Lenny Harper outside the children's home Haut de la Garenne.
The Belfast Telegraph, 13 November 2008, has a story entitled Jersey probe: Lenny Harper hits back
Lenny Harper was the police officer who suggested that children may have been murdered in a children's home in Jersey in the UK.
David Warcup is the police officer who took over from Harper and who claims that no children were murdered.
The Belfast Telegraph reports Warcup’s claims at a recent press conference and Harper’s response.
Warcup: After being examined by experts from the British Museum, a fragment thought to have been from a skull turned out to be a piece of Victorian coconut shell.
Harper: They spoke about the original find “probably being a piece of coconut or wood.”
The truth is that the item has never been positively identified and the source they quoted was only one of a number of varying opinions.
Furthermore, it has never been explained just how collagen, which is only found in mammals, was found in it.
Warcup: “Shackles” found in rubble turned out to be “a rusty piece of metal”, and there was no evidence to suggest it had been used for anything suspicious.
Harper: They described the shackles as “just rusty pieces of metal.” Of course they are rusty pieces of metal — they have been in the ground for over 30 years.
Furthermore, they ignore the fact that it was not only us who described them as shackles, which one pair obviously are.
Builders who found them in 2003 and left them where they were, tipped off the media that we would find shackles.
Warcup: The “secret underground chambers” were just holes in the floor, “not dungeons or cellars”.
Harper: They said that the cellars are “not cellars or dungeons, but are merely floor voids.”
Surprisingly, I never used the word dungeons.
They are not floor voids.
What we call the cellars (and what the victims call the cellars) are in fact what used to be the ground floor.
What is certain is that victims described them accurately and the abuse that went on in there.
Warcup: Most of the 170 pieces of bone found in the search came from animals. Three were human and two of these dated from between 1470-1670 and 1650-1950 respectively.
Harper: “The bones could be hundreds of years old.”
Well this is certainly not new.
When detailing the results of carbon dating, I made it clear that the dates ranged from 1650 to 1950.
The expert in the UK who had examined the first bones we sent (which included a piece of child's tibia) said that they were very likely the bones of a juvenile human, they had been burnt shortly after death and buried shortly after burning.
In his view they were no more than a few decades old.