News of the World, 23rd March 2008
By Douglas Wight & Andrew Buckwell
COPS investigating the Jersey child abuse scandal are looking into allegations of cruelty at a second kids’ home, the News of the World can reveal. A secret report alleges a woman who worked at notorious Haut de la Garenne oversaw a reign of terror when she was in charge of another home nearby.
It accuses Jane Maguire and her husband Alan of violence against children spread over four years at Blanche Pierre residential care home. It also says victims claimed Mr Maguire abused young girls, subjected youngsters to severe beatings and punished them by forcing soap into their mouths. Before arriving there to be house mother, Mrs Maguire spent a year at Haut de la Garenne-now the centre of a huge police investigation and excavation of its hidden cellars.
The 1999 report by Dylan Southern, a manager for Jersey’s Health and Social Services, revealed a culture of abuse and savage beatings at Blanche Pierre. It shows that nine years earlier, when allegations first surfaced, she was simply transferred to another job in a hospital and was allowed to carry on working with needy children. He recommended that Mrs Maguire be dismissed.
Jean Michel Jarman, 26, was one of around ten kids living at Blanche Pierre during the Maguires’ reign. He was placed there aged four after his mother died. He said: “It was a hellish place. If you misbehaved you were given the most extreme punishments.
“Once Alan Maguire rammed soap so far into my mouth I had to pick it out with a comb. His fingers badly scraped the roof of my mouth. Ifelt sick and was crying my eyes out. We were children-but there was no love for any of us.”
In his official report Mr Southern said: “This was a cruel and uncaring environment with Mrs Maguire holding the responsibility for its creation and maintenance until her removal from the home in 1990.” His findings followed a police inquiry and led to her dismissal from the welfare service. The couple retired to a cottage in the French Pyrenees.
Last night Jersey police told us: “Your information has been passed to our incident room. It is something we are looking into.”
More than 100 people claim they suffered physical or sexual abuse at Haut de la Garenne, where a child’s skull was found last month. Many of the 25 suspects have since died. But last week the cop leading the inquiry, Deputy Chief Lenny Harper, said three face arrest soon. When we confronted Alan Maguire at home in the tiny village of Issel, he said: “Call my lawyer.”