Former manager tells Jersey Inquiry that the system failed children in care
Giving evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Marnie Baudains, the retired directorate manager of Social Services, admitted that she was surprised when charges against Alan and Jane Maguire were dropped following an investigation in 1997.
Patrick Sadd, counsel to the inquiry, read a statement from Mrs Baudains, who was a child care officer at the time. It said that she and her colleagues were ‘expecting a conviction ‘ when charges were brought against the Maguires in 1997, and that the service had ‘failed’ children in care.
The pair left their role as housekeepers at the Blanche Pierre care home in 1990 following allegations of abuse, but Mrs Maguire was kept on in Children’s Services.
Asked why she felt that Social Services had failed, the 63-year-old, who was involved in care services for 26 years until she retired in 2011, said: ‘We failed to care for them properly. I think the fact that we didn’t discover all that had happened to these young people meant that it is quite likely that we didn’t provide them with the appropriate level of care following the Maguires’ departure.’
For the first time, the inquiry was shown a document which detailed a meeting between Mrs Baudains, the then Attorney General, Sir Michael Birt, police officers and other senior figures involved in the case.
It was during that meeting that Mrs Baudains found out that the charges against the Maguires would not progress any further due to ‘insufficient evidence’.
Barristers: Patrick Sadd