Seven former officers at Medomsley Detention Centre face charges for physical and sexual abuse of inmates at the centre.
Medomsley Detention Centre was a youth detention centre in Consett, County Durham which operated the, “short, sharp, shock,” regime from the late 1960s until 1990s. Inmates were subjected to brutal and indiscriminate violence from a number of officers and staff members.
Durham Police have been investigating over 1,500 complaints of physical and sexual abuse. Operation Seabrook has referred 30 suspects to the Crown Prosecution Service for charging advice. A decision has today been made to charge seven former officers.
Kevin Blakely, Alan Bramley, Brian Greenwell, David McClure, John McGee, Christopher Onslow and Neil Sowerby have all been summonsed to attend Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on 19th December 2017 and will face individual charges of physically abusing specific inmates, Some of the suspects will also face charges relating to sexual assault. All seven have also been charged with Misconduct in a Public Office.
The investigation into the remaining 17 suspects will continue and Durham Police hope to make further charging decisions in the New Year.
Two members of staff, Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson, both of whom are now deceased, have been convicted of sexual offences against inmates. Husband was convicted twice in 2003 and 2005 for serious sexual assaults.
David Gibbs, specialist child abuse lawyer at Jordans Solicitors said “This announcement is welcomed and is a significant step towards the victims of the violent regime achieving some form of justice after so many years. Many of the young boys were placed at Medomsley for very minor offences and were met with the worst kind of sexual abuse, together with vicious beatings, by men appointment by the Government to look after their needs. These boys were failed by the Government and it is hoped, if found guilty, any convictions will bring some comfort to the victims who were affected.
Jordans Solicitors have previously settled cases in relation to Medomsley Detention Centre, and currently represent a significant number of clients who allege physical and sexual abuse. We are part of a Steering Group of solicitors firms collectively handling claims for over 1,000 clients affected by abuse at Medomsley. We have been working closely with Durham Police with their investigation and will continue to do so.