25/02/2008

More Sites Searched At Jersey Hostel

Seven more sites at a youth hostel in Jersey are reportedly being searched, following the discovery of the remains of a child at the weekend.

The remains were found at the former Haut de la Garenne children's home on Saturday, during a search as part of a police investigation into alleged child abuse.

The remains have been sent to the UK for tests in order to determine the age and gender of the child.

Jersey Police have been investigating allegations of abuse on the island, involving both boys and girls aged between 11 and 15, since the 1960s, with the main focus of the investigation being the Haut de la Garenne and the Jersey Sea Cadets.

The excavation at the home began last Tuesday. The exact location where the remains were discovered is not known, but it is understood that they were found under several inches of concrete during a search involving a sniffer dog and ground radar.

The Haut de la Garenne opened in 1867 as an industrial school and closed as a care home in 1986. It reopened as Jersey Youth Hostel in 2004.

The building also featured as a police station in the television series 'Bergerac'.

There have been allegations of a cover-up by the Jersey government, which have been denied by the island's chief minister, Senator Frank Walker.

Police confirmed that they have spoken to more than 140 potential victims or witnesses, but are still appealing for anyone with any information to contact them on: 0800 735 7777. An NSPCC helpline is also available and can be contacted on: 0800 169 1173 within Jersey or: 44(0)20 7825 7489 from outside.

(KMcA)




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