Former County Durham Archdeacon George Granville Gibson has denied eight allegations of historic sexual abuse after he was arrested as part of Operation Seabrook.

The operation, to date the largest investigation into historic sexual abuse in the UK, has seen more than 1,000 former inmates come forward alleging abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre following its launch in 2013.

Mr Gibson, 79, has been charged with abusing a young male during a visit to the Consett Institution.

The charge, one of eight relating to abuse of two men during the 1970’s and 1980’s, was formally denied in Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court last month.

Four of the alleged sexual assault charges relate to a man aged 16 or over in Newton Aycliffe and Consett between 1977 and 1978. Four further counts relate to alleged indecent assault on a second victim, in Newton Aycliffe between October 1979 and October 1983.

Gibson is due to stand trial at Durham Crown Court in January next year.

David Gibbs, Chartered Legal Executive at Jordans Solicitors, said: “The scale of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre was horrific. Many people have assumed that the abuse was limited to members of staff at the institution but these allegations show that this may not necessarily be the case

Many of our clients have made allegations of abuse away from Medomsley or by other individuals who appear not to be connected. We praise the hard work done by the officers involved with Operation Seabrook, given the sheer number of victims involved.”

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