How a ‘lazy, horrible’ man got glowing reference for post

Martin Warsama came highly praised when he applied for a social work job on St Helena, even though the Wass corruption inquiry later found him to be “incompetent, lazy and divisive”. And it was no wonder that his future boss saw nothing wrong with his job reference – because she wrote it herself. Claire Gannon was […]

Capes blamed for failures to heed warnings that led to scandal

Governor Mark Capes failed to act on warnings of serious problems that led to St Helena being unfairly mired in scandal, according to the Wass Inquiry report. It says he “must be held responsible” for the island being left without any social workers for nine months, and for the lack of a foster care system that […]

Feud with police ‘affected help for people in need’

A feud blew up after social worker Claire Gannon was told she could not be part of an investigation into child abuse by police officer Jeromy Cairns-Wicks. It was “in full swing” when a Lucy Faithfull Foundation team arrived to assess child safeguarding on St Helena, says the Wass Inquiry report. It says Claire Gannon […]

Island ‘still being run as a colony’, says Wass

The governor’s role as ‘head of state’ on an island of just 4,000 people is getting in the way of running the island properly, the Wass Inquiry has found. “The picture that emerged to the inquiry panel was that St Helena was still being run as a colony,” its report says, “with the Governor acting as […]

Saints ‘going without care’ since clinics closed

A lack of equipment in St Helena’s hospital is exposed in the Wass Report. “We found that the hospital lacked the rudimentary facilities required for the care of the sick,” it says. “We were told by nurses that there was only enough running hot water for one bath; that the dishwasher and bedpan washer had […]

Police whistle-blower ‘deserves apology’ after being forced out

St Helena Government acted to “remove” a police officer after he blew the whistle on  “potential wrongdoing” – before his claims had even been investigated. The Wass report says he acted honourably and should receive a written apology, “preferably from Governor Capes”. Some of them proved to be valid. One resulted in a new law to […]

Lasting shame of disabled girl ‘left to waste away’

The treatment of a severely disabled teenager on St Helena “should be a matter of lasting shame” to the island’s government, the Wass Inquiry report has declared. She had been “left to waste away” at Barn View Residential Unit at Longwood. The report places the blame on a succession of governors – and managers including Claire […]

Doing a Hudson Lowe: tell London, get a report, don’t act on it

Governor Mark Capes has been compared with the notorious Hudson Lowe, the man who acted as Napoleon’s gaoler on St Helena. Both governors turned to London when difficult problems arose, says the Wass Inquiry report. But officials in London had “no control or understanding” of what was happening far away in the South Atlantic, says […]