This post is guest post, a letter sent to the diocese of Winchester by one of the people who has heard about what has happened to me, this was sent to me as a comment one one of my blog posts, so I have re-posted it here

Our small group of American women who support survivors of Jersey’s institutional child abuse have been aware for some time of the plight of HG, the vulnerable young woman abused by the Church of England Deacon, a man who was already known by other Church leaders to use his position to prey on women.

We have followed HG’s abuse story and subsequent further cruel mistreatment and have been horrified. First, we were shocked at the story of how her complaints of the original Church abuse were mishandled and ignored as annoying to the Dean in Jersey, then outraged by the way she was picked up by police in her nightclothes, imprisoned without bail, and given an utterly “choiceless” choice of deportation from Jersey in Pyjamas, arriving in the UK with no money or home or support.

Nothing about the way she has been treated by the Church in Jersey or higher up, or anyone associated with Jersey’s Ian Le Marquand or Senator Bailhache since this came to light, gives us any confidence in Any government or Church intentions. 

It is a simple thing to google autism if you do not understand how overwhelming and cruelly intimidating your attempted contacts must seem to her. Have you made a good faith effort to understand what might be best for her? Have you contacted Autism organizations or her friend Mr Bob Hill, former Deputy of Jersey and retired MET Police Officer, for help in making some kind of amends to HG? I believe Mr Hill is the person HG had chosen to serve as her contact person, because of her clearly stated trauma over being directly contacted by the Church of England. Your own copies of those reports, perhaps the confidential reports Sir Phillip Bailhache was seen reading on a public flight, should show the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Unfortunately, that was probably exacerbated by the inaccurate and humiliating false disclosure in the Jersey mainstream media and Church circles of some type of mental illness. HG was not diagnosed as mentally ill, although I suspect many healthy people would be after such mistreatment and now almost chronic homelessness. 

May I remind you that this woman was, until her abuse started, an employed woman with an apartment, friends with whom she enjoyed sailing, surfing, hiking and picnics on a regular basis. She had a functioning support system which was dissolved by circumstances the Church was largely responsible for. As you know, she has since endured stretches of time living on the streets, and has for only intermittent periods of time, been able to secure temporary safe quarters. 

The level of conflict of interest involving Dame Heather and the tiny circle of defenders of the original guilty Church parties involved do not inspire any confidence whatsoever outside of Jersey, where a growing number of people are sympathetic to HG’s plight. There’s been far too much political maneuvering between this Sir Phillip (who has the appearance of controlling both Jersey’s Church and government) and the higher levels of the Church of England. Not one of the reports, visits, or meetings has yet provided HG with any relief from what is now a sheer terror of Church officials, Jersey officials and strangers in general.

If you would like to do the right thing as Christians, I suggest you resist the dysfunctional, feudal Jersey Church culture which led to dismissing this woman’s plight and take advice from kinder people, the ones HG understandably trusts. It would be ridiculous if her supporters, now active in multiple countries, were forced to do your jobs of setting this right for her, because of someone’s utterly uncharitable political sensitivities.


Leigh LaFon
Denver, Colorado, USA


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