Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Jersey in the News Again

Jersey has been making the news again. On Saturday, we had Lenny Harper airing his comments - taken from an affidavit he made:

The Haut de la Garenne inquiry developed when, as part of the worldwide Operation Ore, the commanding officer of the Jersey sea cadets was arrested in 2006 for downloading pornographic images of children. Paul Every was subsequently convicted of child pornography offences. Harper discovered that allegations against sea cadet volunteers went back years. 'Some of the victims were children from Haut de la Garenne, taken sailing for a treat. The victims described being taken into international waters, where guests were invited to abuse them.....After Harper's departure last summer, the course of the investigation was radically altered. The inquiry has now, Harper claims, effectively ground to a halt. Before leaving the island he succeeded in charging three suspects with serious sexual offences. But nearly a year later, none has been tried.

Perhaps as a response to that, the Sun now reports on a further development in the case of one of the suspects charged:

THE first man to be charged in connection with child abuse at a Jersey children's home will face a string of new charges. Gordon Wateridge will face eight additional indecent assault charges after police investigated allegations made by a sixth victim, the Jersey Royal Court in St Helier heard. The trial of Wateridge - a former house parent at Haut de la Garenne children's home in St Martin in the 1970s - expected to start today, was adjourned to August 10 to enable the new charges to be included. The 78-year-old, born in Croydon, South London, but living in the Jersey parish of St Clement, now faces a total of 19 counts of indecent assault and one count of incitement to indecent assault involving five victims between 1970 and 1974. He is also charged with one count of assault involving a sixth victim. None of the victims can be named for legal reasons.

In fact, this has not just made the Sun, but also the Scotsman, the Guardian, and ITV news. Despite Lenny Harper's misgivings, this is one trial at least which is still attracting attention from a sizable spectrum of the media.

The other Jersey story is a mention in The Telegraph about the canceling of the reciprocal health agreement. In the course of an article on travel insurance in general, the newspaper noted that:

The reciprocal arrangements between health authorities on the British mainland and those on Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Herm came to an end at the end of last month, meaning that all British visitors will have to pay for their treatment if they become ill while visiting the islands. This means that now, tourists must cover their own medical costs in all cases and the same applies to Channel Islands residents visiting the UK.

So at least Telegraph readers will be aware of the situation, should they come to Jersey. It is the first UK Newspaper to mention this in its travel section, which is alarming, to say the least. Perhaps there should be a vendor offering short stay travel insurance for people easily available at the airport, or by a phone call from hotels, where a representative would come round to take particulars, and give cover for a modest cost, not unlike hiring a car on arrival.


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