The BBC’s Inside Out programme has exposed Medomsley as one of the largest investigations of its kind in the UK for sexual and physical abuse with Police saying the current number of potential victims was “1,668 and rising”.
The regime described as the “short, sharp ,shock” designed to steer them away from a life of crime, was brutal. The detention centre was closed in 1988 and held offenders aged 17-21 years and who had committed relatively minor crimes.
One former inmate described it as a “concentration camp” run on violence. Another said
“he was shoved up against the wall and one of the officers had his hand around his throat, squeezing and squeezing tighter and tighter and all the time telling me that I was going to do what he wanted. I just let him do it. I didn’t want to go through that again, I didn’t want to die. It was the same every time from then on. It became part of the day.”
Neville Husband (who was also known as “Chef”) was in charge of the kitchens, he raped and abused young men on an “almost daily basis” over a period of years and was jailed back in 2003 for 8 years for abusing five teenagers at the unit in Medomsley, County Durham. Other victims then came forward and in 2005 his sentence was increased by 2 years. In the same year a storeman at the centre, Leslie Johnson was sentenced to six years in jail for sexual offences. Both men have since died.
The Ministry of Justice has spent £3.6m settling 237 compensation claims for sexual abuse and many more victims came forward alleging sexual or physical abuse by numerous officers and in 2013 Durham Police reopened it’s enquires under investigation Operation Seabrook. Five former officers have only just recently been convicted in connection with the physical abuse at Teeside Crown Court.
The link for the programme can be found here.
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