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Mr Denning lived at the home in the '60s
"We just had to block it out" says abuse victim
By Claire Peters
Carl Denning spent around five years living at Haute de la Garenne. He can remember several occasions when he was abused and shares his experiences with the BBC.
More than 200 witnesses and victims have now contacted police to describe their experiences at Haute de la Garenne care home.
One of those who came forward was Carl Denning, who arrived in Jersey during the 1960s.
He was one of nine children and was placed into care after being abused by a relative at home in Guernsey.
'There's a lot of areas you didn't see'
Mr Denning said he lived at Haute de la Garenne between the ages of about six and ten, and remembers several different occasions when he suffered abuse.
He recalled being abused on a number of occasions in his dormitory and once in the sick bay, but knew nothing of abuse in the cellars.
“Haut de la Garenne is a very large building,” he told the BBC, “and when I was in there you’re all segregated to your own area so there’s a lot of areas you didn’t see.”
He detailed one of the incidents: “I was in the sick bay and made to play around with another boy of my own age.
“I was told I wouldn’t come out of sick bay alive if I didn’t do it”.
'Block it out'
He said the abuse happened on and off throughout his five years at Haut de la Garenne.
“We were just children, we just had to block it out and we just used to do whatever we could do.”
Mr Denning described how children in the home were too scared to report their abuse.
However, he remembered one occasion when a group of children had complained about the abuse but no action was taken.
“Nothing happened, it didn’t stop,” he said.
He said children at Haut de la Garenne were given little freedom or contact with the outside world.
“We were never allowed to go freely out of the home. If we were going we would go for a walk with a member of staff…it was never freely with friends.”
Mr Denning recalled how children at the home were threatened with solitary confinement, a punishment they were terrified of.
“We’d lost a friend who’d hung themselves in solitary confinement. We didn’t know what happened to him, all we knew was he’d hung himself, we never saw him again.”
last updated: 29/02/2008 at 17:41
Police say it is vital that any alleged victims still unidentified contact the incident room as soon as possible, on 0800 735 7777.
There is also an NSPCC helpline on 0800 169 1173 within Jersey, or + 44 (0)20 7825 7489 from outside.