House of humiliation

ST MARTIN, Jersey - Cyril Turner has vivid memories of his time at Haut de la Garenne, a forbidding Victorian-era home for troubled children where a child's skull has been dug up and where police fear they will discover the bones of more young victims.

ST MARTIN, Jersey - Cyril Turner has vivid memories of his time at Haut de la Garenne, a forbidding Victorian-era home for troubled children where a child's skull has been dug up and where police fear they will discover the bones of more young victims.

None of Turner's memories are good: He recalls beatings and a culture of fear that led to an escape attempt that ended in a car crash which hospitalised him for a year.

After decades of silence and shame, the truth about the building overlooking the sea is slowly emerging as victims of suspected abuse speak out.

Turner, 49, is one of at least 150 people who have come forward to complain about physical, mental and sexual abuse they say was committed at the home before it closed in 1986.

All but a few have remained anonymous as a police investigation unfolds. Most of the victims came forward after authorities set up a confidential hot line last November as part of a probe into accusations of abuse at the home in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The allegations and grisly discovery on Saturday of a child's remains have punctured the idyllic image of this British island off the coast of France and its reputation as a tax haven.

That has been replaced by grim images where victims say the people in charge treated children as captives to be tortured, raped and cast aside.

A 76-year-old man has been arrested and charged with indecent assault for allegedly abusing three young girls at the home from 1969 to 1979. - Sapa-AP

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