Friday, 28 November 2008

My Response - Part 2

Over the coming days I will write my response to Senator Shenton's report.

In my post yesterday I discussed the letter from Senator Shenton but there is one element which leaves me confused.

At the top of the letter is says;

"Our ref: BES/JLP/LAW"

Can anyone tell me what this refers to?

My thoughts are that 'LAW' suggests that it was written or checked by the States of Jersey Law Department. Can anyone shed light on this for me?

I also think that Senator Shenton's numerous references to confidentiality within his letter was intentional. I believe that he did this to offer himself some protection should there be any dispute about defamation etc, knowing full well that the letter would be leaked to the media.

I don't suppose he expected that the leak to the JEP would have been from me though!

The Report

Greenfields - Time for the Truth

That's the first lie, right there in the title, a good start Senator!

In the opening paragraph Senator Shenton suggests that the truth has not been conveyed accurately and this needs to be rectified. He goes on to say, "This task falls to me".

Clearly Senator Shenton is taking full responsibility for the content of both the letter and the report.

What is Greenfields?

This section is very confusing and I apologise if I do not make it any clearer for you. I will try my best to explain things as clearly and simply as I can.

At the start of this section Senator Shenton's report suggests that the detractors (assuming he means me and Senator Syvret), 'either mischievously or out of ignorance seek to confuse..."

I agree that Les Chene/Greenfields is an area which has left some people confused and the majority, but not all, of what Senator Shenton writes here is true.

However, in this section Senator Shenton simply seeks to further confuse people as this is a red herring.

Whether it is called Les Chene or Greenfields makes no difference whatsoever to the allegations that I made in January 2007.

Remember this, my allegations were about the practices that took place and not what the building was called.

One of the things that Senator Shenton seeks to achieve in this section is for people to believe that the Grand Prix system did not take place in Greenfields Secure Unit.

This is merely spin.

That said, this is an important part of the report and I will return to this in a moment.

Senator Shenton, refers to the report written by Dr Kathie Bull, which was commissioned by the Education Sport and Culture Committee.

What Senator Shenton fails to point out is that the Kathie Bull report was commissioned following a complaint from a child who was resident at Les Chene.

The complaint was against the Headteacher and the Deputy Headteacher.

No names mentioned here but consider this, if a man-sells his dog then he will have to wag-it himself!

Senator Shenton's report clearly suggests that the commissioning of Kathie Bull was a proactive 'realisation' by the Education Sport and Culture committee.

This was not proactive and my point is further evidenced on page 318 of the Kathie Bull report in paragraph 10, which states,

"Since the incident which prompted the 2001 Review of the remand provision...".

This complaint (or incident as Kathie Bull suggests) resulted in a police investigation where both the headteacher and the deputy headteacher were interviewed.

Interestingly, one of the comments made during these interviews was, "Do you know who I am?"

What Senator Shenton also fails to point in his report is that Kathie Bull's findings were highly critical, particularly of Les Chene.

A view that has been recently echoed by the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Senator Shenton goes on to suggest that following the Kathie Bull report, Les Chene, was redesignated as a remand centre and renamed Greenfields.

Finally he says that the Greenfields Secure Unit opened in October 2006. This point needs to be considered further.

At the start of this section called, 'What is Greenfields', Senator Shenton stated that 'the detractors' sought to confuse by misusing the term 'Greenfields'.

Senator Shenton has done just that. Are you confused? You should be.

His report suggests that from 2003 when Les Chene was redesignated as a remand centre and called Greenfields, nothing changed further until the new building opened in October 2006.

This is simply not true.

Not that this is significant but the new 'Greenfields Secure Unit' did not simply appear when the new building opened. Nothing changed in October 2006 other than staff and residents moved from one building to the other.

Senator Shenton goes on to say, "... I wish to make it clear that at no time did the Grand Prix system operate in the Greenfields Secure Unit."

For me, this is the most interesting point.

Why would Senator Shenton wish to make this point so very clear'?

What does this achieve?

During the past few weeks Senator Shenton and others have made it clear that they do not consider that the Grand Prix system was abusive or illegal.

The reason for this is very obvious and I will go into this in detail at a later date (this is why I need to know who the Attorney Generals of Jersey have been. Has anyone found the full details yet?).

Joe Kennedy, Senator Perchard, Senator Walker, Senator Vibert, Deputy Lewis and others have all defended the Grand Prix system, saying that there was nothing wrong with it other that the 'unfortunate wording'!

Has anyone spoken to the children or staff about it or have they just spoken to Joe Kennedy and Phil Dennett?

Andrew Williamson, Madeleine Davies and the Howard League have all spoken to staff and young people.

I will go into more detail about that another time but if any staff or ex-residents want to comment on here that would be great.

Getting back to the point, why would Senator Shenton want us to believe that the Grand Prix system did not operate in the new building?

What would his point be?

He reinforces his point further in the final paragraph of this section where he writes,

"Unless you understand these fundamental distinctions, you will understandably be confused about whether policies and practices which were in use in the Les Chene farmhouse were also operating in the new and modern Greenfields Secure Unit".

The point, regardless of what the building was called, regardless of whether it was 2003 or 2006, is to avoid the question of whether the Grand Prix system was abusive. I think his report answers this itself.

Senator Shenton is not stupid, the man used to be a foster carer. If he fostered a fractious child would he have put them in the Pits for three days?

My concern is that we have been hearing what the politicians think about whether something was right or wrong.

Do we really care what a politicians opinion is on such a specialist subject?

They are politicians, not experts in this field.

They are advised by people like Joe Kennedy and Phil Dennett.

This is not a criticism of Senator Shenton or Senator Perchard but simply a statement of fact.

Who feeds them with this information, it is not the staff on the cold face, it is not the children!

Why do some people choose not to listen to the experts?

These experts have made comments publicly, they have published their reports, surely we should be listening to them and not the politicians?

Whilst some would argue that the Howard League for Penal Reform are liberal in their views, one cannot argue that their interpretation of the Law is less informed than two politicians with backgrounds in finance and farming!

The Howard League for Penal Reform wrote in their report,

9.26 As we have previously stated in Para 1.1, we certainly believe that the Grand Prix system was unlawful. However, some of the most serious allegations we heard, related to events prior to the establishment of the Grand Prix".

So they think that although the Grand Prix system was unlawful, what was there before was even worse?

Reading into Senator Shenton's report, what was there before must have been before Joe Kennedy arrived in 2004?

Who were the managers before Joe Kennedy.

Can anyone provide a chronology of managers?

Going back to the experts views, Andrew Williamson cited in his report;

5.11 However, to use single separation/isolation, the process whereby children are forcible removed from association with others and confined to a room on their own as a form of punishment for misbehaviour, is clearly inappropriate and should never be sanctioned by any care regime.

He went on to say;

5.16 There are at least two versions of what happened there and the only comment that we can make on the subject is that, if a prima facie case exists or emerges that the system, and therefore children, were abused, action should be taken against those responsible.

On that note I will end.

On a different point - it has been almost a week since I wrote to Senator Walker informing him that I have the evidence that he has asked for.

He has not replied.

I have the evidence, much of which has not been reported publicly.

His refusal can only be seen as a gross failure in public office.

A stance which clearly supports the cover up instigated by a number of senior civil servants and politicians who are responsible for the welfare and protection of the islands most vulnerable young people.

Sorry that this post is so confusing, it is a complex area which is extremely difficult to explain in simply and clear terms.

I will continue with the next section tomorrow and answer any questions you may have.



Anonymous said...

Bes-ben shenton. Jlp -jim perchard. Law- check out mp. PA name

Anonymous said...


Not complex or confusing, but very interesting.

Anonymous said...


There are two types of children at Greenfields

Criminal & Welfare

Did any welfare children get isolated for 24 hours on admission?

Simon Bellwood - The Whistleblower said...

"There are two types of children at Greenfields

Criminal & Welfare

Did any welfare children get isolated for 24 hours on admission?"

Let us see if the staff at Greenfields will answer this one?

Let us also consider this though, Welfare or Remand, both are innocent until proven guilty.

ALso, despite what Joe Kennedy and others would have you believe, the remand ones did not all have the body mass of an adult, they were not all extremely violent and highly dangerous individuals!


voiceforchildren said...


Could I remind your readers today is the last day they can vote on my poll? thanks.

One Day said...

I would say the letter was definitely destined to be in the public domain because of these two pieces in it - (under the settlement part) 'that by the same public consideration, I have had to put these facts before you' and the declaration at the end 'we shall be making no public comment on the matters'. If it wasn't to go public, then there would have been no 'public consideration' to think about.

Anonymous said...


I don’t think that you need staff past & present to come forward just now, you seem to have their statements from before. It’s quite oblivious that staff are monitoring this blog, and some even commenting on it. I think that they might start to come forward soon, if they haven't already! Also past employees can talk without the fear of losing their jobs, target them for more evidence.

I think that what you need is something like your tribunal – a court of law – then we can see everybody put on the ‘stand’ to tell the truth under oath! Especially the management and upper managers – in fact everybody that has been involved. We are getting very close to the truth – keep going boyo!

voiceforchildren said...


Please vote on my current poll. The last one was very clear in that 76% of the voters would like to have SS on the Talkback show to discuss the HWPR's report. I think it goes without saying that should include you. Thanks to all your readers who voted in the last poll.

The new one.

Anonymous said...

My impression is that you agreed to settlement after the States Employment Board accepted that your dismissal was unfair. Professor Upex detailed numerous ways in which the process was biased against you. The letter’s author attempts to deceive the reader by implying that you settled because of the strength of the case against you. Professor Upex did not draw such a conclusion.

The letter’s author slanders your competence in dealing with difficult children. However after 3 months in post, in November, you received the following appraisal from your line manager. “Simon is a very focussed manager who for the past 12 weeks has produced a prodigious amount of work. He has consistently worked beyond his contracted hours and shown great enthusiasm for the Secure Centre’s Development.” There was no criticism. The first evidence of any criticism of you was a letter shown electronically to have been written by your line manager on December 6th 2007, although he had dated it December 4th 2007. On December 5th 2007 you and the line manager had an argument. You have subsequently suggested that he was bullying you to appoint an inferior candidate as your subordinate, and that you strongly suspect that he was having an intimate relationship with that person.

The letter’s author ignores the above critical incident when further maligning your competence with an anecdote about events when you were on holiday when your line manger replaced your child care procedures. His letter incredibly states “Normality was re-established with almost immediate effect.” The conclusion Professor Upex drew about this incident was “It seems that the Residential Secure Manager had taken no steps to inform Mr. Bellwood of these changes … it is at least arguable that the Residential Secure Manager’s actions amounted to a breach of the duty of trust and confidence.”

The letter’s author is silent about the more plausible explanation that the line manger was getting revenge on you for your awkwardness over the appointment of his favoured candidate.

The letter’s author lists some of the critical witness statements that he alleges were to be made against you. It is not made clear whether these were recorded or off the record statements. Professor Upex specifically criticised the irregular manner in which “off the record” witness statements were prepared. He felt it and many other blunders were excusable by inexperience but warned - “Needless to say, however, if lessons were not learnt as a result then that would undoubtedly be a serious failure.” This letter’s author seems to be producing an example of such a serious failure.

Both the Williamson and the Howards league reports refer to the fact that some members of staff are too frightened to raise concerns about malpractice. Such a situation renders any such organisation unsafe. The letter’s author makes no comment on this key point. Is this an oversight?

Anonymous said...

Simon, Reference to the last blog, My impression is, perhaps this person is known to you, I hope so he/her seem to have full grasp of the situation.

It would seem to me that the writing of this letter was what Frank Walker had up his sleeve and perhaps I may suggest was not penned by Shenton but by someone in a much higher place. It proves without doubt that the quest by some ministers and others to continually cover up all child abuse.

If you really sit down and think about it, sacking one minister for actually doing his job, Stuart Syvret, sacking you for bringing attention to serious care issues they are now desperate to cover their backs in whatever whichway possible.

The writer of that last comment would be a great assest in your quest.


Simon Bellwood - The Whistleblower said...

The person who wrote the long comnment; making reference to Upex etc please contact me on my email.

We clearly need to speak.


Anonymous said...

all of what the previous blogger wrote with knowledge about the sacking of Simon and treatment by Joe Kennedy is correct

Anonymous said...

Reference to 6 paragraph post. I hope the author of the post is in contact with you.

Well written,all Correct.

If you recieved such an impressive appraisal in November, how did things go so wrong in less than 4 weeks?