As a result of discussions with the Ministry of Justice we are pleased to announce that a settlement scheme has been agreed to compensate detainees of Medomsley Detention Centre who suffered physical abuse by the Officers who worked there.

Medomsley Detention Centre was a youth detention centre in Consett, County Durham which was open from between 1961 to 1987 and operated the “Short sharp shock regime”. Detainees were subjected to brutal and indiscriminate violence from a number of Officers and staff members.

Medomsley Detention Centre was investigated as part of Operation Seabrook which was launched by the Durham Constabulary in 2013. This is the largest investigation of its kind. It is understood that nearly 2000 men have come forward to report their allegations of the abuse they suffered.

Last year five former prison officers:

  • Christopher Onslow “Machine / Mean Machine
  • John McGee “Big John / Pigeon Man
  • Brian Greenwell “Puppet
  • Kevin Blakely “Broken Nose
  • Alan Bramley “Bong Eye

were convicted of physically assaulting detainees over the course of three separate Crown Court trials. Collectively they were jailed for more than 18 years.

Two more Officers:

  • Ian Nicholson
  • Alexander Flavell

are due to stand trial for offences committed against detainees in November this year.

The settlement scheme is designed to compensate victims of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre without the need to go through complex legal proceedings. This will provide certainty that former detainees will receive compensation for the physical assaults they suffered by convicted Officers during their time there.

Qualification for the scheme is based on a set of agreed criteria. The men must be able to prove their period of detention by reference to their PNC records and state that they suffered abuse by a convicted Officer during the period that they were detained.

Compensation will be assessed in accordance with the length of time that they were detained and whether they have suffered lasting physical and psychological injuries. The Claimant will also receive a letter of apology from the Ministry of Justice.


Jordans Solicitors also obtain compensation for men who suffered sexual abuse by Officers and staff members during their period of detention. In the early 2000’s two former Officers Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson were found guilty of sexual offences against detainees in early 2000. Both men are now deceased. Ian Nicholson has also been charged with 3 counts of serious sexual abuse and 1 count of indecent assault.

Jordans Solicitors represent approximately 200 clients who have suffered physical abuse. We have a dedicated team of highly specialist Solicitors who can ensure that your claim is handled sensitively.

If you were detained at Medomsley Detention Centre and suffered physical abuse we would urge you to contact our team on our free phone number 0330 300 1103.

Related Blog Articles