Child victims 'sexually abused in wartime bunker'

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The Independent Online

Police investigating abuse on Jersey shifted their focus today to a Second World War bunker which was the scene of alleged "serious sexual crimes".

Six witnesses have come forward to say they were abused at the bunker to the east of Haut de la Garenne.

Lenny Harper, the officer heading the investigation, said at the scene: "The allegation is that residents from Haut de la Garenne were taken to the bunker by members of staff and abused there."

Mr Harper added: "We have an allegation of serious sexual crimes having taken place in the bunker.

"We are talking about six witness statements to us concerning the bunker. Six different witnesses and different incidents.

"There are a number of different entrances to the bunker and we will work through them methodically.

"It was fairly easy for people to get in there at one stage."

Mr Harper said he did not anticipate an archaeological search would take place, like the one carried out at Haut de la Garenne, but did not rule it out.

Mr Harper said there were other pieces of evidence which suggested the bunker had been used for abuse but would not elaborate.

"Perhaps we'll discuss them in more detail when we finish the search," he added.

"We can expect to find evidence to corroborate the witness accounts. We found evidence at Haut de la Garenne that corroborated the witness evidence. But it may be that we don't.

"We don't know what we are going to find."

He pledged: "If there's any (evidence) there, we will find it."