Police probe county links to Jersey death

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POLICE are investigating whether there are links between child abuse at a Cosham children's home and a murder probe in Jersey.

Officers are to look into five people's claims that children disappeared from the Children's Cottage Home in Cosham, Portsmouth.

Les Cummings, 63, told police he remembered youngsters disappearing in the night when he lived at the home in the 1950s. He fears the children never returned to the care home.

The discovery of children's remains at the Haut de la Garenne care home in Jersey sparked memories for Mr Cummings and others, he told police.

He fears brutality at the Cosham home could be linked to events in Jersey.

Police today confirmed they are investigating the claims but have not established a link between the two care homes.

Detectives were due to take a full statement from Mr Cummings today.

Mr Cummings, of Sydenham Court, Fratton, who is spokesman for the Children's Cottage Home justice project, said: 'The story in Jersey set a lot of alarm bells ringing.

'I remember children were taken out of the dormitories at night and we did not see them again.

'Once this triggers in your mind you remember children did disappear.

'There's the suspicion that what happened in Jersey could have happened here.'

The care home was demolished. It was on the site of what is now Derby House in Sky Close, Cosham.

No-one faced charges following an earlier police investigation into claims of abuse at the children's home decades ago.

A total of 21 men and women told detectives they suffered physical and sexual abuse as children at Children's Cottage Home, mostly in the 1950s.

Of the 20 people accused of being abusers, 17 have since died, police said.