Jersey senator charged with data offences

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The Independent Online

A controversial Jersey politician who claimed officials on the island covered up child abuse was charged with two data protection offences following articles he wrote on his internet blog, police announced today.

Whistle-blower Stuart Syvret was arrested in April and his home raided by officers who interviewed and released him pending further inquiries.

The 44-year-old was called back to police headquarters last night and was charged with two offences which relate to an article written on on 19 March.

He is due to appear at Jersey Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 16 July.

One of the charges is understood to relate to publishing a confidential police report which contained personal data.

Syvret was an outspoken critic of the establishment's handling of the historic police investigation into child abuse on the island and in 2007 he was dismissed from his post as Minister for Health and Social Services after claiming abuse cases were being covered up.

The investigation focused on the Haut de la Garenne children's home where hundreds of former residents claimed they were sexually and violently assaulted.

Syvret, who called for both an independent inquiry and for court cases to be held on the UK mainland, was accused by the Chief Minister, Frank Walker, of damaging Jersey's reputation.

In April he said his arrest was "politically motivated" he was considering legal action against the police.

At the time another Jersey child welfare whistle-blower, social worker Simon Bellwood, said Syvret's blog had upset the Jersey establishment as it "could not be controlled".

The 34-year-old, who was sacked from his post as centre manager at a Jersey secure unit for children after he tried and failed to change the "Dickensian" regime at the facility, said he feared the establishment would "use data protection laws to shut him up".