Murder Inquiry 'Unlikely' In Jersey Home Probe

Jersey police have now confirmed the discovery of the partial remains of at least five youngsters at Haut de la Garenne, the former care home at the centre of an Historic Abuse Enquiry.

The remains are thought to belong to children aged between four and 11.

The news comes at the same time of an announcement by Jersey police that a murder inquiry is now "unlikely" because an exact date cannot be put on the remains.

Leading the investigation, Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper said "the indications are that if the results come back the same way as they have.....there won't be a homicide inquiry".

Mr Harper added however that a number of valuable pieces of evidence had been found which "substantially corroborate" accounts of abuse at the home and that hopes were being pinned on the "process of carbon dating".

To date, police have made the grim discovery of 65 milk teeth and more than 100 bone fragments at the former care home.

Experts have said that the condition of the teeth meant they could only have come out after death.

Police also have evidence that the remains were burned and that attempts were made to conceal them between the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

Around 100 people - former children in care - have alleged abuse between the early 1960s and 1986.

Jersey Police first found bones "believed to be a skull fragment" on 23 February this year.

It came two years after the start of an investigation into abuse following allegations by former residents.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has told BBC Radio Four's Today programme that "what is clear is that there are five cases where there is sufficient evidence to prosecute but the prosecution has been shut down in some form or other".

"There are efforts to cover this up, I don't think there's any doubt about that," he said.

Mr Hemming added that he will discuss the issue of the rule of law in Jersey with a Government minister.

The latest development to Haut de la Gareene case comes as the States of Jersey Police release their Second Quarter Performance Report 2008.

The report said that "the publicity surrounding the investigation may have a knock-on effect in encouraging other victims of historic abuse to come forward".

So far three people have been charged with sexual offences in connection with the inquiry.

See: Man And Woman Arrested In Jersey Case


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