Evening Post simply trashed the child abuse investigation. This paper has played a huge part in denigrating any politician who dares speaks out or goes against the establishment view. 

The actions of the JEP and its shocking level of reporting are too vast to name. One of the biggest crimes that can be levelled at it - next to trashing a child abuse investigation - is its abandonment of the people of Jersey. The JEP, along with all of Jersey's "Main Stream Media" outlets, have let the people of Jersey down.  Where are the JEP's investigative journalists? Why haven't they broken any big stories that have held our government to account over all these years? They have simply failed.  Jersey has been led down the garden path by a small majority of the ruling elite. The JEP could have exposed and nailed the idiots that have done this. 

I don't blame the JEP hacks for this. They deliver what their editors ask for.  Why write a piece and submit it if you are only going to be told to rewrite it?  

The departure of Chris Bright and Rob Shipley is a huge moment in the history of the Jersey Evening Post. One goes this October the other in April 2014. It is a pivotal moment. The paper, like Jersey, has reached its crossroads. The influence of these two editors can't be underestimated. They have been at the JEP since the 70's.  The paper is a laughing stock. It doesn't have to be.  

Father Time is catching up with the Jersey old guard. Slowly but surely they are moving on. Are these two editors worried about the up coming Committee of Enquiry into child abuse? 

Do not forget how the JEP has played a huge role in Jersey's elections. It shows no shame in backing their chancer.  In 2011 they went flat out in promoting former Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache. 

This is my first look at 2014 and beyond. I shared a very informative chat with a Deputy today. His political views are different to mine but yet we shared the same concerns about Jersey's future. I hope to be developing some of the issues we spoke about in later postings. Things must change. The JEP has its chance. I hope that someone from outside of Jersey is given the job. I hope they will come with integrity and ambition. A simple ambition of taking the JEP out of the mire it's been swimming in since 1890? Can this be achieved when it depends on advertising and the States of Jersey for survival? only time will tell. 

The Frank Walker and Jon Averty influence has been immense on this so called 'NEWS' paper. Have they been pulling the strings of Shipley and Bright all this time?

Jersey has one newspaper. It has a duty to the people of Jersey.  Being the only newspaper on the Island of Jersey must come with responsibility. I have heard that the Guernsey Post is not afraid of breaking the hard story. 

Jersey 2014 and beyond

We must be open and honest. This is not about being Left - Right or somewhere in the middle. This is about three things coming together. 

This is about the Moral, Social and Financial future of Jersey.

These three things must move forward hand in hand

I believe we are on a precipice. We can be blinkered if we like. The Jersey Media must step up like they have never done so before. 

The Retirement of Bright and Shipley is the start.

Rico Sorda 

Part Time Investigative Journalist