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Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 15:37 GMT
Children's home in abuse claims
Blanche Pierre
Blanche Pierre closed in 2001
Claims of abuse have emerged at another former children's home as investigations continue in Jersey at another home, Haut de la Garenne.

A confidential report from 1999 details "gross acts of physical and psychological abuse" at the Blanche Pierre care home in St Clement.

The home, which closed in 2001, is now a nursery which has no connection with the allegations.

A child's skull was found at Haut de la Garenne on 23 February.

Jean-Michel
If you spoke out of turn you would get a bar of soap rammed down your throat
Former Blanche Pierre resident Jean-Michel Jarman
A social services report into Blanche Pierre, obtained by the BBC, looked at alleged abuse in the home between 1986 and 1990 when the home was run by Jane and Alan Maguire.

The report said: "Mrs Maguire committed and condoned gross acts of physical and psychological abuse towards the children in her care."

It also said she "understood that a policy existed which forbade the use of corporal punishment".

The social services report found Mrs Maguire guilty of gross misconduct and recommended her dismissal.

The BBC has spoken to five former residents of Blanche Pierre and all spoke of sustained physical abuse.

One alleged victim, Jean-Michel Jarman, now 27, said: "There is firm and there is too firm.

"You should not get a whack with a wooden spoon or slipper for doing something wrong.

"If you spoke out of turn you would get a bar of soap rammed down your throat.

Police excavation tent at Haut de la Garenne
Part of a child's body was found at Haut de la Garenne
"It happened to me, my sister, brother and other children."

In 1990, two part-time members of staff alerted the authorities about the Maguire's' behaviour.

An investigation was carried out, but Mrs Maguire, an employee of the Jersey government, was moved onto another job within social services, and still allowed to work with vulnerable people.

Proceedings abandoned

Nearly 10 years later one of the Maguires' alleged victims complained to the police.

Court proceedings began, but were later dropped because at the time the witnesses were considered unreliable.

But one alleged victim of the abuse said: "They said they did not have enough evidence, but it was swept under the table.

"Nothing was ever done."

Former health minister, Senator Stuart Syvret, said the Maguires should have been sacked when the two staff members complained in 1990.

He said: "They should have been sacked immediately.

"The notion of just moving them and letting them carry on in an environment where there are vulnerable people is just utterly extraordinary."

Jane Maguire's solicitor says that court proceedings against her were abandoned after an independent Crown Advocate had looked at the case.

Jersey States said in a statement: "A police enquiry into allegations against Alan and Jane Maguire was completed in 1998, but the indictment was withdrawn after committal proceedings because it was considered the case did not pass the evidential test."



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