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Tuesday, September 14, 1999 Published at 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK


'Sex exile' compensation call

The States of Jersey is being asked to offer him 20,000

A man who spent 14 years on a small Channel Islands reef after being wrongly accused of sex crimes will hear if he is to receive compensation.

The BBC's James Ingham: "Mr Le Gastelois now lives in poverty"
Jersey's Government is being asked to help Alphonse Le Gastelois, 84, arrested in 1960 by police hunting a serial sex offender nicknamed the Beast of Jersey.

After 40 hours of questioning, detectives found nothing to connect him to the decade-long series of attacks on women and children.

But his name was released to the press and he became the subject of a hate campaign on the island.

He was forced to flee to Ecrehous, a tiny reef between Jersey and France and only returned when the real offender was caught and sentenced 14 years later.

He now lives in a tiny damp house owned by the Government of Jersey, the Island States, in extreme poverty.


Jersey politican John Rothwell is asking the States of Jersey to offer him 20,000 compensation.

"The States have a responsibility to recognise that that humiliation led to his suffering mentally and otherswise and for this island, which has something like 109bn on deposit, 20,000 is very little," said Mr Rothwell.

A petition started on Saturday already has 1,000 signatures, with locals calling for a public apology from police.

But Mr Le Gastelois still feels hurt and says money wont make any difference.

"What can you do? You can't rebuild my life, you can't rebuild me," he said. "I don't want much now, only want to be left in peace."

He said of the possible compensation: "It's a bit late in life but it will help."

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