I got myself sent to jail to escape horror home (06.04.08)

News of the World, 6th April 2008
By Philip Whiteside

Victim who sparked Jersey abuse probe speaks to News of the World.

THE child abuse victim who sparked the Jersey House Of Horrors probe today reveals how he was attacked over and over by three paedophiles before he was 15. Martyn Clark was so desperate to escape his evil attackers that he deliberately got himself sent to a borstal in England. But when he returned to the island years later to get revenge he had to face court on another charge-and was able to blurt out the truth and expose the hell of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home.

Martyn, who is pleading for other victims of the abuse to come forward, says: “No one should have to suffer what I went through-it wrecked my life.I had to break the law before someone paid attention to what I had been through.”

Martyn’s nightmare began at 10 when he was sent to Haut de la Garenne along with three brothers because his widowed mother couldn’t cope. They all joined the St John Ambulance Brigade run by Thomas Hamon, who was dating a care worker at the home.

“On the first night I joined, Hamon asked me to get some bandages from a store room,” says Martyn, now 50. “He came in after me, locked the door and grabbed me from behind. I was frozen in fear as he molested me. Afterwards I didn’t know what to do. I was only ten and I thought no one would believe me if I told. So I said nothing.”

A few weeks later evil paedophile Hamon, then in his late 20s, got Martyn on his own in his car. “He pulled up on a quiet road between St Helier and the home. I was terrified- and the abuse was even worse than before.”

Hamon attacked Martyn every week for about a year. He only escaped when he quit the ambulance cadets and was away from Hamon’s clutches. But as soon as he was free from the clutches of one paedophile he fell victim to another…his uncle who, like Hamon, dated a care worker.

Marty recalls: “Every year, the senior kids at the home were taken camping. My mother’s brother, Tony Watton, used to come and play his banjo. One night he followed me into my tent and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m your uncle’, and then started to abuse me.

“It started a horrible pattern which went on for years. Every now and again he would invite me to his house for lunch. I would start eating and then wake up in his bed. He had drugged me and then abused me while I was asleep. Again I felt no one would believe me.”

When Martyn was 14, he became pals with a boy at his school called Lloyd Jarrett who invited him over to his parents house for the weekend. On the first night there, Martyn woke to find Lloyd’s dad Terrence in his bed attempting to molest him. He says: “I woke up and realised he was behind me. I just wanted to get back to the home. Again, I wasn’t going to tell anyone-but then I found out another boy had been invited to Lloyd’s home and I felt I had to speak up. I told a staff member I had been attacked by Lloyd’s father.”

The case went to court where Martyn’s evidence sent Jarrett, in his mid-30s, to jail. But still the youngster’s ordeal went on. He was shunned by his friends and received almost no support from Haut de la Garenne.

Within months, his evil uncle Watton was back in his life-taking him drinking before slipping a drug in his drink and abusing him. One night, when Martyn was 15, he had had enough. He stole Watton’s car and was sent to borstal in England for nine months. Tragically, he says it was the first place he had ever been where he felt safe. After his release he stayed in England and over the years plotted revenge. In 1997 he was caught bringing cannabis back to Jersey which he intended to plant on his uncle. Martyn admitted drugs smuggling and got nine months. But he had his day in court and broke more than 20 years of silence to tell all about his abuse.

Cops believed Watton, in his mid-20s, had carried out numerous attacks on boys. But he killed himself in 2001 before the case came to court. The police investigation that would lead to Haut de la Garenne also netted Hamon, 68, who admitted abusing eight boys aged 10 to 15 between 1964 and 1989. He died in 2006.

Another ex-member of the St John Ambulance brigade, Roger Holland-who has previously been convicted of assaults on girls-is awaiting sentencing after admitting more offences. Jarrett is believed to have died in the early 1990s.

Now Martyn says: “What others as well as myself have had to go through is appalling. If some abusers are still alive, I want them all to go to prison. But there are many, like mine, who are dead and I think it’s important the abuse they committed is not just swept under the carpet and forgotten.”

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