Nobody Came: The Appalling True Story of Brothers Cruelly Abused in a Jersey Care Home
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A harrowing account by one of the survivors of the Haut de la Garenne children's home Robbie was born in Jersey fifty six years ago. When he was five his mother placed him and his three siblings in care. They were collected from their home by the police. It was the same day that the children had witnessed their father's suicide attempt by hanging. The children were separated; Robbie and his younger brother were taken to The Sacre Coeur, an orphanage for children under twelve, while their elder brother was placed in Haut de la Garenne. Their baby sister disappeared. The boys never saw her again. Robbie and his three year old brother were bewildered and frightened by their surroundings. Their world as they had known it had disintegrated in just a matter of a few hours. They had sobbed as their eldest brother was taken away from them; they had never been apart before. Sacre Coeur, run by nuns, was a place where unimaginable abuse was committed against defenceless small children. The nuns gave them no explanation. Just gave them their scratchy uniforms and showed them their dormitory. They had joined the tribe of lost boys; the ones who no one cared about. The two boys were eventually transferred to Haut de la Garenne, a place where sick twisted minds had devised even more tortuous methods of sexually abusing the helpless. There were suicides there. One boy blew himself up by creeping into a bunker with a supply of butane gas. And of course there were the children who simply disappeared. Gone somewhere better Robbie was told. After all in a children's home there was a lot of coming and going. Today Robbie holds down a full time job and looks after his brother who he has loved and cared for since they were those little frightened boys. He wonders what happened to his friends who disappeared.
all week preparing himself for our visit. Did he lick those fleshy lips in anticipation of our tears? Did he plan the first time he fondled us, when he rubbed his large, flabby body against our small firm ones and yanked his penis up and down in front of us? Was that the highlight of his week? Maybe it was. Subconsciously, over time, we began to fight back. Not straight away, because it took some months for us to gain enough inner strength, but eventually we did. Eventually Davie stopped crying
into my head. I gave a little shudder when I remembered how, when I was collecting eggs, they had raised their wings and beat them in an angry warning because I had inadvertently stepped too close to them. Crab-like, I inched sideways, my eyes darting everywhere, searching for signs of danger. I hit the wall and leant against it thankfully. ‘How long will they leave us here?’ I asked. ‘Until they think we’ve learnt our lesson,’ Nicolas replied. ‘I know one boy before your time they kept in
from?’ I asked. ‘From the punishment room, near the head warden’s office,’ Pete told me. ‘Usually we can’t hear anything but they must have left a door open.’ ‘The punishment rooms?’ I repeated. Just the fact that there were rooms called that gave it a sinister feel and I shivered involuntarily. The boys looked at each other before Pete continued. ‘Don’t say anything to anyone. We’re not supposed to talk about this, but there are more in the cellars. They’re even worse.’ ‘The one near the
disbelief. ‘You must, they’re part of your costume. They know I’ll have told you to wear them, so we’ll both be in trouble if you don’t.’ I pulled them onto my bare feet. I was right – they were so loose that I could only shuffle in them. The silvery-white garment that Christopher had been holding turned out to be a ballerina’s dress. Its short skirt flared out over his tiny hips, his slender legs were bare and on his feet he wore dirty white satin ballet slippers. An imitation diamond
‘Robbie, your glasses,’ hissed Matt. ‘Come on, quickly, take them off.’ I reluctantly placed them on top of my pile of clothes. ‘Anyhow,’ said Matt with a sad attempt at ironic bravado, ‘you’re better off not seeing those buggers, they’re so bleeding ugly. And you certainly don’t want to watch what goes on too closely.’ Just as he finished talking, the wardens were back. Blake caught hold of my head, inspecting my get-up. ‘Good, Robbie,’ he said, breathing more stale breath into my face.