Judge chosen for Jersey child abuse committee of inquiry

Sally Bradley QC
Image caption Sally Bradley QC said it was vital to get the truth in a fair and objective way

A senior UK judge with 35 years experience in family law has been nominated to lead the investigation into historical child abuse in Jersey.

If the States agree, the deputy High Court Judge, Sally Bradley QC will chair the £6m committee of inquiry into abuse in Jersey's care system.

Mrs Bradley has worked on cases involving serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

The States are due to vote on the appointment on 16 July.

Michael de la Haye, Greffier of the States, said Mrs Bradley was chosen after a tough selection process.

He said: "She has vast experience of dealing with vulnerable people and an in-depth understanding of matters such as the impact that abuse in childhood can have throughout a victim's life.

"In addition she has, for the last 12 years, [presided] over extremely challenging and complex cases, many of which have involved allegations of serious abuse of children, and we considered that this judicial experience was particularly relevant."

'Fair and objective'

Mrs Bradley was selected for the role by a panel made up of Belinda Smith from the NSPCC, Ed Marsden from UK consultants Verita and Mr de la Haye.

Mrs Bradley said: "It will be very important for the inquiry to be run in a way which encourages all those who want to give evidence to us to do that and I am determined to manage the inquiry in that way.

"It is vital to get the truth in a fair and objective way for all concerned and I realise how important it is for the island that the inquiry achieves this objective."

The inquiry will look into allegations of abuse in children's homes and fostering services, between 1960 and the present day.

A three-year long £7.5m investigation by Jersey police into historical child abuse in the island's care homes began in 2007 after allegations of abuse at former children's home Haut de la Garenne.

Since June 2008 there have been eight independent reports into various aspects of historical child abuse in Jersey.

The committee of inquiry is due to begin its work in the autumn.

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