30/04/2008

Second Sex Abuse Man Charged In Jersey

A man has appeared in court on sex abuse charges in Jersey - but not in relation to the Haute de la Garenne home investigation.

Claude Donnelly, 68, of St Brelade, appeared before St Helier magistrates on charges of raping a 12-year-old girl between 1971 and 1974 on the Channel Island.

Mr Donnelly who is the second person charged as part of an inquiry into alleged child abuse in Jersey is also charged with forcing the girl to carry out an act of gross indecency.

Deputy Police Chief Lenny Harper has said that his officers are questioning about 40 suspects, not all of whom will be arrested.

However, the police said that the charges do not relate to the ongoing investigation of serious allegations of abuse at the former care home, Haute de la Garenne.

Almost 100 people claim that they suffered sexual and physical abuse at the hands of care workers at the home as children while some reports say that there have been over 160.

Previously, Gordon Wateridge, 76 - who worked as a warden at the home - was the first person to be charged in connection with the abuse allegations.

Mr Wateridge was charged with indecently assaulting three girls under the age of 16. St Helier Magistrates Court adjourned his case until 12 May.

His arrest is said to be unconnected with the unearthing of a child's skull at the site in February.

There is an ongoing investigation into a pit dug in the 1970s or 1980s while a bath, shackles and blood stained items have also been found.

Jersey police say that detailed excavation of two of four cellar rooms would begin last week, where bone fragments and teeth have been discovered.

Forensic archaeologists also found two milk teeth at the Haut de la Garenne, on 22 April, believed to belong to a young child.

The home opened in June 1867 as the Jersey Industrial School for "young people of the lower classes of society and neglected children".

It became Haut de la Garenne in 1960 - which translates as rabbit warren - and closed in 1986.

Police say that it is expected that there will be more arrests in connection to the Haut de la Gareene case over the next few weeks.

(DS)


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