Saturday, October 15, 2011



The statement of Sir Philip Bailhache to the BBC dated 17 April 2008

“This issue has of course been the subject of investigation by a Committee of Enquiry established by the States and the 2002 Report of that Committee is in the public domain for all to see.
I am afraid that it is easy to be wise after the event. My decision in 1992 not to refer the election of Roger Holland as a Constable’s Officer back to the
Royal Court
was made in good faith on the basis of the facts known to me at that time.
With hindsight it is certainly possible to say that a different decision ought to have been made, particularly given the harm done to the victims of some of his assaults. We owe it to those victims to make sure that the Island is alert to the problems which arose and to ensure that they do not arise again.”

The facts have been in the public arena since 2002.

Holland, aged 21, indecently assaulted a young girl then aged 14 but with a mental age of 10, by trying to put his hand up her sweater in his car in 1986. He was put on probation for twelve months and received psychiatric help. The Court lifted the Probation Order after eight months because Holland had responded well to it.

In 1991 Holland applied to join the Honorary Police of St Helier and declared that conviction to the parochial authorities. That application was not immediately taken forward. But in March 1992, the then Connetable indicated to him that, as a result of the conviction, he would not be accepted as a probationary officer.

In June 1992 the matter was reconsidered at a St Helier Honorary Police meeting. None of the officers present opposed Holland’s election and the view was reached that, if he was prepared to face possible rejection by the Court, he should be allowed to stand.

On 7 July 1992, Holland was elected unopposed as a Constable’s Officer. The following day, the Parish Authorities wrote to me as Attorney General to give notice, in accordance with standing practice, that Holland should be sworn-in before the
Royal Court
on 10 July.

I was not advised of Holland’s previous conviction and at that time I was completely unaware of it.

Accordingly the
Royal Court
was not told of the existence of the conviction when the Oath of Office was administered to Holland on 10 July 1992.

I became aware of the conviction on my return from the
Royal Court
when an anonymous letter arrived at the Law Officers’ Department. The Parish Authorities were asked their views and responded that the Parish did not oppose Holland’s wish to join the Honorary Service.

It is unclear what jurisdiction in law the
Royal Court
could have exercised had these facts been brought to its attention the following week.

Whatever the position in law, the facts confronting me were a man who had expressed a wish to give voluntary service to his parish; had been honest with the Parish Authorities  about his conviction; had received psychiatric advice at the time of the offence and had been accepted by the Court as deserving of early release from a Probation Order on account of good progress made; had not apparently re-offended in similar fashion in the six years since; was standing for honorary office with the support of the Parish Authorities, and who had taken his Oath of Office before the Royal Court.

I had to balance all the factors when considering whether there should be a public reference to the Court.

I have said it is easy to be wise after the event. I quite understand the reactions of the victim’s father as reported by the BBC.

With hindsight, of course, I would rather a different decision had been taken at that time.
But in context, on that facts as known at the time – 1992, when not so much was known about the long term paedophile tendencies of those abusing children, and before the rash of child abuse investigations which took place in the UK in the 1990’s – I hope the decision seems more understandable.

I have served the Jersey public for over 33 years. During that period, I am sure that I have made mistakes. But I have always sought to behave with integrity, which I believe to be the case in this matter.
I have no intention of resigning over this issue.

17 April 2008                                                            Sir Philip Bailhache   Bailiff of Jersey


Letter from William Bailhache (Attorney General) to Connetable Robert Le Brocq, Town Hall, St Helier dated 13 July 2000

Dear Connetable,
                                                       Attorney General v HOLLAND

I refer to our telephone conversation yesterday in connection with the media enquiries into the appointment of  Mr Holland as a Constable’s Officer and subsequently as a Vingtenier. The context of my telephone call was that the proposition was put to me by Dianne Simon that the Town Hall had indicated that in 1992 details of Mr Holland’s previous conviction in 1986 were made available to the Law Officers’ Department, who clearly decided not to bring this matter to the attention of the Court at the time the Oath of Office was administered.

As I said to you over the telephone, I think there are a number of areas of potential embarrassment, which I may summarise as follows;

  1. How was it in 1992 that the Oath of Office came to be administered to Holland by the
    Royal Court
    , given the 1986 conviction?

  1. According to Mr Mahe, he contacted a member of the honorary police in about August 1993 to report the incident but was persuaded to take matters no further at that stage.

  1. In December 1995, Holland was re-elected as a Constable’s Officer. Again the Oath of Office was administered by the
    Royal Court

  1.  In September 1997 Holland was elected a Vingtenier. Again the Oath of Office was administered by the
    Royal Court

  1. A Complaint against Holland about these assaults was made in or about May 1999. However, he was not suspended until 11 August.

I think there is a legitimate public interest in these matters and in particular I think the public will want to have reassurance that in future the Oath of Office will not be administered to honorary police with convictions of this nature. In my view the right general approach therefore is to be straightforward about what actually took place and to emphasize the controls which now exist.

It is in this context that I have prepared a draft Press Statement which I propose to issue on an embargoed basis until the sentencing has taken place. I should be grateful if we could meet early next week to ensure there is no dispute about the facts.

As you said when we spoke over the telephone, you came to see my predecessor in July1999.
I note from the file that he was handed a bundle of papers by Centenier Gallichan on Monday 2 August. These were apparently extracted from the Town Hall records at Mr Birt’s request.
Mr Birt has made a note that the papers handed to him were to be kept separately from the other papers handed in by Centenier Gallichan on 2 August, because I understand from you that you do not have them.
You will see in particular that there are some letters in 1992 which make it plain that the Parish was well aware of the previous conviction. I confirm that these papers do not appear on the Law Officers’ file and were not available to the Attorney General of the day until handed to Mr Birt on Monday 2 August 1999.

Yours sincerely, William Bailhache, Attorney-General.


Philip Bailhache was Jersey’s Attorney General 1986 – 1993, later Bailiff and currently seeking election as a Senator. He is widely tipped to be Jersey’s next Chief Minister
M.Birt served 1994 – 1999 and is currently Bailiff
William Bailhache was Attorney-General from 2000 and is currently Deputy-Bailiff. He is Philips’s brother.

In 1986 Roger Holland was active in the St John’s Ambulance Brigade when aged 21 he was convicted of  indecent assault on a girl. A further offence against another girl was not pursued at the request of the parents. He was sentenced to one year’s probation.
He remained a member of the St John’s Ambulance service.
He was elected as a Constable’s Officer in June 1992 and sworn-in before the
Royal Court
in July. Fred Clarke was then Connetable of St Helier.
Bob Le Brocq was elected as Connetable and sworn-in on 31 July 1992.

Various complaints were made against Roger Holland whilst he served in the honorary police and his suspension was considered and agreed to by the Attorney –General in August 1995 for a 3 months period but, in fact his three years term of appointment had already lapsed.
He was re-elected as an officer on 5 December 1995 and sworn-in on 8 December.
He was next elected as a Vingtenier and sworn-in on 5 September 1997.
More complaints followed. The States Police advised the Attorney-General of offences and convictions of several honorary officers but no action was proposed because “no action could be taken in respect of those officers who had already been sworn-in.”
During January 1999 Holland was involved in an incident with a retired States Police Officer (Duffy) who complained about his behaviour.
Further complaints were made including an allegation that Holland had committed a sexual act with a girl in a police van during 1999.
Holland’s conduct was referred to the Attorney-General in July 1999. He was suspended by the Solicitor –General on 11 August 1999.
A further complaint against Holland was investigated by Centenier Hilton (now Deputy Hilton) which revealed information about Holland’s sexual convictions and she wrote to the Attorney-General on 29 July.
Roger Holland resigned on 17 November 1999 admitting to “conduct unbecoming of the office of Vingtenier prior to his election in 1992.”

Roger Holland was prosecuted in April 2008, he admitted assaults on eight girls and was sent to jail for two years by Deputy Bailiff Michael Birt (who as Attorney-General in 1995 had suspended him for three months). The offences included three that took place during his time as an honorary officer between 1992 and 1999 and he had asked for five further cases to be taken into account. He was aged between 15 and 34 when he committed the assaults. He had previously been jailed in 2001 for two years for two other counts of indecent assault before 1992 according to a BBC News item.
The States of Jersey Police said “ everything would be done to seek justice for victims, no matter how long ago the offences were committed”.

No action has apparently been taken against the Crown Officers for their conduct in these events and there is apparently no sanction that can be imposed on them, if it was justified,  from within the Island .

Connetable Bob Le Brocq and Centenier Gallichan were both prosecuted in December 2000 by order of Attorney-General.  They were found not guilty.

Deputy Le Herissier proposed the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry to be set up in order to examine matters related to Roger Holland’s appointment etc. The Report RC 48 was presented to the States in December 2002.

Deputy Bob Hill proposed a review of the Roles of the Crown Officers etc in May 2009 and this was undertaken by Lord Carswell and others, reporting to the States in December 2010.

Various recommendations for reform made in these two reports (like the famous Clothier Report of 2000 on the “machinery of government”), have not been implemented or even discussed by the States Assembly.

(For some reason this machine has a problem with the words Royal Court and does not let them appear normally within the text - if anybody knows how to correct this  - please advise!)


  1. Don't forget this attempted cover up cost the ratepayers of St Helier a substansial but undisclosed sum in legal fees of at least £150,000

  2. I heard a little rumour today that the police are to be brought under the jurisdiction of Home Affairs next year!!!

  3. Why was the Bailiff allowed to decide upon his own resignation? Surely if there were issues he should have been suspended at least just the same as Holland was and like some others!