Forest Heights

So, another industrial school. How sweet.

Haut de la Garenne has a darker past. It opened in 1867 as an industrial school for young people of the lower classes and neglected children…The gruesome secrets escaping its imposing stone walls today are ugly and deeply disturbing: stories of beatings, rape, torture, imprisonment of children…The prison-style solitary confinement cells contained just a bed and a potty. Le Monnier, 43, says: “It made you feel depressed, lonely and degraded.”…Turner recalls being hit over the head with pillows filled with boots and shoes. “You’d go to bed and pow, they’d get you,” Turner says. “Times change. It was acceptable back then. It wasn’t just me, it was a lot of the children, most of the children.”

That’s just the impression you get from Goldenbridge, from the testimony of the nuns as well as that of the children – it was acceptable back then. It’s scary to contemplate the kinds of things that have been acceptable in the past.

Former victims say they were chained and physically abused in underground cellars. Based on this information police began searching Haut de la Garenne. Human bloodstains, a pair of shackles and a large concrete bath were discovered in a bricked-up cellar last month. Officers reportedly found a message scrawled on a wall saying: “I’ve been bad for years and years.” Police also discovered part of a child’s skull together with a girl’s hair clasp, a button and a piece of fabric buried in a stairwell. Jersey’s deputy police chief Lenny Harper, the officer in charge of the inquiry, says the discovery of a trapdoor into the cellar corroborates what victims told police. It leads down into a complex of at least four cellars.

Oh, Christ. And the former victims are being threatened, and corrupt cops and pols are trying to discredit the inquiry.

“There is no doubt allegations were made by children in the past and they were simply not dealt with the way they should have been; that includes the police, the social services and everyone else.”

That’s Haut de la Garenne.

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