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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

'St Helier 12' ready for Jail to Bail

06 February 2020

Members of a gang known as ‘The St Helier 12’ will be sentenced at the Old Magistrate’s Court and imprisoned at La Moye Prison on Thursday 13 February. The gang – whose members include a politician, a journalist, and a member of the clergy – will all be serving sentences for alleged ‘misdemeanours against the community.’

However, this is a sentencing with a difference: each member of the gang is actually a noteworthy Islander who has agreed to be tried, sentenced and imprisoned to raise money for The Shelter Trust.

Each volunteer is aiming to raise £2,000 in ‘bail money’ for the charity before their release on the morning of Friday 14 February. They will be appealing to the public to donate money at:

‘The St Helier 12’ are:

  • Peter James: crime author
  • Constable Len Norman: Minister for Home Affairs
  • Robin Smith: Chief of Police
  • Gavin Reid: Managing Director, Randalls 
  • Nigel Campbell: CEO of Mercury Distribution
  • Reverend Canon Geoff Houghton: Vice Dean of Jersey and Trustee of Shelter Trust
  • Amy Bryant: Deputy Chief Executive of Jersey Finance
  • Nigel Hair: Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • Mark Egan: Greffier of the States
  • John Kelleher: Chairman, Carey Olsen
  • Jack Maguire: Jersey Evening Post, Deputy News Editor
  • Simon Boas: Executive Director, Jersey Overseas Aid

Governor and Head of States of Jersey Prison Service, Nick Cameron, commented: “I came across a similar fund-raising event before moving to Jersey, and thought it would be great way to raise money for a really worthwhile cause. Whilst highlighting the challenges accommodation presents for some of our offenders on release, and others in the Island. So, we teamed up with Shelter Trust to run the island’s first ever Jail to Bail fundraising event, whilst enabling us to show some notable people the work we do every day in the prison service.“

While the charges may be fictitious, the volunteers taking part will have a taste of real conditions at La Moye Prison. After being prosecuted and sentenced at the Old Magistrate’s Court, the ‘criminals’ will be handcuffed and driven to the prison. 

On arrival, they will have their belongings confiscated and fingerprints taken. After an afternoon of activities, the prisoners will have their evening meals in their cells, visits by loved ones and be locked up until the morning.

Nick Cameron, added: “We know that for people without a support network, finding housing on release can be a real challenge. And a lack of housing, in turn, can increase the risks of reoffending. By taking part in the event, we also hope to highlight the work of the prison, how we work to rehabilitate prisoners and engage potential employers when they are released. The whole team and I are looking forward to welcoming the new intake of prisoners on the 13 February, although we are not sure what this motley bunch will be like to manage! The public will however be pleased to know we will treat them as we do any offender sent into our care.”

Neville Benbow, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Shelter Trust, said: “We work closely in partnership with the States of Jersey Prison Service to support former prisoners. This is a wonderful opportunity for us not just to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in Jersey, but for us to raise the vital funds we need to provide accommodation and support for the homeless community in Jersey.”

To donate to the Shelter Trust, and search for the gang member that you would like to support.  

Gavin Reid

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