Endemic abuse at home: ex-RUC officer

Endemic abuse at home: ex-RUC officer
25 February 2008
Belfast Telegraph
Deborah McAleese

Former RUC man Lenny Harper said police, who are acting on intelligence that arose from a major child abuse investigation, are now investigating six more sites in the grounds of Haut de la Garenne, a former care home in St Martin on the east coast of the Channel Island, and that it is possible they may find more remains.

Mr Harper, who is now Jersey's Deputy Chief Police Officer, said that the excavation at the site - which featured as a police station in the TV series Bergerac and is now Jersey's youth hostel - took place after a number of abuse victims said they believed human remains were buried at the scene.
"The (child abuse) investigation started when police became concerned about the number of persons in a position of responsibility caring for children being arrested, charged and sometimes convicted of paedophile type offences."

Once (the investigation) was public we were overwhelmed with the number of people saying they were assaulted either physically or sexually at the care home, and our investigation has continued since then," Mr Harper said.
He added that following intelligence that a body may be buried at the site a number of experts and specially trained police dogs - including Eddie, the springer spaniel who helped nail evil Ulster killer Trevor Hamilton - were brought in to examine the area before any excavation began.
" We have been planning this (the excavation) for several weeks. We became aware that a number of victims were saying they thought there were human remains buried at the scene."
Mr Harper added:
"The home is situated in a lovely part of the island. It belies what has gone on behind its walls."

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