An inquest ruled that David Cadwell, who suffered an asthma attack at the centre, died of natural causes 32 years ago. But his sister, Carole Kyle, and her family have never believed this and are now calling for justice.
They believe it was the ill-treatment by the offices at the notorious centre, near Consett, County Durham, that triggered his fatal attack. Ms Kyle has now called for a full investigation into the 17-year-old’s death while he served a three-month sentence for theft.
In quotes from The Northern Echo Ms Kyle of Hebburn, South Tyneside, recalled the moment she spotted bruises on her brothers neck when she went to visit him not long before his death.
Ms Kyle said: “I asked him “What happened and I want the truth?”. He said it was the prison officers that did it. I got up from the table and said “I am going to report it now”, but he asked me not to saying it would only make things worse for him if I did. He was petrified.”
“When I went to identify his body the first thing I saw when they pulled the sheet back was he had loads of bruises on his neck. I asked how he had got them and was told it probably happened when they were trying to bring him around. But I don’t accept that. I mentioned this at the inquest but they weren’t interested.”
Ms Kyle also told the inquest that scratches on his legs were caused by him being kicked around by prison officers at the Home-Office run institution.
“He said when they were scrubbing floors if they didn’t say “sir” it would happen. The first day he was there he didn’t say “sir” and was hit and slapped across the face.”
Ms Kyle said: “Even though he was in there he was a quiet lad. He wouldn’t be able to help himself, he wouldn’t fight. He would just do as he was told. He was just a joker. No bother. He was arrested after he was caught driving a tractor on a building site. He got three months, but I have always said he got life.”
She added: “I feel the case should be reopened and all the circumstances surrounding my brother’s death investigated. I just want justice. So do my brothers John and Alan and my mother Sylvia.”
Mother, Sylvia Caldwell, said at the time of the inquest her son was forced to do harsh physical training including repeated press-ups against his will and was beaten by prison staff, leaving him with bruising. Other Medomsley victims have also reported that they were forced into harsh physical training as well as being sexually abused.