Two bailed in Jersey child abuse investigation

Two people arrested by detectives investigating historical allegations of attacks on children in care on Jersey were bailed last night, police said.

A 70-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman were arrested earlier today by the historical abuse team in connection with three assaults.

The man and woman were arrested by police investigating a number of criminal assaults on children that took place in the 1960s and 1970s.

A spokeswoman said the arrests are connected to Haut De La Garenne, but it is not alleged that the crimes took place at the home.

A spokeswoman for the States of Jersey Police said tonight: “After consultation with their lawyer appointed by the Attorney-General, two people were arrested today.

“At about 5pm today the lawyer revised his advice to the investigating officers.

“Following discussion, the investigating officers requested a Centenier to attend Police Headquarters to charge the suspects.

“Despite stating that the evidence was present, the Centenier declined to charge.

“The States of Jersey Police have no alternative, therefore, but to release the two suspects without charge.”

Centeniers, who are elected by voters in their parish, are the only officers authorised to charge or bail suspects.

Today’s arrests took the total number of people arrested as part of the island abuse probe to six.

Earlier this month a 50-year-old ex-police officer was held on suspicion of “serious crimes” at the home and elsewhere in Jersey. He was released pending further inquiries.

It is understood he is a former Jersey police officer who worked as a volunteer at the home before leaving the force to work with the Jersey children’s service.

Haut de la Garenne is at the centre of one of Britain’s biggest ever abuse investigations where more than 100 people claim they were abused.

Police have excavated four secret underground chambers at the building, referred to as punishment rooms by some victims, and have found shackles, a large blood-stained bath and children’s teeth.

Jersey Police today revealed that four more teeth have been found, taking the total to 52.

Police said tests on the teeth revealed that most were “very unlikely to have come out naturally before death”.

Police have also recovered at least 30 charred human bone fragments and in one cellar found the haunting message “I’ve been bad for years and years” scrawled on a wooden post.

Of the bone fragments unearthed, tests have found that some were cut while others were burnt, indicating that homicide had taken place, with the victims’ bodies possibly cremated in a fireplace.

The inquiry at Haut de la Garenne started in February after the discovery of what was initially believed to be part of a child’s skull but was later thought to be wood or part of a coconut.

Following the find, scores of people came forward claiming they were abused at the home and claiming they were drugged, raped and beaten.

Police said there are more than 40 suspects.

Three men have been charged with sexual abuse offences as part of the historical inquiry.

Gordon Claude Wateridge (aged 76) originally from Croydon, south London, is charged with three offences of indecent assault on girls under 16 between 1969 and 1979 while he was warder at the home.

Claude Donnelly (aged 68) of St Brelade, is charged with raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl on Jersey between 1971 and 1974.

Donnelly is not connected to Haut de la Garenne.

Michael Aubin, 45, is charged with indecently assaulting a seven-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy and one count of buggery on an eight-year-old boy, all between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1980.

The charges relate to three different children at the home.

Aubin, of St Denys, Portswood, Southampton, will appear at Jersey Magistrates’ Court next Monday.

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