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Lenny: Jersey denials are hogwash

The policeman in charge of the Jersey child abuse inquiry has claimed that criticism of his investigation was a bid to protect the “bucket and spade image” of the island.

The inquiry, led by Deputy Police Chief Lenny Harper, was attacked this week by his successor Deputy Chief Officer David Warcup.

Mr Warcup said there were no suspicious deaths at the former children’s home Haut de la Garenne and the investigation was not conducted properly.

But in an interview with the News of the World, Mr Harper, who retired in August, furiously denied these allegations.

He said: “I firmly believe that they were trying to play down years of historic abuse in a bid to protect the ‘bucket and spade’ image of the island.

“You tell me officers are trying to explain the teeth at the home as being the work of the tooth fairy. The theory is hogwash, it’s ridiculous, it’s just nonsense.”

Earlier this week Mr Warcup announced he would be launching an independent investigation into the Haut de la Garenne probe.

He said: “There is no suggestion there has been murder or any bodies destroyed.

“It is evident that we didn’t receive all the information about the historic abuse inquiry that we should have received, and that some aspects of this critically important police investigation have not been conducted properly.”

Graham Power, the most senior officer in the force, was suspended as a result of Mr Warcup’s comments that both he and Mr Harper strenuously deny.

Mr Harper explained the difficulties he faced whilst leading the high-profile investigation. “From the outset of my inquiry we were being attacked on two fronts. One from a group of ex-police officers who had been sacked for corrupt activities and from the politicians who were constantly trying to denigrate the work we were doing.

“With us out of the way I just fear that there will be no appetite to find justice for these victims of child abuse,” he added.

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