#Jersey:Award Winning Journalist Eileen Fairweath Has Known About Jersey Paedophilia For 15 Years.
The award-winning journalist who exposed terrible abuse in Islington children's homes now reveals horrifying links to sinister discoveries at Jersey's Haut de la Garenne.
I met the frightened policeman at an isolated country restaurant, many miles from his home and station. Detective Constable Peter Cook had finally despaired, and decided to blow the whistle to a reporter.
He was risking his career, so made me scribble my notes into a tiny pad beneath the tablecloth.
He had uncovered a vicious child sex ring, with victims in both Britain and the Channel Islands, and he wanted me to get his information to police abuse specialists in London.
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Tragic truth: Eileen Fairweather's tenacious investigations of abuse revealed links to Jersey
Incredibly, he claimed that his superiors had barred him from alerting them.
He feared a cover-up: many ring members were powerful and wealthy. But I did not think him paranoid: I specialised in exposing child abuse scandals and knew, from separate sources, of men apparently linked to this ring.
They included an aristocrat, clerics and a social services chief. Their friends included senior police officers.
Repeatedly, inquiries by junior detectives were closed down, so I, a journalist, was asked to convey confidential information from one police officer to others. It seemed surreal.
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House of Horror: Forensic experts search the area of the Haut de la Garenne home, where a child's remains were found
I duly met trusted contacts at the National Criminal-Intelligence Squad. That was more than 12 years ago, and little happened - until now.
Last weekend, a child's remains were found at a former children's home on Jersey amid claims of a paedophile ring.
More than 200 children who lived at Haut de la Garenne have described horrific sexual and physical torture dating back to the Sixties.
When I heard the news, my eyes filled with tears. I felt heartbroken, not least at my own powerlessness. I have known for more than 15 years about Channel Islands paedophiles victimising children in the British care system.
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I was relieved that the truth was finally emerging. But I felt devastated. Children had probably been murdered. I had so not wanted to be right.
I stood outside the forbidding Victorian building of Haut de la Garenne this week and watched grim-faced police in blue plastic forensic suits hunt its bricked-up secret basements for children's bones.
Outside, a large cross commemorates the 35 former residents who died fighting for their country: "Their names liveth forever." Oh yes?
What are the names of the children whose bodies may now be dug up - and why did no one miss and search for them earlier? Jersey's residents and political class must ask these questions.
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Disturbing allegations about the murder of children in care have characterised other scandals I investigated in Britain, but today I can reveal for the first time the links between the abuse I uncovered at care homes in Islington, North London, and the horrifying discoveries on Jersey.
I have never before written that 14-year-old Jason Swift, killed in 1985 by a paedophile gang, is believed to have lived in Islington council's Conewood Street home.
Two sources claimed this when I investigated Islington's 12 care homes for The Mail on Sunday's sister paper, the London Evening Standard, in the early Nineties.
But hundreds of children's files mysteriously disappeared in Islington and, without documentation, this was not evidence enough.
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Haut de la Garenne children's home, pictured in 1905, in Jersey was formerly a centre for children in care or with behaviour problems
We did, however, prove that every home included staff who were paedophiles, child pornographers or pimps. Concerned police secretly confirmed that several Islington workers were believed "networkers", major operators in the supply of children for abuse and pornography.
Some of these were from the Channel Islands or regularly took Islington children there on unofficial visits. In light of the grisly discoveries at Haut de la Garenne, the link now seems significant, but at the time we were so overwhelmed by abuse allegations nearer home that this connection never emerged.
What we did report prompted the sort of vehement official denials that have come to characterise child abuse claims. Margaret Hodge, then council leader, denounced us as Right-wing "gutter journalists" who supposedly bribed children to lie.
Our findings were eventually vindicated by Government-ordered inquiries, and two British Press Awards. Yet I knew we had only scraped the surface of Islington's corruption.
Now Jersey police under deputy chief Lenny Harper - a 'new broom' outsider - have been secretly investigating a paedophile ring linked to the island's care homes for months, I have been struck by common factors with the British abuse scandals: innocent-sounding sailing trips, where children can be isolated and abused, away from prying eyes, then delivered to other abusers; the familiar smearing of whistle-blowers; and the suppression of damning reports.
Jersey social worker Simon Bellwood was sacked early last year after speaking out, and popular health minister Stuart Syvret, 42, was fired in November after publicising the suppressed Sharp Report into abuse allegations.
"The smears on me are water off a duck's back," this brave man told me yesterday in a St Helier cafe. But his hands shook.
I have never assumed that the officials, politicians and police who cover up abuse scandals are all paedophiles, nor does Syvret.
"They just want a quiet life and their competency unquestioned. I'm angrier with them than the abusers, and want several prosecuted for obstructing the course of justice. The police are considering charges," he added.
Traditionally, police fear paedophile ring inquiries as expensive and unproductive.
Traumatised witnesses can be hazy and collapse under cross-examination.
Convictions are rare. Police therefore raid suspected abusers for paedophile pornography, which more easily yields convictions.
Well - in theory. In June 1991, police in Cambridgeshire raided the home of Neil Hocquart who abused children in Britain and Guernsey and, with a social worker from Jersey, supplied child pornography for a huge sex ring.
It should have been a major breakthrough. But, as DC Cook told me, it went horribly wrong.
A handful of child sex-ring victims become "recruiters". They are not beaten but rewarded with gifts,
money and 'love'. In return, their job is to procure other victims. Such a man, my whistle-blower believed, was Neil Frederick Hocquart.
Hocquart, original surname Foster, was abused while in care in Norfolk and was eventually 'befriended' by an older man, merchant seaman Captain H. Hocquart of Vale, in Guernsey, whose surname he adopted.
Captain Hocquart was not the only Channel Islands man with an interest in children in care. Satan worshipper Edward Paisnel, "The Beast of Jersey", was given a 30-year sentence in 1971 on 13 counts of raping girls and boys. The building contractor fostered children and played Father Christmas at Haut de la Garenne in the Sixties.
Cambridgeshire police, in a joint operation with Scotland Yard's Obscene Publications Squad (now the Paedophile Unit), raided Neil Hocquart's Swaffham Manor home in June 1991.
They found more than 100 child-sex videos and 300 photographs of children. At nearby Ely they found his friend, Walter Clack, trying to dispose of a sick home video of a middle-aged man abusing a boy.
Who were the children in these films and photos? Police needed properly to question these men. But they never got the chance.
Hocquart secretly took an overdose of anti-depressant dothiepin and died at Addenbrooke's Hospital soon after his arrest. Was his suicide a last act of loyalty?
DC Cook told me incredulously that a senior officer broke with normal procedure and informed Clack, before he was questioned, that the other suspect was dead. Clack then blamed the dead man for everything, and escaped with a £5,000 fine - and inherited one third of Hocquart's wealth, at his bequest.
Wills featured strongly in the fortunesof the Islington and Channel Islands paedophiles. Police discovered that Neil Hocquart inherited his wealth from the Guernsey sea captain.
But Captain Hocquart possibly paid dearly for befriending orphans: he died soon after making out his will in the younger man's favour.
Scotland Yard detectives told me they found at least "two or three" wills of older men who died of apparent heart attacks shortly after leaving everything to Neil Hocquart.
The officers cheerfully called him a "murderer". These deaths were never investigated: the suspect, after all, was now also dead.
Hocquart wasn't the only person in his circle to become rich this way. A Jersey-born friend of Hocquart's, who started his childcare career on the island before becoming a key supplier of children from Islington's care homes to paedophile rings, similarly inherited a fortune.
Nicholas John Rabet was for many years deputy superintendent of Islington council's home at 114 Grosvenor Avenue.